CWN Calls for Cardinal Mahoney’s Resignation

by Steve Ray on July 17, 2007

To restore credibility, Cardinal Mahony should resign
by Phil Lawler, special to

Jul. 17, 2007 ( – Five years ago Cardinal Roger Mahony was reportedly encouraging Vatican officials to ask for the resignation of Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law. Using the same logical arguments that the American prelate presented in 2002, the Vatican should now ask Cardinal Mahony himself to step down.

Mahoney.jpgThe sensational cost of the sex-abuse scandal for the Los Angeles archdiocese far exceeds the devastation in Boston. The $660-million legal settlement announced on July 16 is nearly five times the total of the financial damages in Boston. Combining that settlement with previous agreements, lawyers' fees, and other associated costs, the overall price to be paid by the faithful Catholics of Los Angeles will approach $1 billion.

Yet the monetary costs, grave as they are, still do not reflect the most serious damage to the Catholic faith. Only rarely do I agree with an editorial in the Boston Globe, particularly when the topic is the Catholic faith. But today's Globe editorial is on target:

In the eyes of victims, the scandal will never be fully resolved as long as bishops who put the interests of their fellow priests over the protection of children remain in positions of leadership.

One could– and should– go further. This ugly chapter in Catholic history cannot be closed until the Church rebukes those prelates who put their own interests ahead of the needs of the Catholic faithful and the Catholic faith. Cardinal Mahony is the most conspicuous example. Visit for the full story.

  Frankly, I'm all for his resignation or whatever else it takes. I'd like to see a new archbishop in Los Angeles who holds, defends and teaches the full deposit of the Catholic faith. Isn't that his job, after all?

For a new article on why this is not just a Catholic problem, click here.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Castaldo July 17, 2007 at 4:48 PM

Your website is helpful, but this article which you feature entitled “More Sexual Offense in Protestant Churches than Catholic” really fails to build up the Church. Based on your other resources, you seem like a bright, Christ-honoring guy; but this message doesn’t commend you very well.

Chris Castaldo

Connie July 17, 2007 at 5:51 PM

I agree. Cardinal Mahony should resign but it won’t happen unless there is a public outcry as in the case of Cardinal Law. The newspapers in Los Angeles will not go after Cardinal Mahony like the Boston Globe went after Cardinal Law.

Steve Ray July 17, 2007 at 6:19 PM


Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. Just one comment: One does not build up the body of Christ by ignoring the truth, but speaking the truth in love. Neither is it Christ-like to ignore the sin in Protestant communities. Jesus was quick to point to such evils and never thought of such condemnation as NOT being CHRIST-LIKE. He called people "white-washed tombs" and "foxes" and "children of the devil." Not very nice of him, eh?

Catholics have been slammed from every source for the sex scandals — and rightly so. But, others should also be exposed and rooted out, including those of Protestant persuation involved in sex crimes and scandals. My article was not taunting or being critical, only telling the facts. Plus, it is not bad for the morale of Catholics to know that the problem is much worse outside the Church than it is INSIDE the Church.

whit July 18, 2007 at 8:04 AM

While I every much appreciate is apology to the injured victims of the priests who he allowed to molest, and their families, I have been extremely irritated that he does not also apologize profusely to the Catholics he has supposedly been shepherding and who will be paying for his actions. I’ve been, for years, so angry at his taking money from everyone in his diocese, even those who could only afford to give a pittance, when he built that monstrosity he calls a cathedral. He owes his sheep a tremendous apology. Both those abused by the molesters and those who will be paying for it and who have been paying for all his junk for so many years.

God forgive me for being so angry at him and forgive us both our sins. Have mercy on our souls., Amen

Kristyn Hall July 18, 2007 at 8:07 AM

Hi Steve,
When I was in junior high the (married with children) youth pastor at our Assembly of God church was convicted for molesting boys in our church. Ours was the first church to do anything about it; in several cases before, he was caught and sent away but the churches were afraid of the bad press. Our senior pastor was advised to do the same, but pressure from the parents of the boys convinced him to do otherwise. Sometimes true repentance only comes when the dirty laundry is hung up on the line for everyone to see. There is no closure for the victims when things are covered up, either. I don’t think it will truly build up Christ’s body to pretend, or look the other way, not in the long run. Let’s get it all out in the light and deal with it. My husband says the reason the Catholic church gets all the attention because of these scandals is that it is a catalyst for the “Should priests be allowed to marry?” debate. It is not a logical argument, however—Protestant clergy are not barred from marrying, after all, and yet the same problem prevails. God help us—and may we parents remember we are our children’s guardians and the church is not a babysitting service.

Jeff Coronado August 27, 2007 at 5:09 PM

Should he only be required to step down? Keep in mind Cardinal Law was reassigned to a prestigious position in Rome. At the very least the Cardinal Laws and Cardinal Mahoneys need to be removed completely from the Church, based on what I now know.

If a police officer, an attorney, or a psychologist is aware of an ongoing sexual relation with a minor, do they not have a moral, and actually legal obligation, to inform authorities? How much greater is a clergyman’s obligation, as one who is supposed to be doing the Lord’s work?

Prayers for the victims whom have been scarred for life, punishment and therapy for the perpetrators, and punishment and condemnation for those whom enabled the perpetrators to victimize each one of these children.

How do we translate the talk into action?

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