Retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, represents everything I despise about having been raised Catholic: the lies, the hypocrisy, the rhetorical and dogmatic absurdities, the intimidating ideology of compliance as a measure of success and happiness – all of it.
Granted, these are the characteristics of a church and its minions known to those who experienced so-called “old-school” nuns and priests, but here we are in 2013, and Mahony — a man who protected and made excuses for child molesters for many years — is only now getting that metaphorical boot in the ass, as he’s kicked into oblivion.
STATEMENT FROM CARDINAL ROGER M. MAHONY REGARDING SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS BY CLERGY
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles January 21, 2013
With the upcoming release of priests’ personnel files in the Archdiocese’s long struggle with the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, my thoughts and prayers turn toward the victims of this sinful abuse.
What good are your thoughts and prayers? What good are your words? You willfully sheltered pedophile priests from virtually guaranteed prosecution. In so doing, you caused further damage to those victimized by your pervert clergy. How are you only now suddenly able to connect with the feelings of these victims? ‘Cause your confidential archdiocese records were made public, exposing your deceit? Your thoughts and prayers mean about as much as smeared feces in a madhouse toilet.
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony statement continued…
Various steps toward safeguarding all children in the Church began here in 1987 and progressed year by year as we learned more about those who abused and the ineffectiveness of so-called “treatments” at the time. Nonetheless, even as we began to confront the problem, I remained naïve myself about the full and lasting impact these horrible acts would have on the lives of those who were abused by men who were supposed to be their spiritual guides. That fuller awareness came for me when I began visiting personally with victims. During 2006, 2007 and 2008, I held personal visits with some 90 such victims.
“Fuller awareness”my foot. It’s inconceivable to me that any man, let alone a man in a position of spiritual or religious leadership, could marginalize his responsibilities in this way — as if the word naive carried the power of absolution to de-stigmatize your Paterno status. Actually, I take that back. It’s not inconceivable, it’s goddamned evil – literally. Tell me something, Roger, how does one stay naive while employing such legal and public relations strategies as whisking away pedophile subordinates to a child molestation treatment facility? It’s something that would’ve made the rest of us gag, but you somehow “remained” dewey-eyed and uninformed through it all. Ha! If I’d been one of those 90, your guards would’ve been forced to pry my hands from your throat.
Those visits were heart-wrenching experiences for me as I listened to the victims describe how they had their childhood and innocence stolen from them by clergy and by the Church. At times we cried together, we prayed together, we spent quiet moments in remembrance of their dreadful experience; at times the victims vented their pent up anger and frustration against me and the Church.
Come on now! I know how these Catholic geezers think: they imagine they’re being conciliatory or compassionate when they’re actually condescending. “Heart-wrenching” = time consuming. And that last line about some victims’ anger: quite the swipe at those who doubt or show ill-will toward the church, even after something like this. You might as well have hung quotations over the word “victim.” Why even say “pent up”? Why go near the word “vent”? And “against” you? I think you mean people that are angry with you. But it’s telling that you chose “against”.
Toward the end of our visits I would offer the victims my personal apology—and took full responsibility—for my own failure to protect fully the children and youth entrusted into my care. I apologized for all of us in the Church for the years when ignorance, bad decisions and moral failings resulted in the unintended consequences of more being done to protect the Church—and even the clergy perpetrators—than was done to protect our children.
You offered your personal apology right before you had ’em shown the door, right? Or are we to take you at your word that you sat there, squirming in contrition through each visit? I call baloney, your Lordship. I think the public should witness that for themselves. Why? ‘Cause you protected the church over children, yet you’ll never see a jail cell. The expression on your face should be a stand-in for that absence of justice for the remainder of your years. It should represent the victims with whom you spoke and the ones you turned away. (Sure! Who’d you decline to sit with, I wonder? And who had to sign a wavier before getting an audience with you?)
Look, Cardinal Baloney, you have no excuse for hiding child molesters from the law. The public should be allowed the memory of your discomfort and inconvenience, if not your sentencing. You deserve to grovel –though I’m sure you’ll be doing that soon enough. How’s that ticker?
I have a 3 x 5 card for every victim I met with on the altar of my small chapel. I pray for them every single day. As I thumb through those cards I often pause as I am reminded of each personal story and the anguish that accompanies that life story. The cards contain the name of each victim since each one is precious in God’s eyes and deserving of my own prayer and sacrifices for them. But I also list in parenthesis the name of the clergy perpetrator lest I forget that real priests created this appalling harm in the lives of innocent young people.
I’ll bet you thumb through those cards: they’re not only precious in God’s eyes, eh? You know who else keeps 3 x 5 cards? Out-of-touch, Type-A bullies. Nixon and McCarthy had a few. Nazis too! Dick Cheney keeps his in an undisclosed super-bunker. Lance Armstrong denies having any, but…
Come to think of it, the head nun at my Catholic grade-school had a lockbox full of ’em! They’re just dossiers to you people!! It’s kinda gross you depict yours as being so memento–like. And your detail makes me shudder. Knowing that your special 3 x 5s note the “anguish” assigned to each of the lives you’ve helped damage or destroy — as well as the name of the guy who pulled his thing on a kid — WTF? These sound like friggin’ trading cards, dude! Where’s your editor? Someone should’ve given a bit more thought to how your words might come across.
It remains my daily and fervent prayer that God’s grace will flood the heart and soul of each victim, and that their life-journey continues forward with ever greater healing.
There you go again! Shouldn’t you be praying for your own heart and soul? It’s as if you’re telling us you pray for the victims to meet you halfway — for them to do the understanding and emotional heavy-lifting.
I am sorry
No you’re not. And I was advised once never to say I was sorry. It isn’t some tough guy code: it’s because “sorry” is an excuse. To specifically ask for someone’s forgiveness is an accounting of errors and a humbling act, the power of which doesn’t hit home ’til the asker is struck selfless. You sound anything but, pal.
Besides, saying you’re sorry is what you do when you’ve been caught. But hey, at least you’re alive to watch your legacy be spat on, right? Thank God.