The underbelly of the way the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is run reminds one more of a corporation like Enron than a spiritual foundation. The earthquake of e-mail revelations that rumbled throughout the land last week triggered by a LA radio station, illustrates that Cardinal Mahony is more like the man in Matthew 7: 26 who who built his house on sand, quicksand! We all know the result: It "fell and was utterly ruined."
"...let us say that we might wonder if this new scandal is just another manifestation of the Spirit of Vatican II, and if so, just how much worse it can get. In fact there is actually a danger that we can all become so scandalized by the dirty deeds we hear of more and more frequently, so as to become numb to it, and that would be a big mistake. Do not do it! Jesus tells us:"Watch and pray so that you do not fall into temptation." It would be good to heed the Lord's advice, because we too can be easily dragged down into the abyss with the others if we fall into the sin of indifference. We cannot let familiarity with the secular thought of high-ranking Church officials, that we hear and read about, cause our own faith to waver. We must be resolute in these troubled times, for that is how great saints are made."
It has been previously written that we are all to blame for the current crisis in our beloved Church (see 'The Finger of Blame'. That being true, and since it is a reflection on the entire Church that Christ founded, there is no point in publishing accusations of priestly sexual abuse of children, and it would be imprudent, and maybe even be a sin, to do so. However, one would hope that the Princes of the Church, that is, the Cardinals, our highest-ranking prelates save for His Holiness, would be more interested in sanctity than in damage control. The recent email notes of His Eminence Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles and his diocesan assistants, concerning priestly abuse, that were obtained and released by KFI AM radio in Los Angeles, suggest otherwise. Is His Eminence acting any differently than a secular CEO or CFO would in these writings? One finds scant evidence in the emails that a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church is speaking - rather it seems to be all about damage control and minimizing the financial hardship to the Diocese, as though he were speaking of a business loss.
The entire transcript of recent communications of His Eminence and the Diocese of Los Angeles concerning both suspected and confirmed priest abusers can be viewed at:
KFI John and Ken Show Transcripts.
It is a revelation - all about damage control and 'spiritual counseling' (read: pacification); there is nothing about the salvation of souls. But the salvation of souls is the only thing that a good shepherd need concern himself with. Unless His Eminence realizes this, it may be far worse than a question of whether or not his diocese will have many days of 'Good Fridays' versus 'Easter Sundays' that he alludes to in one of his communications.
Before we continue, let us say that we might wonder if this new scandal is just another manifestation of the Spirit of Vatican II, and if so, just how much worse it can get. In fact there is actually a danger that we can all become so scandalized by the dirty deeds we hear of more and more frequently, so as to become numb to it, and that would be a big mistake. Do not do it! Jesus tells us:"Watch and pray so that you do not fall into temptation." It would be good to heed the Lord's advice, because we too can be easily dragged down into the abyss with the others if we fall into the sin of indifference. We cannot let familiarity with the secular thought of high-ranking Church officials, that we hear and read about, cause our own faith to waver. We must be resolute in these troubled times, for that is how great saints are made. That said, let us then review a few of the words of the Cardinal and his assistants in the hope that we may learn from them and realize that something is wrong not with our Holy Church itself but just maybe with the way the sad state of affairs coming to our attention at present are being conducted.
For example, his Eminence Cardinal Mahony writes about the 'past difficulties' of a poor Monsignor, these 'past difficulties', so it would seem, concern priestly abuse of minors. His Eminence then finds it what he calls a 'blessing' to be out of town when this poor Monsignor appears to be dying and the Diocese is considering the funeral arrangements. Good God! Here is a Monsignor, a big sinner perhaps, maybe a priest abuser of children, but still a soul of importance to God, and all the Cardinal would appear to be concerned about is that it will be a 'blessing' to be out of town so he doesn't have to deal with what may be Monsignor's final hours and possible funeral arrangements!
The other Diocesan officials, assistants to the Cardinal, do not seem to trust in God so very much, though one supposes they have had years of training in matters religious. For example a Monsignor Diocesan official - this person is a close helper of Cardinal Mahony - discusses a draft manuscript to the press or law enforcement on priest abusers; he says:
'As written, [the draft manuscript] gives the impression that for years we gave names over to law enforcement contemporaneously with the time we learned of events. If an example of even one case comes out where we didn't pass on the name then, but only more recently, it will blow up [in our faces].'
But what Catholics are really interested that the good Monsignor could tell us, is the truth. Has Monsignor diligently rooted out and removed any suspected abusers from their ministries both recently and in years past? If so then he should come clean with it. And although we may be fooled, there is no hiding from God. I would wonder if Monsignor is comfortable with his actions before God, because not the least little thing escapes the notice of the Almighty, it must all be accounted for, and big sins cry to Heaven for retribution even during our earthly lives. Furthermore, this is not 1984 when there might have been the excuse that no one quite knew how to medically treat child abusers and whether or not they can be cured, but rather it is 2002 when we know that at the present it is very dangerous, it is in fact unconscionable, to put any past child abuser back in ministry to the young. If therefore the dreadful shenanigans that we dare not even speak of were transpiring recently, and if it was ignored by the Diocese, it might be time for Monsignor to consider another occupation and to hand the reins of power over to someone who will deal with such terrible, unmentionable crimes rapidly, forthrightly, and in a truly Catholic manner, that is, with a concern for souls, and glorifying God as much as one can while rectifying the current state of affairs. In essence, we would hope that 'social justice', the favorite buzzword of Vatican II and of liberal diocesan prelates to this very day, is in fact what Monsignor is concerned about in this situation just as it has been in homily after homily after homily throughout the Conciliar world since the close of Vatican II in 1965.
Yet somehow, in the Los Angeles Diocese at least, it would seem that 'social justice' continually takes a back seat when it comes to swift action against priest abusers and restoration of Church function in a truly Catholic manner. Another case in point: a galling statement by Monsignor assistant to His Eminence, in which he is pondering how to sequester any evidence concerning suspected or confirmed child abusing priests who were retained in parish ministry after their circumstance was known to diocesan officials. Monsignor prelate's chief worry is apparently that of being raked over the coals by the press. Specifically, he states that if the names of said priests become known ('outted', the word commonly used in secular homosexual circles, is his term for it), then the press and others could easily discover whether or not these abuser priests had recent parish ministry. In other words, the main concern is not about how to correct the dreadful matters of abuse for the good of the people and the parishes involved, and how to help the victims, but rather how one can handle the press; he says:
'To say or even give the impression that none of the "priests removed" were in parish ministry creates multiple problems. First, it "narrows the search" for any news organizations that are trying to ferret out names. It would realistically almost certainly "out" one or more. Even those not in parish ministry were assisting in parishes, and you could be challenged about that [in the press or by law enforcement]. Some were resident in parishes. Not being assigned full time to parishes does not mean there was no parish ministry. If you say something that the press later decides was inaccurate, they will be merciless in attacking. Secondly, should some names be "outted" of men [i.e., suspected abusing priests] who were in predominantly parish ministries, even if restricted, the distinction will not carry any weight in the press. You will again be attacked mercilessly [by the press].'
It is quite ironic that these Diocesan prelates are worried about the 'press', since the liberal media often works right into the hands of the whole Vatican II juggernaut and vice versa. Perhaps, His Eminence and his Diocesan colleagues might do well to start asking themselves: "What would Jesus do? (WWJD)". If they have nothing to hide then they should let their light, their lamps, shine on top of a high hill, so that their works will be seen by all, rather than to let the deeds be cloaked in secrecy so that only darkness emanates. Jesus tells us: "Darkness is coming, when no one can work." If these prelates of Los Angeles Diocese would like to show the Lord, and us, that the time of darkness is not at hand, and in particular that what high-ranking prelates of the Church do is something that we can all verily look up to, a model and guide for all Roman Catholics and indeed for all men, then they should forget about the press and come forward with everything they know. They should 'out' all the names and dates and suffer any consequences as one would bear the Holy Cross. We look to the Church Hierarchy, dear friends, for leadership and good example, but if they fail us badly, where can we turn? In fact we can turn to Jesus, the Blessed Virgin, and all the angels and saints - and we must - but it is not natural in authentic Catholic life to lack earthly 'higher-ups' which are there to beneficially guide us. Most all of the sheep need good shepherds, models of Christ Himself, in order to grow spiritually, and it is a great tragedy when this is not the case.
However, there is something worse than the inability of shepherds to guide us to Heavenly dwellings, and that is when it is a danger to the faith to follow some of their examples. One wonders, for example, about the Diocesan official who laments the magnitude of the Diocesan payoff, the payola so to speak, to a poor abused girl, stating:
'Why is Ms. H receiving $1.2 million when the victims in Boston may receive less than $300,000 per victim?'
Where are the hearts of these people? Is any amount of money enough to cover the trauma of child abuse and possible child rape? Of course not, it stays with a person all one's life, and about all one can do is to learn to manage it, but money and public image are apparently the primary concerns of these prelates. His Eminence himself ponders how long will it take for the whole thing to blow over with the public, as though that is all he needs to be concerned about, stating:
'I hope interest [will soon] have waned. We definitely have to get ourselves to July 1st!!'
The unfortunate thing is, dear Cardinal, that July 1, whatever that date means to you, means nothing to the Lord God Almighty. He, Omnipotent, is not concerned with secular litigation matters and dates. He, and we, should be concerned with the Judgement Day, that Day not too far in the future when we will be held accountable for everything we have done. And if we have not a suitable response to all our actions, when we are called to account, then our Eternity will be spent in a most misfortunate place, where there is only darkness, and wailing, never-ending torture, a horrid stench and unquenchable fire, hell fire, and weeping and gnashing of teeth. The grave matters at hand seem to trouble His Eminence mostly because of their reflection on his public image. Jesus Himself pays particular attention to these same matters, but for another reason, telling us: "It would be better to have a millstone tied around one's neck and drowned than to cause one of these little ones of mine to sin."
Yet I'm not sure His Eminence and colleagues even realize what is at stake. They are seemingly so secularized and cavalier that one Diocesan nun-lawyer even states:
'I will not be present [for sheriff's office questioning] and besides 8AM is against my religion.' Sister J
Dear Sister, there was once a time when good priests and religious arose at dawn as an example to us poor laymen. The nuns went about sweeping floors, washing dishes, and seeing what good they could do. If any layman, priest, or other religious was in need of help, these holy nuns of yesteryear would be there for us without question. This may seem odd to you in the present age, and perhaps it may seem unnecessary if you somehow believe that we're all going to go to Heaven in the end. However, I am sorry to inform you that not all of us will be going to Heaven because:"Narrow is the door and steep is the road that leads to it." And furthermore, Sister, don't you know that priests and religious such as yourself will be held to a higher standard, because you teach and instruct God's people in matters of great concern for the salvation of souls? Woe to the indifferent and slothful! They will find life at the resurrection of all the dead to be a most distressing time which will last an eternity!
Concerning what is at stake, the Cardinal speaks about a 'healing process' as though one can ever heal from a breach of trust and from abuse. I would suggest to him that the best 'healing process', to do something for us 'spiritually, not just psychologically', as he says, might come about if he and maybe some of his fellow cardinals and other prelates were to resign immediately, retire to a cloistered monastery, and re-learn the Catechism from Mother Angelica's EWTN tapes. Wouldn't that be ironic?
Finally dear friends, His Eminence Cardinal Roger Mahoney tells us:
'All Catholics, [are] not bitter at the Church'.
'Tis true, His Eminence is correct; real Catholics are not bitter at the Church, because the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ! If we were bitter at it, we would be bitter at Christ, which is a serious sin. I personally am not bitter at the Cardinals either. I just pray that they come to a realization as to what is the foundation of the Spirit of Vatican II and the so-called 'modernization' process it seeks to impose on the Church, that is, a foundation of quicksand!
Dixit Dóminus Dómino meo: Sede a dextris meis.
The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at My right hand.
April 10, 2002
volume 13, no. 68
FEED MY SHEEP