LOS ANGELES, February 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Cardinal Roger Mahony, remembered by pro-life Catholics for his attacks on pro-life leaders who called for pro-abortion politicians to be denied Holy Communion, has been relieved of his public duties by his successor Archbishop Jose Gomez. After a court order requiring the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to release documents some of which expose Mahony’s cover-up of sexual abuse by priests, Gomez publicly censured Mahony who retired after 25 years of being Cardinal Archbishop of the city in 2011.
“Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties,” said a public letter issued by Archbishop Gomez Thursday.
The documents, some 12,000 pages, show that Mahony purposely concealed from the public his knowledge of priests who had committed sex crimes with youth, transferring the perpetrators after they received counseling only to have them sexually abuse again and again.
The abuses were so severe that current Archbishop Jose Gomez commented Thursday, “I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil.”
Whereas Mahony was loathe to publicly censure predator priests, he was totally determined when it came to publicly sanctioning an American nun who was the hero of pro-life and pro-family Catholics everywhere – EWTN founder Mother Angelica.
Detailed in the biography of Mother Angelica by EWTN host Raymond Arroyo, Mahoney went ballistic after Mother criticized him on the liturgy. According to the account in the book, various high-ranking prelates testified to Mahony’s seething anger with Mother Angelica over her criticism of him. He visited all the offices of the Vatican that could censure her to make his case.
The threats escalated even to the point of suggesting she would be denied the sacraments if she did not issue a public apology.
And that issue – the denial of the sacraments - is key to understanding Mahony, a bishop for 35 years, 25 of which were heading the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Mahony though had a penchant for chastising the faithful while being lenient with dissident Catholics. In the now-defunct publication Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission of November 2003 is recorded the account of Mahony denying one young woman communion on the tongue. "’No, this isn't done here,’ he told her,” reported the publication.
Mahony would however adamantly refuse to ever deny communion to pro-abortion politicians or rainbow-sash wearing homosexual activists.
While bishops across the United States would deny communion to homosexual activists wearing rainbow sashes as a protest against Church teaching opposing homosexual sex, four US bishops – Mahony among them - ‘welcomed’ rainbow sash activists to receive at the altar.
But it was over communion for pro-abortion Catholic politicians that Mahony was most adamant about never denying the sacraments.
Whereas the Vatican has been abundantly clear that pro-abortion Catholic politicians are to be denied communion, a 2003 newspaper ad by the American Life League calling on Mahony to bar such politicians from Communion was met with outrage by the liberal Cardinal’s spokesman.
Tod Tamberg, blasted ALL President Judie Brown telling Cybercast News Service, “She’s not Judge Judie, she’s not Bishop Judie, and she’s not Pope Judie. The bishops of the church, with the Holy Father, are the ones who interpret church law.”
Commenting on Thursday’s public censure of Mahony by Archbishop Gomez, Brown told LifeSiteNews.com, “This is so long overdue boggles the mind.” She shuddered as she considered, “all the priests and faithful that have been misled by this man.”
Beyond attacking her personally, she recalled Mahony as being, “anything but kind to those of us in the pro-life movement.”
One incident which exemplifies the antagonism occurred in 2005 while Cardinal Mahony was holding an inauguration for a pro-abortion mayor in the Cathedral, young pro-life Catholics who were prayerfully protesting outside the Cathedral were removed and threatened with arrest by Cathedral security.
Catholic author and journalist Philip Lawler who has followed the Church scandals for years sees in Archbishop Gomez’s unprecedented action hope for the future. The founder of Catholic World News and author of The Faithful Departed, detailing Church corruption in Boston, told LifeSiteNews.com that Gomez’s action is “the most encouraging thing on this front for years.”
Lawler added: “It’s very long overdue. The big story is that one bishop made a public fraternal correction on another, which has not happened before. It’s amazing it hasn’t happed given the damage that’s been done. But at last it has and I think it’s awfully healthy.”
Moreover, he said, “It’s inconceivable that Archbishop Gomez would have done this without consulting Rome and that too is encouraging that Rome would approve this.”