The man has largely disappeared from public view since the conclave. But in retirement he still blogs, mainly in immigration policy advocacy.
The report seems thorough and balanced–more than fair to a man who is universally disliked. He might have done more than some bishops in steering predators away from new assignments in the early days. But the deception thrown at him seems to have been passed on to the rest of us. The secrecy of it all blew up in his face.
One thing about the affinity for influence and power struck me: it made the man most vulnerable to his own appetites, to grooming by predators, to manipulation by sycophants. He reminds me of a pastor I once worked for. Very charismatic man, friendly, fundraiser, good with all sorts of people. But a dark side that I saw a select number of people able to manipulate with ease. And the man believed in keeping secrets. Just like the retired archbishop.
I had not realized Roger Mahony was so young when Pope John Paul II appointed him archbishop of Los Angeles. Forty-nine–wow.
The one bit in the feature that described him as insisting on washing dishes for his friends on vacation because he could do it quicker and better? Another wow. But somehow, not surprising. The point of being relaxed with friends is not in the performance of chores, but in enjoying good company.
Would that the man had similar ambition to find the best way of healing a diocese from the abuse of predator clergy. It struck me that God had placed him in Los Angeles to do just that. But he was stuck on the wattage of light fixtures in service elevators.
I have to turn this story and shine that wattage on my own spiritual life. God presents opportunities for me. Sometimes I do not want them. But to what am I being invited by engaging and embracing them directly? What schooling is in store for me? Why am I so quick to want to escape and deal with the peripherals, the more fun and enjoyable things? Those things I can easily do: empty labor, because of my comfort and because I’ve done them a thousand times before.