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    • “No Longer Aliens…… but Part of God’s Househousehold” (Ephesians 2:19-22) October 28, 2014
      Historically, LGBT Christians have been treated as aliens in the Church, unwelcome and often positively rejected. That is now changing in all denominations, as some adjust their rules on ordination and marriage, others are embarking on serious study and listening processes,…Read more →
      Terence Weldon
    • Pope Francis’ Catholicism: Are Those Rainbow Pigments? October 26, 2014
      During the question and answer session with the Schoenstatt pilgrims held in the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall on Saturday, Pope Francis spoke particularly about the problems facing marriage in the modern world. For LGBT Catholics, it’s important once again…Read more →
      Terence Weldon
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    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
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    • Where Are You? October 26, 2011
      Greetings to all others who grace these pages! Thank you for stopping by. If you still have a reader pointed here, this blog no longer publishes in this location, but can be found at this new link. Please subscribe to the new feed, get the new blog via email or read us by liking us on Facebook or by following me on Twitter.If you want more, please feel free […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Fran)
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    • How the Pope's Recent Remarks on Evolution Highlight a Major Discrepancy in Church Teaching October 31, 2014
      There's been a lot of media attention focused on Pope Francis' recent comments about evolution. Reports the Washington Post:Delivering an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Francis continued his habit of making provocative, seemingly progressive statements. The pontiff appeared to endorse the theory of the Big Bang and told the gat […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Aunt Peg Tells It Like It Is October 30, 2014
      I share this evening a clip from the Australian TV comedy series Please Like Me. It shows Aunt Peg (played by Judi Farr) standing up for her gay grandson Josh (Josh Thomas) during Mass. In describing this scene, Frank Minero writes at Addicting Info:In the ABC Australia situation comedy, Please Like Me, Aunt Peg finds out someone very dear to her is homosexu […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
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    • Faith, Doubt and Sexual Abuse in Film and Fiction = Amended Reviews October 19, 2014
      This is an amendation and extension of my previous posting.In this posting, I deal with three cinematic and fictional treatments of practicing Catholic priests whose faith is profoundly challenged by the revelations of the sex abuse scandal in the Church. I haven't forgotten the Synod on the Family, just finished in Rome. I continue to believe the vacil […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Jayden Cameron )
    • Synecdotal Ruminations and Reviews October 16, 2014
      The Road Through the WildernessIt's been a month since my last posting at this blog, and I've been busy immersing myself in Czech culture on a deeper level, especially its past religiosity and its present seemingly atheistic present. I've been plowing through some classic films of the Czech New Wave and some more recent ones that deal with our […]
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    • 借入しすぎを防ぎたい February 26, 2014
      自分でこれ以上借りないと思っていても、ついつい借りてしまう浪費癖が治らないそれならいっそのこと、借りれなくしてしまえばいいのです。日本貸金業協会の貸付自粛制度とは貸付自粛制度とは、資金需要者が、自らに浪費の習癖があることその他の理由により、自らを自粛対象者とする旨又は親族のうち一定の範囲の者が、金銭貸付による債務者を自粛対象者とする旨を日本貸金業協会に対して申告することにより、日本貸金業協会が、これに対応する情報を個人信用情報機関に登録し、一定期間、当該個人信用情報機関の会員に対して提供する制度です。登録手数料等の費用はかかりません。貸付自粛情報の登録内容氏名 性別 生年月日 住所 自宅電話番号(または携帯電話番号) 勤務先名 勤務先電話番号 貸付自粛情報の登録内容 氏名 性別 生年月日 住所 自宅電話番号(ま […]
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    • Some links October 30, 2014
      - Good for Creighton University, the Jesuit school that hosts the online version of the 19th annotation of the Spiritual Exercises retreat that I once made .... they have decided to give benefits to same-sex spouses of employees- Andrew Brown thinks the church could schism. I only wish ;) but I doubt it will happen ... A Catholic church schism under Pope Fra […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

Mahony Rebuked: PR, Politics and Who Is Really in Charge

(As posted on DailyKos)

I am not defending Cardinal Mahony’s record of aiding and abetting the sexual torture of Los Angeles children. I am explaining why, for the first time in the history of the American Catholic Church, one hierarch was publicly censured and other notorious US prelates (Law – Boston MA, Rigali and Bevilacqua – Philadelphia PA, Brom – San Diego CA, Franklin – Davenport IA, Grahmann – Dallas TX, Coleman – Fall River MA, McCormack – Manchester NH, Egan – Bridgeport CT, Cote – Norwich CT, Murphy – Rockville Centre NY, McDonnell – Springfield MA, et al) who did pretty much the same thing were not and what this tells us about who is really in charge of the Catholic Church.

Mahony used to be a well-regarded champion of Latino rights and undocumented immigrants. His successor, Opus Dei Archbishop Jose Gomez, was supposed to take up Mahony’s mantel as chief Catholic defender of Latinos (today‘s post “Archbishop Gomez hails Senate immigration reform plan”) so that Gomez can persuade them to vote Republican. Yet California Latinos weren’t listening to Gomez and voted Democrat.

Since Gomez’s announcement on Thursday that he was relieving Mahony of “any administrative or public duties” (which is bogus as I will explain below) over his mishandling of clergy sex abuse, Gomez has been widely lauded as “brave” and “courageous,” the grand protector of children.

As the LA Times noted: “The release of the records and the rebuke of [Cardinal Mahony] in LA’s molestation scandal signaled a clear desire by Gomez to define the sexual abuse crisis as a problem of a different era – and a different archbishop” and substantially increase his own prestige.

Mahony’s public disgrace is also a warning to any US hierarch who might publicly opine that his fellow bishops are too blatantly joined at the hip with the GOP or otherwise go his own way. In 2004, Mahony publicly invited Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry, to receive communion in his archdiocese even though Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) had instructed the US episcopate to bar Kerry from the sacrament. Neither has Mahony’s public feud with Mother Angelica, founder of the right wing, pro-Republican Catholic media empire, EWTN, ever been forgiven.

Under the terms of a 2007 settlement with more than 500 victims, the archdiocese was required make public the personnel files of every cleric accused of abuse. Since Gomez was assigned to the LA archdiocese in May 2010, he fought as hard as Mahony to keep hidden the 12,000 just-released pages of 122 personnel files on sexually abusive priests. On Thursday afternoon, a judge signed the order requiring the archdiocese to hand over the records and an hour later Gomez’s statement relieving Mahony of “any administrative or public duties” was released to the press.

[A]ccording to diocesan spokesman Tod Tamberg, Mahony’s daily routine will remain largely unchanged. Mahony retired in March 2011. As Tamberg told me, since that time Mahony “has had no administrative duties.” Tamberg explained that in response to Gomez’s letter, the cardinal “is reducing his public profile.”…Yet Mahony “remains a priest in good standing, and a cardinal of the church,” Tamberg said. “He can celebrate the sacraments with no restrictions.”

What is also startling is this exposure that the plutocrats are running the Catholic Church and not the Vatican.

First, it is almost unheard of for a lower cleric or prelate to reprimand a cardinal or even (symbolically) limit his activities. These are actions reserved solely to the pope. Second, Gomez’s statement was made without prior approval from the Holy See. On Friday, Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said “that although he has received several requests for comment from news agencies, there are no plans at this time to issue a statement. Among other things, he said, the Vatican needs time ‘to better understand the situation,’” according to the American Vatican expert, John L. Allen Jr.

The only news I could find from the usual Italian “Vatican watchers” so far about this was yesterday’s article in La Stampa “Los Angeles: The sad duel between Cardinal Mahony and Archbishop Gomez,” which indicates that the Vatican has not yet backed Gomez.

If there is any criticism being leveled at Gomez in the Catholic press, it is the failure to similarly censure Bishop Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph. In September 2012, Finn was convicted for failure to report the criminal sexual activity with a child of Fr. Ratigan to the authorities. But then, Finn was also ordained into Opus Dei.

Or perhaps Gomez can’t draw attention to the sex abuse scandal as a current and on-going abomination and needs to foster the public perception that the sex abuse scandal is not only a thing of the past but also that the US episcopate is “taking action.” A common complaint has been the lack of “fraternal correction” among the episcopate for one of its own.

In addition to all of the above, Gomez’s statement can be used to counter the damaging publicity sure to come after tomorrow’s HBO premier of the documentary “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.” Per the press release:

Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney exposes the abuse of power in the Catholic Church and a coverup that winds its way from our hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, through the bare ruined choirs of Ireland’s churches, all the way to the highest office of the Vatican. By investigating the secret crimes of a charismatic priest who abused over 200 deaf children in a school under his control – St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis – the film shows the face of evil that lurks behind the smiles and denials of authority figures and institutions who believe that, because they stand for good, they can do no wrong.

The film, the release of the LA documents, the attorneys-general and grand jury investigations throughout the country, the tenacious and thorough reporting – none would have been possible without the incredible courage of the victims to come forward and tell their stories of the most unspeakable and intimate violations. Many did so even facing ostracism and worse from their families, their friends and communities – not to mention the persecution and humiliation heaped upon them by Catholic officials and attorneys.

We can thank them that people like Jerry Sandusky are no longer protected and that many states are revising their statutes of limitations to make all our children safer. 

4 Responses

  1. “Gomez’s statement was made without prior approval from the Holy See.” I’ve read the reverse elsewhere. Very few prelates ever “go rogue.”

    I suspect this was all very carefully choreographed. . .

    • I don’t know how else to interpret Lombardi’s response to John L. Allen Jr. “the Vatican needs time ‘to better understand the situation.'” Perhaps it’s because the Vatican had other problems to deal with last week:

      ANSA) – Rome, January 31 – The former head of the Vatican bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was questioned on Thursday by prosecutors investigating suspect operations at the troubled Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) bank.

      The prosecutors wanted to talk to Gotti Tedeschi about MPS’s nine-billion-euro acquisition of Antonveneta in 2008 from Spanish bank Santander.

      Gotti Tedeschi was in charge of Santander’s operations in Italy before becoming president of the Vatican Bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), in 2009.

      http://www.lifeinitaly.com/news/en/168060

      ROME

      , Feb 5 (Reuters) – The Vatican on Tuesday denied an Italian newspaper report linking its IOR bank to Monte dei Paschi di Siena’s 2007 acquisition of smaller rival Antonveneta, a deal which is now the centre of a widening corruption investigation.

      The Corriere della Sera reported on Monday that the chief executive of the Vatican’s Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) had “delicate and important meetings” with Monte Paschi’s adviser for the 9-billion euro purchase of Antonveneta.

      It also listed several sets of numbers it said identified IOR bank accounts used to transmit funds to Monte Paschi for the acquisition. Prosecutors are looking into allegations that bribes were paid to secure the deal.

      Here is another indication of internal fissure: “Abp Chaput Throws Gauntlet at +Dolan’s Feet” http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/abp-chaput-throws-gauntlet-dolans-feet

  2. Thanks, Betty, for your incisive and effective analysis. Jerry Slevin

  3. I appreciate your comment, Jerry. Thanks.

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