January 18, 2019 (The Stream) – I'll never forget my mom, explaining in her Hell's Kitchen New York accent, why my older sister couldn't go to Woodstock: “Oh no. That's how the Nazis got started. First you corrupt the youth. The next thing you know, whaddaya you got? World War II. No way.”
And if I knew someone young and impressionable, that's what I'd tell him about the Los Angeles Religious Education Conference. “Oh no, that's how the Khmer Rouge got started, son…”
“Come on down, it's not excessively Catholic. In fact, faithful Catholics come to protest it every year!”
Every year, LA-REC (pronounced “la WRECK”) is a massive hootenanny and cash-cow for the leftist elements that have hijacked the U.S. Catholic Church. Don't take it from me. Here's the quote which the LA-REC's organizers themselves chose for the home page of their website:
“Some people go to Tibet, Bali, or India for spiritual rejuvenation or enlightenment. Others take to the deserts in the Americas or the mountains in the Andes. I head to Orange County, California. For nearly a decade, I have joined thousands of other Catholics for a weekend of workshops, liturgies (I love hearing my favorite gospel singer!), and camaraderie. I call it visiting the Catholic planet. Don't let the name fool you; you don't have to be a Catholic schoolteacher or catechist to take part or even a staunch Catholic. In fact, the LA Congress has conservative Catholic protesters every year taking issue with the multicultural liturgies and/or the messages of inclusiveness. I consider this one of the highlights of every year and I've made it a family tradition bringing along my mother and now my daughter.”
– Julie C., San Leandro, CA
Could it be any clearer than that? “Come on down, it's not excessively Catholic. In fact, faithful Catholics come to protest it every year!”
Thirsting for Politics
Now I would never avoid even a humble Polish dumpling shop based on a single Yelp review. (Though I might if it promised “food poisoning!” and the owners had put it on their home page.) Let's dig a little deeper, shall we? What's the theme of the conference? There are two, one for kids and one for adults.
The Youth theme is “Trust! God's Gotchu.” Using a cutesy piece of illiteracy for an educational conference isn't really…reassuring. And the chirpy little bilingual barber shop song that LA-REC apparently commissioned to pound home this theme sends shivers down my old spine. (Don't listen with food in your mouth.)
Let's move on to the Adult theme. No, no that's not what I meant. Get your mind out of the gutter. Still, the theme is a doozy: “Thirsting for Justice” | “Sed de Justicia” | “Khát Khao Công Lý.”
There we go. Not only does the conference promise that its real theme will be politics. It does so in three languages, in a nod to multiculturalism. Not much real use, of course, since most of the site is in English, and none of it is in Vietnamese. But I give LA-REC some points for virtue-signaling. Not a full 10 out of 10, since the site lacks any phrases at all in Mayan or Aztec languages. Nor is there a single session in Turkish or Arabic…
Cardinal Cover-Up Wants to Talk to the Teens
Which Church leaders did the LA-REC choose to address the “thirst for justice?” One of them seems fitting, since he ought to be a fugitive from justice, Cardinal Roger Mahony. Remember him? He's the prelate who oversaw the worst cover-up of sex abuse in the entire United States. As LifeSiteNews reported:
Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011 and a cardinal since 1991, was found to have deliberately hid his knowledge of priests in his archdiocese guilty of committing sex crimes with youth, transferring the offenders after they had had counseling, enabling them to repeat their crimes.
The details, contained in some 12,000 pages that the LA archdiocese was court-ordered to release, led Mahony's successor Archbishop Jose Gomez to term them as “brutal and painful,” and take the unprecedented step in 2013 of barring Mahony from administrative or public duties in the archdiocese.
But now the diocese has invited Mahony
into a room full of as an authority on young people – and given him a microphone to appear as an honored speaker. At least the topic won't be something like “Jacuzzis with the Pastor: A new form of spiritual direction.”
Still Using Immigrants as Human Shields
No, it will be the favorite politicized topic which Mahony has beaten like a tin drum for decades: boosting immigration, legal or illegal. Indeed, Mahony used his popularity among Latino voters (legal or illegal) in California to scare off prosecutors who would gleefully have sent him to prison for massive sex abuse cover-ups. The title of Mahony's talk, in case you're thinking of going and throwing peanuts, is “Connecting Junior High and High School Students with the Volatile Immigration Issues.”
In the wake of the exposure that Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., has been lying for more than a decade about what he knew of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's sex abuse of teenagers and seminarians, I must say that it disappoints me to see Mahony honored at LA-REC as a speaker.
It would be much more honest and forthright of the Los Angeles Archdiocese to feature Archbishop McCarrick himself. I would really like to hear what he has to say about the state of our Church and how it got there. Who knew about his Harvey Weinstein-style sexual predations upon seminarians, and when they knew it.
And you must admit, the question and answer period would be (as the young folks say) “lit.”
Published with permission from The Stream.