Cardinal Mahony Stripped of Duties Over Coverup

A first in U.S. Catholic history, but not enough. Click here to read: “Cardinal Mahony relieved of duties over handling of abuse,” by Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2013.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” Gomez wrote in a letter addressed to “My brothers and sisters in Christ.”

The release of the records and the rebuke of the two central figures in L.A.’s molestation scandal signaled a clear desire by Gomez to define the sexual abuse crisis as a problem of a different era — and a different archbishop.

Excerpt: “I cannot undo the failings of the past that we find in these pages. Reading these files, reflecting on the wounds that were caused has been the saddest experience I’ve had since becoming your Archbishop in 2011,” Gomez wrote.

The public censure of Mahony, whose quarter-century at the helm of America’s largest archdiocese made him one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church, was unparalleled, experts said.

38 thoughts on “Cardinal Mahony Stripped of Duties Over Coverup

  1. Here is a link from Whispers in the Loggia..Rocco calls it a stunner..I agree and isn’t is stunning that it is, it should be routine. Bishop Finn has been convicted and remains in his position. One article headline was titled “Archbishop Gomez breaks Omerta” You always need the “first” person and then others follow (hopefully) No one ever wants to be the first. Gomez was the first.

    1. Kathy, Please see my comment, ‘TO POTUS OBAMA: Please Tackle QB Mahony Superbowl Sunday”, which also contains a link to my petition at .
      I am puzzled why neither you nor Susan have encouraged C4C readers to sign the petition. If you have and I missed if, please let me know where you endorsed it. If not, please tell me why. I have spent a lot of time over the past two years supporting you and Susan and deserve the courtesy of an explanation.

  2. I just wrote on Voice of the Faithful. re: Mahoney getting relieved of his duties. Quote in part.. …that if the RCC will not keep the predators out of their Seminaries and convents, then what do the people do? They(rcc) haven’t done anything since I left in 2001. So it surely seems like Roger Mahoney is getting his right deserves but what about all the rest in these ten yrs I’ve been out and blogging about this evil going on in what we all used to feel was a blessing to us. Now we find it to be the worst CURSE” ANY CHRISTIAN COULD FIND THEMSELVES IN. ck on VOTF.

    1. Kate, Mahony has offered a rebuttal of sorts. Gomez said “there is no excuse” Mahony responds with a letter of excuses. What is interesting here is that it is not Church official disagreeing with the media,Church official disagreeing with victims or Church official disagreeing with law is an Archbishop vs a Cardinal…I bet you never thought you would live to see the day. Although Mahony remains a “priest in good standing’ and this action restricting him is really just what some describe as a hand hasn’t happened before. Clericalism taking a hit? Omerta being broken..interesting to say the least

      1. LOL! Kathy, you are about the 1,000th person to say to me, today, “and you thought you NEVER would see this in your lifetime!” And I didn’t… never, ever. After 42 years as a victims’ advocate, it’s cathartic! Even though I perceive it as a diabolically late hand slap, it’s cathartic!

        The LA archdiocese is predominantly Latino. The Church in the U.S. is moving in the same direction. The time is ripe to partner with more Latino Catholics, inviting those not already engaged to become engaged and take positions of leadership in our quest to further expose the corruption in the Catholic Church, protect children from abuse, and deliver justice to abuse survivors. This would be a wise and effective move…

    2. LA’s Gomez is no hero as far as I am concerned and there’s no way his actions weren’t given an OK by the Vatican. They (the bishops) knew; they always knew and Gomez’s letter is what it is, PR Damage Control.

      I wish federal authorities could find some way to hold Mahony criminally responsible for some of his actions, possibly conspiracy or facilitating trafficking. Mahony should be removed from the clerical state, excommunicated and criminally tried for his crimes.

      That Mahony is said to remain “in good standing’ in the Church” is a disgrace. Why the Catholic people of the LA Archdiocese aren’t crying out to the Lord for Justice is beyond me.

      Sister Maureen

      1. You speak nothing but the truth, Sister.

        And the truth is we’ll get every last one of them!

  3. Dolan, you’re next!

    This is long overdue. This pathetic human being has betrayed children, deceived parents and lied to the good people in the pews all while taking their money.

    Excommunicate him is right!!

    After watching the documentary showcasing his antics, I wondered how there wasn’t a revolt from within to get rid of him. It took a court, lawyers, tremendous fees…and the forced public display of secret files for the church to do something. Anything. LA Catholics funded the protection of this man’s image and the entire fiasco.

    Dolan’s lies in Milwaukee follow him too. We aren’t forgetting who was standing watch and hiding money when over 200 deaf children were raped at the hands of clergy.

  4. I started reading some of the case files released by the LA Diocese. Of course one case with the notes that the mother of an abused child was acting crazy and hysterical in a phone conversation…yep that crazy Mother,doesn’t she know the proper demeanor is of the upmost importance.

    1. The covering up is what is crazy making… if the abuse wasnt painful enough….the truth will bring some relief and peace…….I say Amen for that……..the truth when brought to light is more powerful then the lies and again I thank God for that…..all our survivors are in my prayers. I pray for your peace of mind and heart.

    2. Did I read it correctly that the files are posted on the LA diocesan website? Has Philly or Boston done the same?

    3. Kathy,

      I have read a lot of the files also. Just be careful. I would also like to say that to everyone who has read some or plans on reading some of the files. Maybe it’s different for me, because I’m an abuse victim and it’s easy to fall into severe depression after reading these kinds of files or GJR’s. I would think it would be very depressing for anyone, even non-victims, to read this kind of material and not walk away from it with a lot of sadness that often leads to a lot of depression. I would suggest to everyone to just read a little at a time, or just don’t read it all. We all have some idea of what is in those files. It’s about sexual abuse of children, but I understand many people want to know what was done about it or are curious to see what an official wrote about it.

      I have a lot of respect for everyone here, other than the Joe Burch’s or those obvious doughnuts who write craziness here, but for those of you I do care about, these files can lead you to a place I have spent much of my life and I don’t need anymore company. Reading files like this can cause a minor form of PTSD. So just take it easy on this stuff and don’t overdo it.

      Peace out!

      1. As with the Grand Jury Reports, I doubt there will be any big rush to read the files. Just sayin’.

      2. Totally agree with Rich! Survivors need to be gentle with yourselves and if you need to read take it in in increments. PTSD can occur without being aware it is happening. As for me, I choose not to read any of it. Down through the years I have read and heard and seen quite enough of the horrific agony survivors suffer every single day. Ones life is forever altered, never to be the same again. I know that Rich will agree the unless one has been sexually abused especially by a priest, no matter how empathic one can be in trying to understand our suffering, you can never know all of its insidious, encompassing grip it holds on a human being. It is helpful that people are starting to get some of the impact of sexual abuse but to know the whole of it all, to live it day in and day out is quite another story. This catholic institution is indeed evil and their behavior speaks for it’s self. James Baldwin wrote “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” I would add what this institution sorly lacks, the most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal, is, integrity. When you possess integrity, you embrace truth.
        Gerry, I signed your petition quite a while ago, thank you for all you do to get the truth out, you, are a man of integrity.
        As far as mehoney goes, the heck with excommunication, he should be sitting in Jail. I would not want to be him when he meets his maker as I do believe their is a special place in hell for one such as him.
        Rich, reading your last blog, I feel the exact same way when I pass a church or school. I have to go past one every day to work and I get physically sick and want to scream at the parents “do you know they rape children?” No outrage with these pew catholics. No wonder the church has such little respect for their “flock.”

  5. I apologize that I seem to write always in a heady way trying to justify the way I think with support from other sources. May I please put into the ring three books which discuss these issues of failure of bishops and cardinal Mahoney to deal with these predators when they knew how evil this situation was. VOWS OF SILENCE, 2004 (Jason Berry and Gerald Renner, SEX,PRIESTS AND SACRED CODES,2006 Thomas Doyle,Richard Sipe and Patrick Wall, RENDER UNTO ROME 2011, Jason Berry. In Vows of Silence, the authors speak of Mahoney, beforegoing to Rome (p110) that he heard Barbara Blaine of SNAP tell how she was molested by a priest and he states ” it was one of the most moving experiences I have ever known” (1993). He goes to Rome in Spring of 2002 with cardinals, Egan, Bevilacqua,Maida, George, Keeler, McCarrick, Law. They were meeting with the Pope to discuss how this issue was to be handled. Note the names of all the cardinals and know how many were linked with coverups of the abuse scandal in their or previous Dioceses. (Law in Boston, Egan in Bridgeport, Bevilacqua in Philladelphia). The Pope did not castigate them and in fact what he tried to do was to protect the “priesthood” of the perpetrators and to save and protect the name of the Church.

    Slowly but surely, District Attorneys need to begin serious investigations of all the Dioceses where this abuse has been so significant. Philadelphia is one of them and those unredacted documents need to be published for the truth of the people who have supported the Church and call themselves Catholic. Are people afraid of what will come out? Yes, but it is better to lance a wound and let the purulent material out rather than protect with some bandage which does nothing to heal the wound..

    LA Archdiocese is just the beginning. Let us prepare ourselevs for significant revelations yet to be divulged.

  6. More spin by the Catholic Church. Mahony was retired. What duties was he relieved of and who gives a shit? He should’ve been relieved of his duties when it first came to light all the abuse that was occurring and had occurred in the LA Archdiocese.

    And who relieved him? Ratzinger? One pedophile enabler relieves another pedophile enabler? Ratzinger needs to be relieved of his duties. In fact, the Catholic Church needs to be shut down entirely. It’s the only way to safeguard children.

    1. Rich, I got an email today from Barbara Blaine(snap).she agrees with you. She sees this as a preemptive PR move. Gomez has no authority over a cardinal.

  7. My uncle, Cardinal John J. O’Connor of NY was thought to be the second most powerful Catholic in the world, only behind the Pope. He was thought to be the second most powerful vioce in the United States, only behind the President. I wonder how much abuse my uncle knew about and covered up. I wonder how many lives he destoyed by keeping pedophiles hidden and turning a blind-eye while they raped children.

    The O’Connor’s I knew and grew up with were different people. Sure, they were very Catholic and conservative, but they were not liars and they never hurt children. My grandfather, who was the Cardinal’s brother, and a man I spent many days with talking baseball, and also a man I took care of when he was dying loved children. He loved to tell stories to children. If a kid loved baseball like I did, you got to hear some of the most amazing stories of baseball from back in the day, from back in the 10s, 20s, 30s and up. Yeah, you can read about baseball from that time period in a book, but my grandfather was there in person to meet or see Ty Cobb, Nap Lajoie, Walter Johnson, Harry Williams, Base Ruth.

    If my grandfather, Thomas O’Connor, had truly known that the Catholic Church and his beloved brother had allowed and covered up for children being raped, I know he would’ve stepped aside from the religion and I also know his little brother would have some explaining to do.

    1. Believing that Christ died and rose to make a way for me to have eternal life is not “religion.” It is not religion because it doesn’t require me to do anything, join anything, go anywhere, etc. Only believe! When it IS religion; it has to cover up any flaws in order to deceive the unwary into JOINING UP.

  8. So after twenty plus years of covering up he now is relieved ! BS, I hope he is indicted found guilty and jailed until death, mahony needs to experience lonliness, despair, depression and isolation, therefore he can gain some insight as to what VICTIMS experience for life anything less is UNACCEPTABLE !

  9. When I’m walking or driving passed a church and I see parents with their children in tow walking into the church, you have no idea how sick I get in my stomach. A couple of years ago, I had just gotten finished a session with my therapist and I came to a red light down the road from her office and right in front of me a priest walked passed my car and across the street holding the hand of a child on each side of him. I went to a place inside myself and for a moment my reaction was to call the police. I was panicking, but after I calmed down I realized there is nothing I could say to the police to convince them that these kids were in danger. That’s what the priest does to me though. The priest has become an alarm inside my conscience and when later rolls around, I hope those children I saw walk into the church with their parents or walking and holding the hands of the priest are okay.

    I participated in a demonstration in North Jersey over a year ago, where a priest who had allegations of raping women and children was inside the church getting ready to give First Communion. Two women, who were sisters protested with us and they were the rock stars of the day. When these sisters were 4 and 5 years-old, they watched this priest rape their mother in the basement of the church right in front of their eyes. The mother had passed away shortly before we did that demonstration, and both sisters said their mother was full of life before the day she was raped by the priest, and after it she became another person. She was depressed for 35+ years, up until the day she died. Can you imagine just how sick that is? A grown man raping your mother, while you’re just 4 or 5 years-old, in front of your eyes. I wanted to throw up when those women first told me what happened.

    Another rock star that day was the father of a victim. His son was raped repeatedly by this priest, who was giving out First Communion to children, all the same age as when his own son’s abuse started. We all handed out paper notices and hoped many would consider not taking their children into that church. I begged parishioners to not go in there, that a known pedophile priest, with many, many allegations of abuse lodged against him was in that church right now. Unfortunately, our voice wasn’t heard that day and every parent we tried to warn moved passed us, some cursing us for choosing a day “for children” to alert the parishioners and community. Two vehicles tried to block our signs so children wouldn’t see us standing there while the cars turned into the driveway of the church. Other than my many days outside of the Cathedral in Philadelphia, we got more shit from people at this church in North Jersey than anywhere else.

    “Father Charles Grandstand” administered First Communion to children that day and nobody seemed to care that he was a rapist of women and children.

    I know a few people who have protested at churches in the LA Archdiocese and have heard the same kind of banter, finger-pointing, and threats we go through every time we try alerting people of priests in PA, NY, NJ, and DE, which is all the states I have protested in.

    I call victims who protest with us “Rock stars,” because anyone who comes forward legally and publicly about their own abuse is a rock star to me. Billy Doe is my definition of a total rock star. The sisters, whose mother was raped, and the father, whose son was raped, are total rock stars in my eyes. There’s something to be said for victims who not only come forward legally and publicly, but also go directly to the source of their demise and vehemently try to warn others about their abusers.

    I wish I had Billy Doe’s strength and courage when I was 20 years-old, and then had even more courage at 24 to sit in a courtroom and look right at my abuser and his enabler and tell so many strangers the embarassing hell I went through when I was just a little boy. It took me twelve years later than Billy to find the bravery just to tell another person what happened to me. Nobody, not even Billy himself if he ever reads any of my written words, will truly understand how proud I am of that kid and the level of respect I have for him.

    I also have a ton of respect for other victims who don’t walk away quietly. Those who find out that the law is against them and they can’t get justice for what happened, but instead try changing the law and try desperately to expose their abusers. I’ve known people like this since the very first day I came forward and I’m proud to be in their company. They taught me how to fight.

    I think if we all take away a little piece of Billy Doe’s courage, we can get these laws changed and we can protect so many children in the future. That’s my mission. And… hopefully by getting the laws changed nationwide, Roger Mahony will find himself in a tiny room with no windows or doors to spend the rest of his worthless pedophile-enabling life.

    You know… I wrote in another post, “Four scumbags down, one to go.” I was wrong. Instead I should’ve written, “Four scumbags down, probably millions to go!”

  10. While Mahoney wasn’t relieved of much…the public humiliation and exposure of this is what counts most! He’s an old man on his way out…but, at least he was shamed for the world to see. The image, the image, the image…entire collection baskets and attorney’s fees blown for the sake of protecting the IMAGE. I don’t care if it’s on paper only….his image is blown. Not only for the die hard Catholics, but for the whole world to see. I count this a success, not a failure.

  11. Public humiliation? Really?

    Since around 2001, the Catholic Church has been accused probably billions of times in newspapers, news television, and by victims and ordinary people around the world. Do you really think Mahony is humiliated by being stripped of his duties? What duties anyway, is what I want to know??? He was retired! Usually when people retire, they no longer have duties within the company they had worked.

    I don’t mean to be contrary SW, because I think you’re awesome and I agree to 99.99% of what you write, but if anybody within the Catholic Church was going to be humiliated, that would’ve happened a long, long time ago.

    He’s probably elated more than anything else, because now he’ll be able to say, “I’ve been relieved of my (retirement) duties. It’s not my fault. You can’t pin that on me now.”

    This whole story is not a big deal. This is just more smoke and mirrors by the Catholic Church. They did this because they’ve got another trick up their sleeve. They don’t take action against one of their own unless its strategic.

    1. You know I have nothing but respect for you Rich.

      We may disagree about this one though. I actually think this IS humiliating for him. No one questions the king…and certainly not a prince within the royal family.

      Is it a big deal in the grand scheme of things…no.

      But, to me, this isn’t about what (if anything) he is relieved of as far as duties. This is about another notch in the court of public opinion. An Archbishop telling a Cardinal what to do? Publicly? And it isn’t all warm fuzzies. There’s dissension among the ranks.

      I think Billy Doe is a rock star and what Susan Sanders said was so powerful. However, not many in the courtroom thought a jury would convict those 2 men. I have to believe that the jury pool is affected over the course of time by what they have taken in about the Catholic Church. It is impossible for them to “unknow” something. So, when I think of victims in LA, this affects jury pools. This affects the families waffling about whether they should start going back to their beloved Catholic Church. This affects good Catholics throwing money in the basket.

      That’s probably very Pollyanna-ish of me. Because my husband has said, “they (Gomez) had to do something extreme to stave off the pissed off Catholics when they find out what that man knew about men he placed in their parishes. It is all orchestrated, dear. Not a move is made without careful planning and scores of attorneys involved. This public stunt is for the benefit of people who needed the church to so ‘Something.'”

      He may be right. And you may be right too Rich.

      1. True and it also means that finally the Church feels that the people are expecting something to be done. The same people they controlled,the same people they felt they owed no explanation. I understand all the thoughts on this..too little too late,not enough, a calculated move..a PR stunt..sure.. but it shows they are scared.

    2. SW, I have to agree with Rich. Arrogance at Mahoney’s level knows no Shame, by golly, he doesn’t know the defination of shame, but, ask any survivor and we can be quite articulate, sad, isn’t it? Image for mahoney is about protecting the church at any cost, so therefore, his image has not been tarnished as he is elevated in the eyes of his peers. It is not a success not for any survivor who knows first hand what really this institution is about because we suffer from it every day. Mahoney protected HIS church and preserved it’s image that is where his loyalties lie and they are rewarded as we saw with Law!

      1. We all have to answer to God, for all that we’ve done here on earth, including Benedict, Mahoney, Law. Do they really think they are above That law?????

  12. This is indeed progress. Mahony still needs to be charged in civil court by survivors and in criminal court. I hope for that day…

  13. I guess mahony missed the lecture on the concepts of : “mala in se and mala prohibita, along with the absence of common sense. I believe mahony knew exactly what he was doing and public humiliation which to me is just bruising his ego in no way compares to the Victims lives he destroyed. No public humiliation is inadequate, I hope the Prosecutor can show ‘Fraudulent Concealment’ and charge mahony, if and when this happens and mahony draws a jail sentence then live a life of physical confinement which is still not as severe as the Mental punishment Victims suffer for a lifetime.

  14. “Cardinal Mahony Stripped of Duties Over Coverup”

    Yes, but according to the NCR he still holds three positions outside of LA. These positions were bestowed upon him by the Vatican. If B16 does not remove him, this is just one more indication that the rot goes right to the top. Will that change the minds of the sheep? No!

  15. In an article by Steve Lopez in the LA Times, archdiocesan spokesman Tod Tamberg asserts that Cardinal Mahony “remains a priest in good standing.” Lopez writes: “A priest in good standing? What in the world do you have to do to fall out of favor?”

    You have to participate in a deemed “invalid” by the Vatican ordination of women, as did former Fr. Roy Bourgeois in Lexington, Kentucky, in Aug. of 2008, for which he was recently laicized and excommunicated from the Church.

    C’mon! Don’t you get it?? It’s a far graver sin and crime to support the ordination of women than cover up the rape, abuse, and psychological torture of children.

    No, I don’t get it, and, quite frankly, I’m confounded.

    If Mahony isn’t going to be excommunicated, I want to be! I’ve hadit! I want Benedict to throw me out of the Church on my ass!

    Application For Excommunication:
    APPLICANT: Katherine Mary FitzGerald
    OFFENSE: Attended the ordination of 9 women on a chartered boat in the international waters of the St. Lawrence River on July 25, 2005. Followed the instructions of the celebrant to lay my hands on one of the women priests, the one from CA. Acted as a conduit of sorts for the Holy Spirit, cementing of sorts her place in the priesthood of Christ.

    Bring it on, Benedict, you ass!

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