If Cardinal Mahony had come out on his own blog about the smail’s pace of the curia in dealing with priest predators, it might have come across as somewhat self-serving. I’m inclined to think there’s blame to spread around, if not up, with this LA Times piece. One predator was yanked from his parish. But he appealed to Rome to prevent his defrocking. The Humiliated One wrote to Rome in ’93:
The case has been there for many, many months. The lengthy delay has created serious problems for my own credibility as a Diocesan Bishop.
(Confidential archdiocese records) suggest that Mahony at times had to press an unresponsive Vatican to get molesting priests out of the church.
Cardinal Mahony was unwilling to comment for this piece. Interesting. He’s been public with a lot of comments lately. A comment on the CDF and the Congregation for Clergy might be very illuminating at this point. Or maybe personally dangerous.
I wonder if there would be a thaw in that approach after the upcoming conclave. I can imagine an icy reception in Rome if he decided to spill beans like the ones he spit out at Archbishop Gomez a few weeks ago. If he’s going to post personal honesty pieces on his blog, I’d rather see some sense of honesty about the situation as it unfolded all those years ago. I’d like to think the man who harbored criminals from prosecution in the 80′s had learned something by the 90′s. If nothing else, a recognition that he and his brother bishops dislike having their credibility impaired by their being so slow on the uptake.
Cardinal Mahony, after this conclave, has nothing to lose. There will be no more cushy appointments for him. Clearly, he’s been led down a road he didn’t expect and wouldn’t have taken. What was the Petrine experience of John 21:18? Perhaps that is the path beyond the humiliation of abandoning the innocent.