The following comes from a November 6 blog post by Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles:
The Gospel which we just heard is one of my favorites primarily because it has spoken to me so powerfully both as I approached official retirement, and after retiring.
Picture in your imagination this servant who has just come in after spending a long and tiring day out in the hot sun tending the farm for his master. Just what was he doing? What we are all called to do as laborers in the field: plowing the fields for a good harvest, or tending the sheep and other animals. Both are also pastoral activities for us as priests: plowing the fields, sowing the seeds of faith, cultivating the small plants as they grow in the life of Jesus, weeding the rows from sin and evil. A marvelous description of what we are called to do in our daily ministry!
As I reflect back on my own years of ministry, those words of Jesus resonate so deeply within me: “…say, ‘We are unprofitable servants.’” My own failures, sins, and mistakes loom high on the horizon over the span of years, and I feel the helplessness of knowing I can’t turn back the clock and correct them. While my failures and mistakes are far too many to count, two dark and foreboding clouds hover in the skies above me, and there is nothing I can do to dispel them; they will haunt me until the end of my earthly journey.
The first dark cloud was the difficult and impossible clash in the San Joaquin Valley between the farmers and the farmworkers. Back in the 1960s farmworkers began organizing themselves in order to receive better wages, to improve their working conditions, and to negotiate for benefits which so many other workers took for granted. All of my efforts to try to bring about reconciliation among the parties brought little success. Those were frustrating and challenging years for me as I watched my meager efforts dissolve month after month, year after year.
It is hard for me to re-visit that period of time from 1965 to 1980. My soul keeps raising the “what if” questions: what if I had found better paths to bring together growers and workers to recognize the rights of each other? What if I had been a stronger voice on behalf of the farmworkers in order to help increase their salaries and benefits? What if I had dared taking more risks in order to be a better instrument of God’s peace and justice?
Instead, I now look back on those years, realizing that any progress was far outdistanced by the paltry efforts which I brought to assist the thousands of poor farmworkers and their families living such difficult and tragic lives.
The second black and ominous cloud was the scourge of the clergy sexual misconduct of minors. This dreadful experience proved yet again the fact that I was and remain an unprofitable servant.
I don’t recall ever hearing about any such clergy misconduct cases during my years in the Diocese of Fresno, 1962 to 1980; in the Diocese of Stockton, I encountered three cases in the year before being named to Los Angeles. I was stunned to learn that any priest could possibly harm children and youth in this dreadful manner.
From 1986 on, however, this unthinkable evil would gradually begin to rise from the murky darkness. And it would seem to never end. My early efforts failed to grasp the depth and extent of this sinfulness, and I searched in vain for answers and how best to proceed. I did not understand how deeply victims of sexual abuse were permanently afflicted; that would only emerge in later years. Almost daily I proved to be unequal to the task.
It was not until the early 1990s that several things became clearer: anyone in ministry who had been credibly found to abuse a minor could never return to ministry; victims needed urgent and continuing pastoral care for years to come; all of our Church apostolates needed to be fully vigilant against allowing anyone to be with children and youth who could possibly be a danger to them.
But it was those early years of the scandal which are the most haunting for me since my response was not fully that of an apostle of Jesus Christ. How I wish I could return to those years with today’s understandings and undo all of my mistakes and failures.
When Mahoney knew a priest had molested a child, or children, he sent the priest out of state so he could not easily be questioned or arrested. He later claimed he didn’t know it was illegal. Mahoney should go quietly away. He cost the diocese millions of dollars. Then he built that cathedral monstrosity, the Taj Mahoney, as a monument to himself. It doesn’t even look like a church. Shame on him.
One of the saddest episodes, sad for all involved, esp. including the victims, was reading the deposition testimony of the late, literally dying (he had incurable prostate cancer at this point) bishop of Tucson, Manuel Moreno, who at length admitted that he took a derelict priest from LA into Tucson diocese, at Mahony’s persuasion, knowing the priest’s lengthy repeat violations of every law, moral and criminal. Of course, the priest continued on his depraved melee in Tucson.
The eschatological regret redolent in Moreno’s almost-weeping deposition testimony, a man now facing death and judgment, not a bad man, but a dupe of others, was palpable. It still makes me quake inside.
I don’t believe for one minute that Mahony did not know that aiding and abetting in child abuse was illegal.
In addition, each Diocese has access to Attornies if they have a question about the law.
I believe that the settlements public and otherwise , plus time and attorneys fees , is well over a BILLION. The cost in the suffering of innocent children and parents , the loss of faith and harm to the church is beyond counting , and will sadly be with us for a long time..
Supporting ILLEGAL immigration, supporting Sanctuary Cities that break the law,
his support for pedophiliacs, bringing in heretical speakers to LA,
supporting evil Democratic politicians, his public scandals, all violate the Doctrine of the Faith.
He needs to start encouraging people to read both Sacred Scripture, and the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition” at home
for all the Souls he harmed in not accurately and completely teaching the Faith.
Mahony did a lot of damage to the Church when he supported heretic Joseph Bernardin and Bernardin’s pro-abortion political policies.
This post ministry reflection in humility from a retired priest-bishop-cardinal on efforts vs outcomes in attempts of various methods to address problems helps me to trust in Jesus and the classic Catholic way of life of prayer, scripture, sacraments, morality, and the works of mercy against the modern arrogance of politics, science, finance, education and modernist theology that promise successful outcomes. Cardinal Mahony shows me how weak and powerless I am if I use the ways of the world, but in Jesus, power reaches perfection. Thank you, your Eminence.
I take issue with your use of your Eminence” I would reserve that title for a man more deserving. “Reflection in humility” ? , he according to a letter from the current archbishop is barred from public ministry , this is spin to minimize the damage he has done to the faith , he did not go and retire to a life of quiet penance instead by his presence he reopens wounds and damages the faith and he has damaged it for a very , very long time . I ask this without sarcasm or ill intent Father, if you had a fundraising campaign would you want this man associated with it ? , is he a model for the clergy and laity ? , can you honestly say the faith and the archdiocese is better from his stewardship ?.
PBS last night ran a story about Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church (Almost All was Homosex Ephebophile Targeting of Adolescent Boys) – which ended with a graphic stating it had Cost the Church 3 Billion $$ – so far.
Multiply Three Billion (less 30% for Attorney Fees) times the number of Boys harmed forever by Homosex Ephebophiles Infiltrating the Priesthood, and the number is meaningless – compared to the Harm to the Abused.
Still – There are those who promote such Behaviors as Normal, and like the Trans-Whatever Scam, are busy wearing down those made afraid by seeing others targeted for Alinskyite Retaliation.
Prominent gay activist Terry Bean offered $225,000 to settle sex abuse case
Can you imagine if all this money were used to help the poor? Yet Pope Francis surrounds himself with many of these prelates.
Prominent gay activist Terry Bean offered $225,000 to settle sex abuse case
– under Oregon law. Defendants may compensate the victims of certain crimes and have the charges dismissed if a judge approves the deal.
An offer to settle a child sex abuse case through civil compromise is unprecedented, prosecutors said
Too little, too late. You are gonna have to take your lumps, Roger.
Whiny Cardinal Mahony can do much to dissipate his two imagined dark clouds. He can hire a media agency and with his tremendous accumulation of gravitas can put his message out there for all to hear. He can write articles, run a website, get interviewed often on EWTN, speak out publicly, speak at Parishes, etc., etc. He cries like his life is now over. He needs to leave his self-pity party, go, get out and do something! He can recruit like-minded bishops, clergy, and laymen to spread his message about true evil and how the battle is won by suffering with Our Lord on the Cross and turning away from the devil. He is a Cardinal, emeritus granted, but a Cardinal nonetheless. He could change the world. Maybe he in an unworthy…
How about actually firing (removing from the diocesean payroll) priests that are guilty of misconduct–rather than allowing them to retire to a life of golf and living off the Church’s dole?
From what I have heard from many in the know, Cardinal Mahoney is STILL calling the shots in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
You think our present Catholic faith has/had it bad regarding sexual molestation, etc.?
Find yourself “The book of Gomorrah” written by St. Peter Damian around the 10th century and see how not much has changed since then…….actually very little!
Did Mahony give all of his own wealth to the Church
as a small offering for the hundreds of millions of dollars in fines that he caused Catholics to have to finance because of his illegal behavior ?
Too bad it was past the statute of limitations, or he would have been in jail for aiding and abetting in the abuse of children.
Cardinal Mahony is a piece of work. With accomplice Thomas Curry, later elevated to Auxiliary Bishop, he referred homosexual pedophile priests to psychologists that were also lawyers, so they could be protected by attorney-client privilege.
First of all, the priest molesters were not “homosexual”, some abused boys, some abused girls, and some abused both. Second of all, psychologists are also protected by doctor-patient confidentiality so your little conspiracy theory is a bit off.
While I remain shocked, horrified, dismayed and saddened by so many of the decisions Cardinal Mahony made during his years of service in the priesthood, I am moved to accept the public apology this man has made for two of the areas of grievous failure for which he is filled with contrition. As a child of God who has erred myself, I have had to apologize for a thing or two myself during my lifetime. I admit that, being more judgmental than I wish to be, I had never expected to read words of this nature from Cardinal Mahony. Contrition is a good thing, and I wish to encourage it whenever and wherever it appears, no matter from whom it should emanate.
A “white collar crime” is a non-violent crime, committed by a person of great respectability and very high social status, in his career. Usually, it refers to those who commit financially-related, non-violent crimes. Regardless– Mahoney was a CRIMINAL– NOT a man of God, nor a representative of Jesus Christ!
Priests and prelates who are irresponsible, such as Mahoney and many others, should all be making their Acts of Contrition, in JAIL– and all must fully understand, most definitely– they are NOT holy men of God, they are CRIMINALS!! You cannot trust them! Your children may be at great risk!! Mahoney is certainly NOT a NORMAL man, making a NORMAL confession! This is too SCARY!!
I would point out that Archbishop Gomez in a letter barred him from public ministry so why is he preaching in public and why does he have a blog ? . To my mind it is hubris and from that a form of obtuseness in that he does not realize the harm he has done , sadly he has not been punished for his actions , he has not paid from his own funds or served a day in jail . He is referred to as Cardinal Emeritus , his blog to me is a way to try to repair the great damage he has done ,but by his presence it is only made worse. I pray for forgiveness every day , but I realize that some of the people I have hurt are served better by my absence. I ask my my fellow Catholics and others could
any anti Catholic have done the harm he has done ?.
Mahoney has always been a great shock! It seems to me that the Church has been very babyish, in her role of responsibility, for a long time, and has never taken things seriously! A SHOCK!! What does any NORMAL person do, when they find out a poor helpless little child is molested?? CALL THE POLICE!! PERIOD!! If you refuse to do that– then, you are guilty of a terrible crime yourself– and should NEVER call yourself a “Christian,” either! There are far too many unChristian (and also, heretical!) priests and prelates, in our Church!! Big SHOCK!!
Many of these criminal priests and prelates belong in JAIL!! Also, Cardinal Mahoney owes poor Mother Angelica a BIG PUBLIC APOLOGY, a MILE long!!
Maryanne – I sympathize and in some respects share your feelings. As a self confessed Sinner (just admitted it again this morning, along with the rest of those attending Mass) I know that we all fall, somehow, sometimes, some ways…
And it is by God’s Grace Alone we have any hope of Salvation, and not through any particular ‘merit’ on our part. The Prize is Ours to Lose, and that is one heck of a motivation to fight for the Right.
Still – When even a Cardinal or Lawyer is aware of Ongoing Criminal Acts (like serial Ephebophile Abuse) and serves to Permit it to Continue, then I submit that is not part of any ‘duty of confidentiality’ – but simply cowardice.
Even Peter turned coward when he Denied Jesus on the night before -…
Even Peter turned coward when he Denied Jesus the night before – but he regained his courage and eventually met his own martyrdom.
Still – given the Particular and Specific Warnings about doing no Harm to the “little ones” – it is wrong and unethical for either a Cardinal or an Attorney to enable Serial Ephebophile Abusers to hunt freely in new pastures for fresh victims.
No Professional Code of Ethics or Conduct Permits turning such a blind eye to active ongoing Evil, regardless of wether Priest, Pirate or Private Attorney.
*(the difference between the latter two is the Attorney is often more cutthroat than the Pirate, who occasionally show mercy, unlike the three piece land sharks.)
One of the differences between then and now is the age of the same sex partners. They went from molesting boys to coming out of the closet. It has always been a same sex attraction, Sodomite.
No “they” didn’t go from molesting boys to coming out of the closet. They were priest molesters of both boys and girls, and their crimes were covered up by their fellow priests and bishops. They are not now “out of the closet” and have same sex or opposite sex partners of the same age.
People who were out then, and who are coming out now, are not child molesters to any greater degree than the straight person down the street. This lie that tries to equate all gay people with child molestation is just that: a pernicious lie propagated to harm good people.
You came out, again, to reply ? Repent YFC, Repent.
YFC, what I find fascinating is your willingness to argue topics about homosexual sex, but I hardly see a fight from you about abortion, lack of teaching from the pulpit, only men as priests, communion in the hand, confession ect. ect. ect. You seen to only speak up and defend “A” topic of your concern. So is it true you’re a deacon ?
Mia culpa, mia culpa, mia maxima culpa. Still no excuse for lack of common sense from a celibate priesthood mired in clericalism. Deacon Vince
Hollyweird – which Former Mogul Michael Ovitz now says does Not have a “Gay Mafia”, fed him to the fishes long ago.
However – there is already ‘Oscar Buzz’ around a movie ‘exposing’ the courageous nature of the bought and paid for ‘free press’ in exposing Homosex Ephebophile Targeting of Boys – only in the Catholic Church of course.
No discussion of Terry Bean or Larry Brinkin, Allen Ginsberg, Ernst Rohm… Or the Hollyweird Ephebophile Culture in the same media, but then the focus needs to be laser sharp in trashing the Church and Not the Behaviors common to that important group within the ‘gilbert-gaystapo’ goon squad.
Cardinal McIntyre was a hero; Cardinal Manning was a zero, and Cardinal Mahoney is a Nero. Nero tried to destroy the early Catholic Church in pagan Rome much like Mahoney has destroyed the faith of southern California Catholics. Statistics do not lie. Just as Obama is destroying America and Christianity, so too did the evil policies of Mahoney. In the spiritual life, one either grows in holiness and virtue each day, or one degenerates and becomes more evil and sinful each day.
Pilar, I’m not sure i would characterize Cardinal Manning as a “zero.” He was a holy priest, a godly man, even if he was not the most eloquent speaker or effective administrator. Several times I felt the strong presence of God when I had the opportunity to meet him, before cancer took him from us.
Pilar, I must agree with Dan: I never personally met Manning, but years ago I recall priests in LA diocese who were solid good vocations, speaking of how profoundly and sincerely prayerful was a man like Card. Manning.
Manning, a lot like McGucken in SF, was specifically chosen to have a “kinder, gentler” leadership, supposedly, after the very firm, often tough, leadership of his predecessor, Card. McIntyre (and don’t forget the late Monsgr. Ben Hawkes, whom everyone was sensibly afraid of—although he stayed on during Manning’s administration)—just as McGucken succeeded the very tough former Navy chaplain, Archbp John J. Mitty, who I have been told would instantly suspend clergy for alleged violations.
The ‘Spotlight’ That Should Have Killed the Church — But Didn’t
by Kate O’Hare https://www.patheos.com/blogs/kateohare/2015/11/the-spotlight-that-should-have-killed-the-church-but-didnt/#disqus_thread
The other night, I went to a screening of the new movie “Spotlight,” which details the investigation by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team into the priest sex-abuse scandal and cover-up in Boston, first published in January 2002.
Aside from a couple of pointed efforts to deflect the conversation away from whatever role homosexuality played in this – not surprising, considering our current political climate – the film – was clear-eyed, not sensationalistic, and balanced.
It not only hammered the Church (and rightfully so) for its…