CA - Mahony and Pope concelebrate mass in Rome - Victims react

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434,[email protected])

Pope Francis just rubbed salt into the wounds of LA clergy sex abuse victims and Catholics.

Maybe more than any of his predecessors, Pope Francis is keenly aware that images and gestures matter. So why did he concelebrate mass and privately meet with America’s least deserving and most polarizing retired Catholic official – Cardinal Roger Mahony, on whose watch hundreds of children were raped, sodomized, fondled and assaulted by hundreds of priests, nuns, brothers, seminarians and other Catholic employees, many of whom were deliberately and repeatedly moved and protected by Mahony and his top aides?

Mahony’s years of self-serving secrecy forced Archbishop Jose Gomez to forbid Mahony from doing ‘public ministry’ in the LA archdiocese. How ironic that he’s persona non grata in LA but welcomed in Rome. How ironic that Mahony’s predecessor basically bans him but Catholicism’s head honcho embraces him.

It should go without saying that the pope is the world’s most powerful Catholic. He can meet with anyone he likes. And he can deny anyone the chance to appear with him in public.

Yet he chooses to say mass publicly and meet privately with Mahony.

There are plenty of prelates across the globe who understand immigration issues. Few prelates, however, understand public relations and image-burnishing more than Mahony. And even when he retires, he’s remorseless and fixated on trying to rebuild his well-deserved shattered reputation. It’s sad that Pope Francis is complicit in this selfish and insensitive effort. 

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, [email protected])

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant