"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," retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony said after the court-ordered release of personnel files detailing his elaborate efforts to hide abusers from the police. How comforted the victims must feel knowing their names appear on his 3 x 5 cards. How big of him to entrust the victims of his pedophile-shuffling to the efficacy of his prayers.
Such acts of chutzpah come naturally to the cardinal. At the height of the abuse scandal, even as he retained an army of lawyers and publicists to conceal his own complicity in it, he had the gall to join the media in calling for Boston Cardinal Bernard Law's resignation. Referring to Law, Cardinal Mahony piously told the press that "he would find it difficult to walk down an aisle in church if he had been guilty of gross negligence."
Meanwhile, Cardinal Mahony was unleashing his attack dogs on anyone who probed his staggering negligence. Until the media furor of 2001, he had been planning on making a pedophile long known to him and residing in his living quarters, Father Carl Sutphin (with whom he had gone to seminary), associate pastor of the archdiocesan cathedral. "I can't believe a cardinal keeps a pedophile on staff," said one of Sutphin's victims.
Long before Leon Panetta joined the Obama administration as CIA director, he had scented out Cardinal Mahony's misdeeds. He "has done tremendous damage to his reputation and the archdiocese," said Panetta after his spell as a member of the National Review Board, a watchdog group formed in the wake of the scandal. Panetta recalled a meeting at which Cardinal Mahony turned up with "more lawyers in the room than I've ever seen."
Would you rather be led by a bishop who is openly gay and lives with his lover, or a bishop who preaches chastity for all — and celibacy for the clergy — but then covers up for gay priests who molest boys?" A false choice. I want bishop who does exactly what Christ would do -- no more, no less. I want him to be and appear ascetic -- no "Milwaukee tumor"; no golf-course tan; no alcohol-based rosacea; no lisp; no "nuances"; no pink polo shirts; no lobster dinner parties. I want him … [More]