Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony requested an interview with the Los Angeles Times this week. The Times obliged him with a front-page article in which he emoted about “one of the most difficult things I’ve ever been through.”
Mahony can always rely on the Los Angeles Times for PR help. Not so with New Times, an alternative weekly newspaper in Los Angeles.
New Times views Mahony as a weasel of the first order, observing that it’s “nothing short of awe-inspiring to watch Cardinal Roger M. Mahony play members of big ol’ L.A.’s fourth estate for the same kind of ink-stained suckers he used to double-deal back in his Stockton days.”(Mahony allowed a molester to serve at a parish during his time as Stockton bishop — negligence which contributed to an enormous jury award to the victims years later)
“He’s masterfully manipulating the press — and law-enforcement authorities — to minimize damage to the archdiocese and his hallowed legacy,” says New Times.
Noting that Mahony refuses to name the abusers he recently released in his post-Boston scandal panic, the paper editorializes, “Even a cardinal ain’t above the law, and Mahony can’t be allowed to protect men who could be continuing to abuse children in some other line of work.”
Mary Grant, spokeswoman for the Southern California chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, told New Times, “Right now these perpetrators are like a loaded gun pointed at the parishes and the community. We don’t know who they are, and based on the church’s past pattern of hiding sexual abuse, I feel there’s no reason to trust that the archdiocese is complying with the law. Cardinal Mahony’s taking a position of concealing the identities of the perpetrators, claiming that this will somehow do more harm to the victims — which’s absolutely ridiculous! Cardinal Mahony’s doing what he’s always done: maintain unaccountability and fight all the way.”
Mahony, she says, “doesn’t want these perpetrators revealed because it opens the archdiocese up to victims coming out of the woodwork. Child molesters almost always have multiple victims. If he’s just dismissed these priests, and they’ve been prosecuted previously, and he put them back in parishes to be around kids, that’s just unconscionable. The chances of recidivism are almost 100 percent, and Cardinal Mahony knows that. The Catholic church has treatment centers all over the country where they send their pedo-priests for recycling. Then, they pump them back into the parishes, and when they reoffend, the hierarchy acts as if they knew nothing about it. The cardinal’s stonewalling, and that’s typical.”
It is telling that Angelenos must pick up one of the city’s unholy alternative weeklies to read calls for honesty from the Cardinal. The Los Angeles Times, by comparison, kisses Mahony’s smudged ring. (One notable exception is Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, but his anti-Mahony pieces almost always degenerate into demands that the Church adopt Lopez’s social liberalism.)
The Los Angeles Times’ religion reporter Larry Stammer often serves as a loud speaker for Mahony’s liberal spin on Catholicism. So it is no surprise that he let Mahony get away with insinuating that Cardinal Bernard Law should resign without apparently bothering to ask Mahony if he ought to resign himself. (If Stammer did ask, he didn’t report it.)
Stammer reported that “Mahony declined to take a stand on Law’s future Tuesday, but said, ‘I don’t know how I could walk down the main aisle of the church myself comfortably, interiorly, if I had been (guilty) of grave neglect.’ He said later in an e-mail that his use of the term ‘grave neglect’ was not a personal judgment, but a frequently used characterization by Catholics in Boston.”
Instead of asking Mahony about his own negligence and lack of credibility, Stammer gave Mahony a forum for amateur-hour theorizing. Mahony delayed dismissing molesters because if “you just toss them out on the street, and with great trauma, maybe that triggers acting out again, endangers youth again,” he said to Stammer.
The sex abuse crisis “has nothing to do with homosexuality,” Mahony said. Really? Why doesn’t Stammer trot up to Mahony’s seminary in Camarillo and do some investigative reporting on its role over the last four decades in rolling out libertine problem priests? In a recent case the Church settled, the victims identified the notoriously pro-homosexual Los Angeles seminary as a site of abuse.
The Times is too busy opining on the need for women priests and homosexual marriage to do such serious investigative reporting. Besides, Mahony’s calamitous liberal Catholicism is precisely what the dominant media wants the Church to adopt as the remedy to the crisis. In the mainstream media’s vast wisdom, the cure for the sicknesses of moral liberalism in the Church is even more moral liberalism! Don’t enforce the vow of celibacy, they say. Abolish it. Then we can all look forward to that happy day when the Church isn’t just settling molestation cases but also divorce suits as well.