Some Justice in Cardinal Mahony’s Removal from Public Ministry

Voice of the Faithful® sees some slight, long overdue justice in the recent removal of retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony from public ministry for abetting clergy sexual abuse, a first in the decades-long scandal. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez announced Mahony’s censure in a letter Jan. 31 in which he stated that, effective immediately, Mahony “would no longer have any administrative or public duties.”

Gomez also stated in his letter that he had accepted the resignation of Santa Barbara Bishop Thomas J. Curry, who as a monsignor under Mahony had discussed with him how to hide molestation of children by priests from parishioners, police and the public.

VOTF has long stressed that Church discipline of hierarchy involved in the clergy sexual scandal is absolutely necessary to show that the Church will not tolerate child sex abuse. Holding bishops accountable also is a crucial step towards renewal and healing. Although Gomez’s action appears little more than a slap on the wrist for Mahony, the move, which is likely unprecedented in Church history, does signal a move in the right direction.

But more is needed. “All secret files must be released,” said Mark Mullaney, VOTF president, “and made public before we gain closure on this deplorable piece of our Catholic fabric, which not only was stained repeatedly by abusive priests, but also—and worse—was covered up by a complicit hierarchy.”

Bishop Gomez’s action follows the release of thousands of pages of confidential Church documents on clergy sexual abuse in the Los Angeles Archdiocese containing the names of Church leaders who had covered up clergy sexual abuse of children. These names formerly had been blacked out of the documents, but the un-redacted documents were released after a judge’s order to do so.

In a letter to parishioners, Gomez calls the behavior described in the documents “terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children.” VOTF agrees.

The formerly secret documents now are being assessed for possible actions by state authorities, but many of the crimes that have come to light so far are likely to fall outside California’s statute of limitation on child sex abuse. This underscores the necessity of reforming such statutes, which VOTF and other organizations have stated repeatedly is necessary to protect children adequately from predators and bring some measure of justice to survivors.

Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of concerned mainstream Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at http://www.votf.org.

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  1. #1 by Tejolote on February 4, 2013 - 1:20 PM

    According to who is aiding and abetting pedophiles a less serious offense than publicly supporting the ordination of women? Hello!!! Wake up!!! This is where the Laughing Jesus gets his laughs but he first cries from the horrendous behavior of those individuals who have defiled our most innocents.

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    • #2 by Pam on February 4, 2013 - 4:49 PM

      Fr. Roy B. excommunicated and defrocked for refusing to publicly retract his statements supporting the ordination of women. pediphile priests are not excommunicated.

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  2. #3 by Pam on February 2, 2013 - 6:09 PM

    Mahony is still in good standing with the Church. Aiding and abetting pediphiles is a less serious offence than publicly supporting the ordination of women.

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  3. #4 by Donna B. Doucette on February 1, 2013 - 9:17 PM

    There are links on the Los Angeles Archdiocesan web site to all the files the court ordered released without redactions. (The redactions that remain are those that would identify the abused.) Here is the link: http://clergyfiles.la-archdiocese.org/listing.html

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    • #5 by PMR on February 4, 2013 - 3:14 PM

      I read some of these files and other from other dioceses in the US. It is hard to understand the mentality of the Hierarchy when these perps continue to be in good standing with the church and even in many cases receive a pension. In the real world if you sexually molest a child you are
      fired, jailed and that’s it. They just don’t get it. The sympathy is for the abusing priest not the abused child. Yet the same Hierarchy will turn around and excommunicate a woman for trying to
      exercise her vocation to the priesthood and laicize and excommunicate a priest for publicly supporting that woman. This abuse is nothing short of a holocaust of souls. It is on a par with abortion. Abortion kills the child’s body; sexual abuse kills the child’s soul. It is as bad or worse.

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  4. #6 by glorybe1929 on February 1, 2013 - 1:10 PM

    I quote,” to protect children from predators”. Who ever in a million yrs. would think of a priest, brother or nun as a predator.? No one… We all have been completely blind-sided by the people who were to keep these people OUT of the church. They didn’t keep them OUTof the church in the first place and when they found out they coddled and condoned their actions by sending them to unsusprecting parishes where no one knew what they were getting but their superiors. Then… by KEEPING THEM IN , they completely allowed THIS EVIL and think that confession will take care of it and it won’t!
    .
    If they won’t protect “our children” from their own people which they haven’t since I left in 2001…

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