Cardinal Mahony Wants You To Know He Forgives You
February 18th, 2013
In January, Roger Cardinal Mahony, the retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, was relieved of all of his public and episcopal duties by his successor, Archbishop José Gomez, after posting tens of thousands of pages of previously secret personnel records of 122 priests who were accused of sexually abusing children. The records reveal that the claims of abuse went directly from the local parish level straight up to the top of the archdiocese, with Mahony being made personally aware of the abuse claims and working directly, with the full knowledge that the priests were subject to criminal investigation and prosecution, to shield the priests from the consequences of their criminal deeds by sending them out of state to New Mexico for therapy and keeping them out of state, for other dioceses to deal with, after their therapy had ended (unsuccessfully). The records also showed that another reason these priests were sent out of state is because Mahony was aware that California therapists have a legal duty of reporting child sexual abuses to local authorities.
In other words, Mahony oversaw a vast criminal racket to shield predatory men from having to face the legal consequences of sexually abusing underage boys. For decades, the families of these boys have been denied seeing these monsters held accountable for their crimes, with Mahony himself deeply embedding himself in numerous acts to obstruct justice. By the time Mahony reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 and handed the archdiocese over to his successor, changes had been made to how the archdiocese handles complaints going forward, but the families have yet to see their day in court. But when Gomez relieved Mahony of his remaining duties, Mahony recounted his self-serving version of the long disgusting history and protested, “I handed over to you an Archdiocese that was second to none in protecting children and youth.” Sadly, given what he was comparing his archdiocese with — Boston, New York, Dallas, San Diego, Denver, Louisville, Tucson, Davenport, Covington (KY), Charleston (SC), and in each of the rest of the 195 dioceses in the U.S. — those words were undoubtedly, sadly, true.
But now, before he leaves to go to Rome to help elect the next Pope, he wants you to know that all is forgiven:
Given all of the storms that have surrounded me and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles recently, God’s grace finally helped me to understand: I am not being called to serve Jesus in humility. Rather, I am being called to something deeper–to be humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many.
I was not ready for this challenge. Ash Wednesday changed all of that, and I see Lent 2013 as a special time to reflect deeply upon this special call by Jesus.
To be honest with you, I have not reached the point where I can actually pray for more humiliation. I’m only at the stage of asking for the grace to endure the level of humiliation at the moment.
In the past several days, I have experienced many examples of being humiliated. In recent days, I have been confronted in various places by very unhappy people. I could understand the depth of their anger and outrage–at me, at the Church, at about injustices that swirl around us.
Thanks to God’s special grace, I simply stood there, asking God to bless and forgive them.
So if you’re worried about how all of the righteous anger being directed at Mahony over his criminal misdeeds has been affecting him, you can now sleep better at night. He forgives you.
Narcissism, thy name is Mahony.