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Embattled LA Cardinal stripped of duties due to involvement in child sex scandals

Embattled LA Cardinal stripped of duties due to involvement in child sex scandals

On 22 January 2013, The God Discussion reported on retired Cardinal Roger Mahony being implicated in his role for how the church handled these cases over a period of decades.

Confidential files reveal that Mahoney was troubled by the abuse, but there were also significant delays in cases, as well as willful ignorance to information he received in psychological reports that pointed to additional victims.

In one the issues regarding the Cardinal, Mahoney made personal notes in 1991 on the file of priest named Reverend Lynn Caffoe, who was suspected of sequestering young boys in his room, recording their crotches on videotape, then running up charges for phone sex while the boy was in his presence.

In a letter Mahoney wrote to Pope Benedict XVI, who at the time was the Vatical Cardinal, he said of Caffoe,

"He is a fugitive from justice. A check of the Social Security index discloses no report of his demise, so presumably he is alive somewhere."

During these events, the church was not yet required to report sexual abuse, and whether or not law enforcement became involved was a decision solely left for the family of the victims.

Earlier today, the Religion News Service reported that Mahony was been stripped of his official duties, calling it 'an unusual public rebuke by his successor.'

According to the story, Rev Jose Gomez, the current Archbishop of Los Angeles, made an announcement that a long standing aide to Mahony had also resigned. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry gave up is position which oversaw the Santa Barbara, CA, area.

Gomez stated,

“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. Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties,” Gomez said. He added that Curry had requested to resign."

Gomez replaced Mahony in 2011, at the behest of Pope Benedict XVI.

The report also cites a statement made by Jesuit Priest, Rev. Thomas Reese, who also functions as a political scientist at Georgetown University. Reese stated,

“This is unusual and extraordinary. An archbishop has never before restricted the ministry of his predecessor and publicly taken him to task like this.”

Mahony was not amused, and had made his feelings public on his blog by posting a letter he sent to Rev. Gomez, in which he outlined his record on abuse, defending his actions.

Rev. Mahony concluded his letter by saying,

“Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices, or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors."

Mahony has since cleared his schedule of Confirmation Masses and has pared back on his speaking engagements.

For more information, commentary, quotes and relevant links, please read the entire story at Religion News Service.

About Al Stefanelli

Al is a retired author, writer and journalist. His books include "Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist" and "A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth." Al began writing in 1985, starting with the New York Times. In 1993 he joined a McClatchy newspaper, writing a weekly column for ten years. His writing continues to be widely distributed on the Internet and in print. He also produced and hosted a weekly syndicated radio broadcast from 1995 to 1998, and his work won a North Carolina Journalism award in 1998. Al is the former Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and served on the Board of Directors for "The Clergy Project." He is also a former Southern Baptist Pastor, having served two churches and as pulpit supply for three counties. Currently, he writes part time for The God Discussion, co-hosts the Internet radio programs, "The God Discussion Show" and "Reap Sow Radio." Al lives in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, GA.
  • and then there is this…..

    Re: Cardinal Mahony's letter to the bishop of LA Archdiocese.

    And so it NEVER occurred to Mahony that child sex abuse is a

    How sad for so many kids who were sexually abused by clergy, and then
    re-abused by the high ranking church officials who enable child predators to
    sexually abuse more children and then cover up their crimes. Why would anyone
    believe that the church officials are removing accused child predators, making
    their names public, and reporting them to the police?

    Why are we to believe that children are safe today?

    Keep in mind, the LA Archdiocese is not unique in how they handle sex
    crimes against kids

    Silence is not an option anymore because there is way too much at stake,
    the safety of our children. So if you have knowledge or have been harmed, please
    report your abuse to law enforcement. Your silence only hurts, and by speaking
    up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511.
    snapjudy@gmail.com, (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

  • Pingback: UN calls out the United States for failing to prosecute abusive clergy | God Discussion()

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