Cardinal Mahony Should Stop Whining

MahonyIn the past few weeks, Los Angeles has been awash with news about decades of priest abuse after of the release of thousands of internal documents from the local Catholic archdiocese showing that former Archbishop (now Cardinal) Roger Mahoney had shielded abuser priests from law enforcement. In response, current L.A. Archbishop José Gomez relieved Mahony of all administrative and public duties and forced the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, Mahoney’s former vicar of clergy, who was part of the coverup. Despite the overwhelming evidence of how he protected priests from prosecution, Mahoney now whines on his blog about his own victimization.

Cardinal Mahony’s recent blog posts follow the typical pattern we have seen for decades–namely, a predator abuses, an enabler (usually the bishop) helps to shield and then transfers the predator. When they are found out, they both claim to be the victims.

I first saw this pattern in my own case in the 1980s when my perpetrator [a priest] cried “victim” as he was exposed to his superiors. However, they already knew of his abuses. The provincial and bishop claimed to be helpless to deal with my perpetrator and pretended to be victims alongside me. Apparently, my perpetrator had promised them that he wouldn’t do “it” anymore, they claimed that they trusted him and felt betrayed.

The 1990s saw more of this behavior from many perpetrators and bishops, including Mahony. He met with SNAP members [the author is founder and president of SNAP, the Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests] in 1992, later claiming it was the most moving experience of his career. He pretended that he and other bishops now understood abuse, and henceforth would remove predators from ministry.

Then in 2002 we witnessed all bishops purporting to be “victims,” and watched as they committed to an alleged new resolve. They spouted pledges of “zero tolerance” and “transparency.” They claimed they were victims because they didn’t know any better and were ill-equipped to deal with the deceitful and conniving predators. Mahony himself was right out there in front, as if claiming to be a hero of the cause.

Now, in 2013, Mahony is still harping on his “victim” position. He was removed from all public duties last month following the release of tens of thousands of court documents showing that, under his administration, top church officials concealed sex crimes from police. He claimed he didn’t know better and said he had only begun meeting with survivors in 2006. (Seems he forgot the meetings with us in ’92 and again in ’02.)  He blogs about he has been publicly humiliated.

Even worse, Cardinal Mahony blogged on Monday about how “difficult” it is for him to “never rationalize … never protest misunderstandings, and never get angry because of false accusations.”

The irony here is that no Catholic official in the U.S. has worked harder or spent more money to rationalize decades of irresponsible actions than Mahony. Even now, in retirement, he repeatedly uses his blog to defend the indefensible and posture as a victim, heaping more pain on the thousands who have been sexually victimized by 280 L.A. predator priests and several more from his first diocese in Stockton, CA.

These blog posts by Mahony are incredibly insulting because they belittle the woundedness of true victims of sexual violence. Moreover, they beg the question of whether his behavior rises to the level of criminal conspiracy, or aiding and abetting crimes. At a bare minimum, the evidence suggests he failed to report crimes and suspicions that children were in danger. The documents provide an overwhelming amount of evidence that portrays his deliberate actions and strategy to cover up the crimes, shield the predators and ensure that all the cover-up, crimes and conspiracy continue.

Wishing and hoping the prosecutor finds sufficient evidence–and political will–to indict him, finally.

Photo of Cardinal Roger Mahony at a 2008 mass in Our Lady of Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles from Flickr user maveric2003 under license from Creative Commons 2.0


  1. begs the question doesn’t mean raises the question.

  2. Bob Schwiderski says:

    Here’s a list of 228 accused clerics, nuns and staff – [updated]
    — Added: — Bro. Stephen Baker, TOR, — Fr. Martin A. Brady, TOR (Franciscan friar);

  3. I’ve watched over the years Cardinal Mahoney get away with moving predator priests out of country.
    I would hope he be charged.
    He’s no better than anyone else.
    He has just been promoted to a higher spot in that church of hiding pedophiles. The Catholic Church.

  4. On CBS This Morning the other day, a group of church-going Catholics (70% of Catholics no longer attend) was asked if they would feel uncomfortable leaving their children alone with a priest. Three quarters of them raised their hands to affirm their mis-trust of their priests – and this was from Catholics who are still attending and putting money in the collection basket. This shows the power and effectiveness of church leaders playing the victim to their codependent followers.

  5. Thankfully, LA Superior Court Judge Emilie H. Elias ordered Cardinal Mahony to be deposed for questioning under oath before he leaves for Rome. It is time for law enforcement to investigate these sex crimes against kids, and to investigate those who shield and cover up these crimes. Until high ranking church officials spend some time behind bars, nothing will change within this secret archaic institution. As long as they can still get away with it, they have no reason to stop.

    Pope Benedict has taken no decisive actions to punish any high ranking church official for enabling, empowering, and covering up sex crimes against innocent kids.
    He should fire Cardinal Mahony, for his horrific cover up of sex crimes within LA archdiocese, yet Mahony is still a cardinal and now he can vote for a new pope. This is extremely disturbing.
    Children are safest when child predators and those who enable and conceal their crimes are held responsible.
    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511.,
    “SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

  6. Lauren Donna Graham says:

    This is a classic example of the adage: ‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely.’
    The catholic church is the largest cult (actually, all religion fits the definition of a cult [invented diety, written central belief fable, controlling laws and regulations enforced by fear/threat, attitude of having the only truth and being chosen above those who don’t subscribe to said beliefs]) and has operated above the law since its inception. It is a corporation based on power and secrecy.

  7. Marcia Holtz says:

    Well said Barbara!!!!! You and SNAP are doing of great job of trying to protect children. You are doing what the TRUE church should be doing.

  8. Think for a moment how horrified a 12 year old boy is when a priest rapes him from behind. He thinks his insides are being ripped apart. He doesn’t even know what sex is yet. He thinks he’s at fault (and most priests used something like cheating on a test to justify the “punishment” of child rape) . He thinks God is watching the whole time, and he thinks God doesn’t care.

    They never get over it. The nightmares never go away. There are real monsters that have been burned into their brain, and they are monsters that God sent to an innocent boy for cheating on a test or taking a candy bar.

    Mahony hid these satanic child rapists who raped children in God’s name. He lied for them, he hid them, he moved them, and he bullied every victim that came forward. He humiliated them.

    Mahony is busy doing satan’s work, and the Catholic church supports him and every cardinal, bishop, and priest that raped children or protected pedophiles.

    What Would Jesus Do? Find every victim and get them as much psychological help as necessary. The Catholic church did the exact opposite, in unison, and by conscious decision, and did it viciously.

    God proved that the Catholic church isn’t God’s church.

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