Cardinal Mahony and some of his staff…

should be wearing liturgical orange for obstruction of justice.

But that’s up to us laypeople, who run the police, staff the courts, and man the jails.

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  • Horrendous. Mahony and Curry both belong behind bars. Say that Garcia manipulated them – that business of wanting to take his own life, which comes out at one point, is obviously the kind of emotional blackmail beloved of criminals and rapists everywhere – two shepherds of the Church, who apart from anything else should have had decades of experience as confessors and be able to tell that kind of manipulation by the very smell, were taken in like probationers? Please. The only thing to be said is that at the time when this was going on Mahony was the Meejah’s favourite churchman – which they don’t seem too keen to remember just now.

  • Sus

    Please let this be the last one.

  • I have to admit that the evidence looks pretty damning in this case, and there probably should have been several indictments some time back. But do not forget that others make such accusations for the settlements, and they care nothing for their victims, such as Father Gordon MacRae.

    • N.

      Until Mahoney dons the orange jumpsuit and does the perp-walk on his way to serious jailtime in front of a bajillion cameras, it won’t be the last one. Finn/Ratigan/Kansas City proved that. Had he been given a serious sentence, there’d be some hope, but he got a mere slap on the wrist and didn’t even have the decency to remove himself from office. Appalling. The message is loud and clear — the Church is still a safe haven for creeps like Finn and Mahoney. Money and power talk, and the victims are kicked to the curb once again. There’s a special place in hell waiting for these “men”.

    • Mark Shea

      I wouldn’t be so quick to assume MacRae’s innocence.

  • Bob

    “Some of his staff” includes Thomas J. Curry, currently the auxiliary Bishop in Santa Barbara. If the civil authorities there won’t deal with him, then the laypeople of that disocese should demand his removal.

  • Matthew

    I know you are often critical, and rightly so, of the “Right’s” blind support of its folk heroes. I wonder if the “Left” will do any better. Will the NCReporter be as diligent in calling for the punishment of Mahony, et al., as they were to call for the punishments of Cardinal Law or Bishop Finn??

    • The Deuce

      Do you even need to ask?

    • Mark Shea

      We’ll see. As Polanski demonstrated, the Right Sort of Roman often gets a pass.

    • Max Lindenman

      Save a spot on the hanging jury for this lefty, if you please.

  • Sadly, I am not surprised to hear this about Cdl. Mahony.

  • Medjugorje Fan

    This is dreadful. I think the Church needs to institute a national day of reparation dedicated to all the victims of sexual abuse. These kids (now adults) have been ignored for too long, and I don’t believe we as a church will ever heal until we face up to all of this. It is a truly grievous sin.

    • Sus

      A national day of reparation dedicated to all victims of sexual abuse is a nice idea. I like that a lot.

      From what I see in the parishes around me, I believe the Church has put in measures where it would be extremely hard for a priest to sexually abuse a child. I don’t see any opportunity. I’m grateful for this or I would not have my kids in the Catholic Church.

      I have ZERO TRUST in the Church, that if sexual abuse did happen, that it would be dealt with properly. There is still denial and something else that I don’t understand. I don’t know if it’s wrapped up with gay marriage or what. I don’t get it. It’s so discouraging that the cover up is still happening. Doesn’t the Church have anyone with expertise about the politics of covering up crimes advising them?

      It is so disheartening.

      • N.

        And yet Kansas City — this was a newly ordained priest in a parish where all the new protocols had been talked about and installed, and in a school where parents and the principal noticed inappropriate action and reported it and Finn did nothing. He even knew about Ratigan’s proclivities and allowed him free rein.

        The day anyone thinks it’s perfectly safe now is the day they guarantee it isn’t.

        Also, this has nothing to do with gay marriage. Not even close.

        • Richard M

          Bishop Finn did not do enough about the Ratigan case, to be sure. But it is not accurate to say that he did *nothing.*

          If the same level of scrutiny that has rained down on Finn – and I think it is good that we are getting more scrutiny now – had been imposed on Mahony back in the day, he would have been executed at dawn by drawing and quartering.

          • N.

            Oh, sorry. He did nothing meaningful or pro-active. He did nothing he was legally required to do. But I guess he did “something”, sort of, all while he tried to figure out a way to save his personal gods of image and prestige even though his actions did nothing to protect a single child from that filth.

      • Kenneth

        It is not about researching or drafting the right protocols or procedures or competent advisers or any other technical fix you can think of. Those things are important, but they have been done already, and pretty well on the whole. They have been in place for a long time, in some major archdioceses for going on two decades now. They’re good tools which have been reduced to utterly useless ornaments because the men in charge, the bishops, do not subscribe to the spirit of those rules – transparency and accountability.

        They do not feel bound by the spirit of those rules and only grudgingly acknowledge the letter of them, always with an instinct for the lawyers dodge on what the “meaning of IS is….” in ways that allow them to justify their decades old instinct to cover up. The culture of leadership is rotten. It is rotten because no bishops have, as yet, been held to serious consequences for their participation in major crimes. It is rotten because the architects of the “old” scandal have never accepted responsibility in their own minds for doing anything wrong, really wrong. Amoral men don’t, as a rule, select and groom virtuous men as their successors. Their successors, the bishops mostly now in office, were chosen for their ideological purity in the new vision of theological conservatism. These days, that very often is accompanied by a kind of tribalism and disdain for the wider society and a managerial temperament that interprets firm pastoral guidance to mean autocratic rule. These are men who don’t feel much inclined to take advice from, or explain themselves to, lay people or law enforcement. Their diocese is their kingdom and what goes on there is nobody else’s business.

        This continues in no small part because lay Catholics, by and large, have done little to change it beyond lamenting the state of things. Too many, acting out of tribal loyalties, have circled the wagon and excused the actions of these criminal bishops. The usual defense is moral relativism. “Well the public schools do it too, and Celebrity A got a pass from the New York Times for his abuse.” As if that has any relevance at all. The other tack they take says anyone who criticizes the bishops on this issue is just an East Coast atheist, liberal media or women priest advocate.

        Until all of these key factors change, the cover-ups will keep happening, and being discovered, more or less at the same pace as today, for decades to come.

  • SouthCoast

    Was it Mahoney’s stifled conscience, then, that led to that ecclesiatical penitentiary known as the Los Angeles Cathedral?

  • N.

    Our hideous cathedral can beat up your hideous cathedral any day of the week and twice on Sundays…

    Around here, we call it the Mother Ship.

    • SouthCoast

      “Hyperbolic parabaloids.” Lord have mercy! You win! (OTOH, does its interior have the Cold War Civil Defense ambiance that L.A. possesses?)

    • Margaret

      I always think of it as the Washing Machine Agitator, personally…
      South Coast, the interior more speaks to Bland Federal Office Building (with a lovely, but meaningless reflective mobile/sculpture thing that is supposed to lift one’s heart to God. Or something.) A few minutes of persevering hunting will yield the tabernacle, however…

  • Kate

    I feel sick every time I read about Fr. Wempe – he taught at the small high school I attended in the late 70’s. He was the first priest I knew who did not wear clerics and when he did, he favoured yellow or pink shirts (does Cotter’s sell those colors?) . He also talked very negatively about the seminary and did not seem to value his priesthood. He was a complete joke as a religion teacher (but all my high school religion courses were). My father became Enemy #1 when he confronted Wempe about telling my brother that masturbation was not sinful. I thank God that my father was so protective “in your face” and distrustful of most priests at that time. He was very devout and a faithful Catholic convert, but he knew priests were human and influenced by the perverse times. Anyway, I think Manhony is beyond touch now. The media has never gone after him seriously. He’s always been seen as a clueless tool – Cardinal Hollywood. What they really want is to discredit the Church and render it ineffective in CA.

  • Observer

    Scratching my head. “When and If” you perceive to water down the Gospel pertaining to the ordered Supernatural reality of the Church beholding to the Sacraments, play psychological evaluations, shift peoples from one place to the other, rationalize your leadership, and let go of the most practiced traditions of the Church from Christ through Apostles and on to their successors, you don’t even get justice. For, by denying the Sacramental charge and ministry of the Church, you deny justice entirely.

    Remember, God does not play games; the devil does. I cannot anyhow understand why lay people, in particular, are so righteous as those men chasing the woman down the streets with stones? Especially when those very lay people decided to go along with all the non-sense pouring into the Church with all the new innovations which had nothing to do with the 2nd Vatican Council. When you invite neutral out of touch and often malicious forces into the life of the faithful, you cannot fall back on your feet when something goes amidst. If you’re one of those people who supported all the distractions to the Church and her ministry for the salvation of souls – here’s a wake up call – you are at fault. People need to take responsibility for their actions before trying to assist Priests, Clergy, and those in Sacramental leadership to take accountability.

    You cannot be out of touch for so many years with the Church, and then all of a sudden, start talking about people who need to take responsibilities for a crisis that was either started or permitted by the very lay people who followed pursuit in influencing it.

    Christ said, “Which of you have not sinned, cast the first stone?” No soul on earth is without sin. If you believe God is so much gentler upon your sins than a another soul, then you don’t believe God loves you. Because, Love is patient, bearing all things, hoping all things..and is the greatest of all Virtues as St. Paul continued to pour out in his letter to the people at the Church in Corinth. St. Augustine of Hippo even re-iterated that message when he said, “The essentials: unity; the non-essentials: liberty; and in all things: Charity.” Why do you think Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who was originally a nun of the Augustinian order founded the Sisters of Charity? She took St. Paul’s message to heart as St. Augustine of Hippo did.

    Justice is done through mercy. If you don’t have mercy, you don’t have justice. And, mercy without justice, is mercy non-existent. Enough of the silly squabbling and start living out the faith as God ordained in charity.

    The first you do is pray..period.

    • Sus

      Your last line is the only thing I agree with.

      The sexual abuse scandal was the fault of the child abusers and the people who covered it up. There is nothing “righteous” about wanting your children to be safe at mass. That really isn’t much to ask of a church.

      Your comment is a great example of what Kenneth is talking about in his comment above.

  • Dan

    His Eminence should have his red hat & honours revoked and should be deposed from his episcopacy. He should then be transferred to a cold and isolated monastery in the Siberian wastes, where he can live his days out chanting Divine Office and sleeping in an old mattress in a small monastic cell as penance.

  • Caroline

    Bu didn’t he have a good social justice record?

  • Scott

    I’m not defending the Cardinal, but he is a priest and God will deal with him thus. We cannot be his executioners.

    • Mark Shea

      If by “we” you mean laity, you are dead wrong. If the man is a criminal he should be tried in criminal court,. which is run by laypeople.

      • merkn

        Agree 100%. But where is the strong statement from the hierarchy or thr Bishops Conference condemning these acts.

  • I think that the cardinal should be punished in some way, and justice should decide his fate. This is the kind of thing that the media uses to make the Catholic Church looks bad and it needs to stop.

    • N.

      Thomas, this is the kind of thing the Church does to make itself look bad. You can’t blame the media here. They’re doing their job. It’s a story. They’re reporting it. If Mahony et al. hadn’t failed to do the right thing time after time, there’d be nothing to report.

      Frankly, it needs to continue. If these matters hadn’t come to light by way of the media, they’d still be going on now.