CA- LA archbishop reneges on Mahony ‘discipline’

LA’s archbishop claimed disgraced predecessor wouldn’t engage in “public ministry.” Now, he’s apparently - and quietly - reversed himself, further betraying thousands of abuse victims and hundreds of thousands of parishioners.

Today’s LA Times reports that Archbishop José Horacio Gomez is violating his pledge to forbid Cardinal Roger Mahony from performing confirmations. And Gomez is giving no explanations.

In the midst of a scandal, under the glare of klieg lights and the outrage of parishioners, bishops will promise anything and everything to everybody. Later, when public attention wanes, they’ll go straight – but quietly – back to “business as usual.” This is the sad, simple truth that most of us foolishly and repeatedly ignore and that enables bishops to keep right on endangering the flock, concealing the truth, and recycling the molesters.

This is the “same old, same old.” Bishops say they’ll oust credibly accused clerics at the first allegation, and they don’t. They say they’ll be “transparent” about clergy sex abuse cases, and they aren’t. They say they’ll monitor predator priests, and they don’t. They’ll pledge to treat victims with compassion, then they don’t.

Why can bishops get by with this? Because they’re monarchs. Because their flocks tolerate it. Because the public has a short attention span. Because we want to believe the best about others. Because we let ourselves be convinced that deliberate cover ups are actually just “mistakes” and that bishops are “learning” and “reforming” when they’re not.

Recent examples include:

--Newark Archbishop John Myers promises to keep admitted and convicted child predator Fr. Michael Fugee away from kids, but let’s and/or enables him to be a hospital chaplain, hear kids’ confessions, go to kids’ retreats, go on trips to Canada with kids, and work in parishes.


--Joliet Bishop Peter Sartain says serial child predator Fr. Carroll Howlin is suspended and the Vatican orders that he be kept away from kids, but the Chicago Tribune discovers that’s not happening:

 --Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn said he kept Fr. Shawn Ratigan away from kids but evidence has surfaced showing that he did not.

We could go on and on. We rarely expect dictators to keep their promises, especially when they’ve long been shown to be corrupt. Why are our expectations different when dictators wrap themselves spiritual armor rather than secular armor?

Finally, on this Mother’s Day weekend, we feel sorry for the Los Angeles Catholic moms who approach their children’s confirmation with joy only to be dismayed and betrayed because Cardinal Mahony is on the altar still being held out as an honorable, trustworthy spiritual figure.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, [email protected]), Judy Jones 636-433-2511, [email protected])




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Showing 1 comment

  • June Annette
    commented 2013-05-10 13:44:08 -0500
    Mental Reservation, a euphemism for LYING , and a peculiar privilege / perogativve extended exclusively to the Roman Catholic hierarchy goes a long way in explaining the discrepancies in view in these matters.

    Father B. U. Gormless, S.J., defines mental reservation as “an unspoken intention to limit one’s compliance with a contract one is overtly entering into.” This moral doctrine has also been employed to “deny the whole truth” to those who have no right to it or to avoid “greater harm.”


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