Archive for Roger Mahony

Mandela v Mahony. A "stark, stomach-churning contrast."

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nelson mandela rip

mahony cover up
mandela mahony LATimes letters

I usually post letters that strike me emotionally one way or the other, but today I had to augment these with a screen grab of the images that were included with them. They hit home and deserve a good long look.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Mahony's sins," Letters, and "He made the world better," Mailbag, Dec. 7

Just imagine if the opinion section had had no words. Imagine if the only pieces on Saturday's page had been those two pictures, which stand in stark, stomach-churning contrast to each other in several ways.

At the bottom of the page was a small, black-and-white picture of Nelson Mandela in his former prison cell; he was captured by the camera with a look of compassion on his face. At the top of the page was a much-larger picture, in full color, of Cardinal Richard M. Mahony sitting outside, free as a bird, with his back to the camera.

Sometimes, pictures tell the story better than words.

Thomas Mann

Pasadena

***

I read both articles, and what a contrast they were.

The Mahony letters were all about a person forgetting his ethics and only thinking about aggrandizing himself, while the Mandela letters praised a common man who did the right thing to make a better world by his high ethics. Which one has won the respect of the world?

I am a Catholic, and I wish church leaders would keep Mahony out of the public's view.

Gloria T. Estrada

West Covina

Here are enlarged versions of the images above:

mandela mahony LATimes letters 2

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Cardinal Mahony used cemetery money to pay sex abuse settlement. "They took it from people who had no voice: the dead. They can't react."

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family values my ass

Another day, more hypocrisy to report. Specifically, more hypocrisy from Cardinal Roger Mahony. Even more specifically, more hypocrisy from Cardinal Roger Mahony and his involvement with covering up years of child abuse.

We now find out that Religious Roger took money intended to maintain cemeteries and redirected it to settling the horrific cases of child molestation. After all, thought he, $660-million is a lot of CYA money. Of course, he failed to disclose that after cashing in various investments, "the main asset liquidated was cemetery money."

Details, schmetails.

Not exactly holier than thou. Not exactly doing unto others. Not exactly kosher.

Via a rather lengthy article in the L.A. Times:

Under his leadership in 2007, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles quietly appropriated $115 million from a cemetery maintenance fund and used it to help pay a landmark settlement with molestation victims.

The church did not inform relatives of the deceased that it had taken the money, which amounted to 88% of the fund. Families of those buried in church-owned cemeteries and interred in its mausoleums have contributed to a dedicated account for the perpetual care of graves, crypts and grounds since the 1890s.

Now for the highly frustrating answer to the question we're all asking:

The church's use of fund money appears to be legal. State law prohibits private cemeteries from touching the principal of their perpetual care funds and bars them from using the interest on those funds for anything other than maintenance. Those laws, however, do not apply to cemeteries run by religious organizations.

Maybe someone needs to rethink that exception.

Mary Dispenza, who received a 2006 settlement from the archdiocese over claims of molestation by her parish priest in the 1940s, said her great-uncle and great-aunt are buried in Calvary Cemetery in East L.A.

"I think it's very deceptive," she said of the way the appropriation was handled. "And I think in a way they took it from people who had no voice: the dead. They can't react, they can't respond."

Family values my ass.

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"These are our 'moral leaders' who protect pedophiles and berate nuns for their feminist ideas."

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roger mahony cartoon

As if any of us need any more frustration or heartbreak. Here we go again, via the L.A. Times: 

The release this week of a trove of internal church records showing a concerted effort to hide abuse from police triggered new demands from victims and church critics that Mahony and his advisors be held criminally accountable.

The Los Angeles County district attorney pledged to review all the files and evaluate them for criminal conduct, but legal experts consulted Tuesday said the reams of new documents were unlikely to lead to charges, let alone convictions.

A nearly insurmountable barrier is the statute of limitations, the experts said.

With that, here are today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Mahony tried to conceal abuse," Jan. 22

Profound thanks to The Times for its efforts to make public the truth regarding the protection of priests who abuse children. This is another deeply disturbing example of the protection of the organization — the Roman Catholic Church's hierarchy — not the Catholic Church as the people of God.

This irresponsibility does not end with Cardinals Roger M. Mahony and Bernard Law (formerly of Boston), but the guilt is also that of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, who knew what was happening in the United States. These are our "moral leaders" who protect pedophiles and berate nuns for their feminist ideas.

Doris Isolini Nelson

Los Angeles

***

What is more evil than physically violating children? The answer: focusing your efforts on shielding rather than prosecuting the perpetrators.

Mahony, former archbishop of Los Angeles, says he's sorry. As the late Randy Pausch stated in his book "The Last Lecture": "A good apology has three parts: 1. 'I'm sorry'; 2. 'It was my fault' and 3. 'How do I make it right?' The last part tells about your sincerity."

Mahony and his colleagues not only need to apologize for their unspeakable actions, they must also own them and spend the rest of their days making amends for the lives they shattered.

Cinnia Curran Finfer

Los Angeles

***

Mahony's claim that clergy weren't legally required to report suspected child abuse until 1997, and, therefore, he was absolved from responsibility to do so, is staggeringly self-serving. It's as if he's saying, "It was other people's job to report child sexual abuse," with the implicit caveat that his responsibility was to protect the institution he served.

The fact that Thomas J. Curry, the auxiliary archbishop for Santa Barbara who was Mahony's advisor on sex abuse cases, is still serving in the church tells me everything I need to know. The church still doesn't understand the horror its priests perpetrated on the victims, the flock they purport to lead and protect.

Melonie Magruder

North Hollywood

***

Although it was no shock to learn that Mahony concealed crimes against children, I was stopped in my tracks by his vacuous explanation that he did not report them because he did not know the names of the children. How pathetic.

Reporting crime is what good citizens do. Investigating those crimes and identifying victims is what good police do. If Mahony had reported as soon as he was aware of child abuse, many children would have been spared harm. Obviously, while Mahony was not a good archbishop, he was also not even a good citizen.

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez has a duty to denounce Mahony, strip him of all titles and remove him from any priestly function.

Jeannette Dreisbach

Palm Springs

***

I find it interesting that an organization like the Roman Catholic Church, which in the past was overly zealous in persecuting those who had committed a "sin" (an offense against an imaginary being) to the point of mass murder, is equally zealous in protecting its own against prosecution for what those in authority know is a crime and merits secular punishment.

Paul J. Burke

Palmdale

family values my ass

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