Anorak News | The worst thing you will be read this year: Cardinal Roger Mahony forgives the priests’ rape victims

The worst thing you will be read this year: Cardinal Roger Mahony forgives the priests’ rape victims

by | 17th, February 2013

CARDINAL Roger Mahony, 76, headed the Los Angeles archdiocese for 25 years. The place was riddled with sex abuse. Children were raped. In 2007, Los Angeles paid $660m to alleged victims of abuse. His successor, the Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, apologised:

 My brothers and sisters in Christ, 

This week we are releasing the files of priests who sexually abused children while they were serving in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. These files document abuses that happened decades ago. But that does not make them less serious. I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the  duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed…

My predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care. Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties…

Cardinal Mahony shielded accused priests from investigation in the 1980s. When he had power, he abused it. That power has been removed. He protected Msgr. Peter Garcia, who raped illegal immigrant children in Spanish-speaking parishes. He threatened to have them deported if they told the authorities. Mahony ordered him to keep out of California: “I believe that if Monsignor Garcia were to reappear here within the archdiocese we might very well have some type of legal action filed in both the criminal and civil sectors”. In 1987, Garcia did return to LA.  He remained a priest until 1989. He died in 2009. He was never prosecuted. 

Mahony takes to his blog. His post is entitled: “CALLED to HUMILIATION”:

From our earliest catechism days we learn about the virtue of humility. We study it, we think about it; but we don’t embrace it.

And why? Because humility is all about self-effacing, about seeing ourselves as far more diminished than we had hoped. As a result, few of us set out to embrace humility for Lent or as a pattern for our lives. Most us us accept a few affronts and neglects as humility, and then move on.

But as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are actually called to the fullness of humility: humiliation, and publicly.

Today’s Gospel gives us the stark reality and immediate challenge: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” {Luke 9:23] Daily means each and every day, not now and then on our faith journeys, and on our terms.

That desire flows from our lips so easily, but we seldom mean it fully and internally. It’s almost a spiritual throw-away for us. But Jesus means it so deeply.

Given all of the storms that have surrounded me and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles recently, God’s grace finally helped me to understand: I am not being called to serve Jesus in humility. Rather, I am being called to something deeper–to be humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many.

It wasn’t about kids being raped. It wasn’t about secular law being ignored. It was about him being tested.

I was not ready for this challenge. Ash Wednesday changed all of that, and I see Lent 2013 as a special time to reflect deeply upon this special call by Jesus.

To be honest with you, I have not reached the point where I can actually pray for more humiliation. I’m only at the stage of asking for the grace to endure the level of humiliation at the moment.

It gets even better:

In the past several days, I have experienced many examples of being humiliated. In recent days, I have been confronted in various places by very unhappy people. I could understand the depth of their anger and outrage–at me, at the Church, at about injustices that swirl around us.

Thanks to God’s special grace, I simply stood there, asking God to bless and forgive them.

He forgives the victims.

Over the coming days of our Lenten journey I hope to explore with all of you some deeper spiritual insights into what it really means to take up our cross daily and to follow Jesus–in rejection, in humiliation, and in personal attack.

Strangely, the more I allow all of this to unfold without protest and objection, the greater the inner peace I feel.

Kyrie, eleison!

And you still wonder how rapists can get away with it..?

Photo: Msgr. Roger Michael Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, receives from Pope John Paul II the biretta, symbol of cardinal rank, during a Consistory at the Vatican in Vatican City, Friday, June 28, 1991. The Pope elevated 23 new Cardinals. 

Posted: 17th, February 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink