“I look forward to traveling to Rome soon to help thank Pope Benedict XVI for his gifted service to the Church, and to participate in the Conclave to elect his successor,” announced Cardinal Roger Mahony, not the real Archbishop of Los Angeles.
The remarkably deft Mahony, who’s obviously been anointed with PR awareness, posted his statement online at 8:38 am, two hours before his successor, The Most Rev. Jose Gomez, could issue his own remarks about the Pope’s abdication. At midday Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Gomez, the real Archbishop of Los Angeles, said, “…the pope’s decision to resign is a beautiful, Christ-like act of humility and love for the church.”
Mahony showed no such deftness or awareness in his multi-year obfuscation investigating possible sex abuse cases among his subordinate priests in America’s largest Catholic archdiocese. And, there is confusion over Mahony even releasing his got-mine-out-before-you-got-yours-out statement. On January 31 Gomez announced he had removed Mahony (in secular terms, “fired him”) from all public duties amid revelations that he plotted to conceal child molestation by priests from law enforcement.
It’s very hard for everyone to accept priests as pedophiles, but it’s obviously much harder for the Archbishop of Los Angeles to effectively silence Mahony.
So now, the Los Angeles Archdiocese seems to have two official talking-heads! Perhaps the Vatican will be witnessing this same phenomenon if ex-Pope Benedict jockeys for space with the newly-elected Pope.
For those of us not schooled in the protocols of the Catholic Church and hierarchy, what is even more eye-popping is that the good Cardinal Mahony will be looking forward to thanking the pope in person “and to participate in the conclave to elect his successor.” Mahony will be one of 117 cardinals who will elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
Obviously, the Grace of God extends to Cardinals
However, no such luck for three former Penn State University officials: ex-President Graham Spanier, former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz and former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley. All three have been charged with conspiring to cover up years of sexual abuse against children by former football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Late last year, according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly, “The three men essentially turned a blind eye to serial predatory acts” by Sandusky, Kelly told a news conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. For their alleged involvement in concealing Jerry Sandusky’s rampant child sexual abuse. They were each charged with perjury, endangering the welfare of children, failure to report, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice. These charges could result in at least up to seven years in prison and $15,000 in fines.
“This was not a mistake by these men. It was not an oversight. It was not misjudgment on their part. This was a conspiracy of silence by top officials working to actively conceal the truth, with total disregard for the children who were Sandusky’s victims in this case,” she said.
They will probably not be invited to vote for the new President, Vice-President or Athletic Director at Penn State.
Cardinal Mahony’s Los Angeles diocese has been the focal point for over 500 hundred cases involving pedophile priests and the re-assignment of these priests to new locales and churches. No one will ever know the number of cases that didn’t pass Mahony’s threshold for action. Mahony pleads that he was never trained to understand or help with sexual abuse cases. Millions of dollars have been paid to victims with some of the money coming from cemetery caretaking-funds.
Cardinal Mahony has not been charged with anything even though the diocese has released files on 124 priests. According to a Los Angeles Diocese website, 82 files have information on allegations of childhood sexual abuse and 42 files have no information on allegations of childhood sexual abuse but, in those instances, the “proffers” are being provided.
Even more revealing is that the Penn State officials have been fired and are facing charges over the actions of one employee.
Talk about Christian charity; Mahony is definitely playing for the right team!
Why there is such a difference between the treatment of religious men and university men, all of whom were in position of ultimate authority at learned and venerable institutions, escapes me.
I can only hope that Mahony was better trained at leading souls to salvation than he was at saving children from the abusive actions of some of his priests.
Carl Matthes is a native of Los Angeles and has lived in Eagle Rock for over 40 years. He is a former president and a current Board member of Uptown Gay and Lesbian Alliance. He is a former columnist and a current advisor to the Lesbian News, the oldest lesbian publication in America. He was editor of the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) newsletter and a former GLAAD National Board member. He has also been a Board member of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
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