On January 7, 1975 Pope Paul VI appointed him Bishop and on the Feast of Saint Joseph two months later he was installed as Auxiliary Bishop of Fresno under Bishop Hugh Donohue, who had succeeded Cardinal Timothy Manning. Bishop Mahony was also named Titular Bishop of Tamascani. Five years later he was named by Pope John Paul II to replace the retired Bishop Merlin J. Guilfoyle in the Diocese of Stockton on April 17, 1980 and installed a week later on April 25th. He remained in this central California area until the resignation of Cardinal Manning, who had been appointed to head the vast Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1970. His retirement necessitated a replacement and the Holy Father appointed him Archbishop of Los Angeles on July 15, 1985 and he was installed at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral on September 5th of the same year. Thus he became the first native Los Angeleno to attain such status.
In 1991, the Pope deliberated over who to appoint cardinal in the United States, deciding between Archbishop Mahony and Archbishop John L. May of St. Louis. In both archdioceses a cardinal had preceded them - Cardinal Manning in LA and Cardinal John Joseph Carberry in St. Louis; so many thought both might be chosen, but the Holy Father chose Archbishop Mahony only perhaps because of Archbishop May's age and health for the latter resigned a year later and died two years later of cancer. Thus, in the Consistory of June 28, 1991 Cardinal Mahony received the red-hat and the titular church of Four Crowned Saints.
Because of his heritage and involvement in human rights, he serves membership on the Congregation for Justice and Peace. He also has curial membership in the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, which is a natural considering he represents the hub of communications - Hollywood. Perhaps it is his mentality of growing up in the liberal hotbed of Southern California, perhaps it is his association with the equally liberal Chavez and the farm workers, perhaps it is his indoctrination with the "spirit of Vatican II," perhaps it is a combination of other factors but one thing is definitely conclusive: Cardinal Mahony is one of the liberal spokesmen for the American Church and has had his share of controversies during his tenure as head of four million Catholics in the largest west coast see. One of those controversies is, of course, his spat with Mother Angelica who took him to task on her "Mother Angelica Live" show on EWTN for his September 4, 1997 Guide for Sunday Mass document and November 3, 1998 decree "Gather Faithfully Together" which Mother found many things wrong with, especially that priests comply by 1999 or face the consequences even though it had not been sanctioned by Rome. The two of them went at it hot and heavy and Cardinal Mahony threatened to have Mother silenced. It was shortly after that comment that Mother was miraculously healed of her crippled condition. We do know that Cardinal Mahony did go to Rome, we don't know what was discussed between him and the Pope; but we also know it has been very, very quiet since for Mother was truly speaking on behalf of the orthodox Roman Catholic Faith. She has long been a thorn in the side of the liberal bishops who have sought to either silence her or prejudice others against her network, but in this latest showdown it seems Cardinal Mahony is the one who blinked. In all respect for his office as bishop, we write this in total loyalty to Rome. Our views are in agreement with Mother Angelica and are adverse to many things that the Cardinal advocates in his Pastoral Letter on the Eucharist. As to be expected, because of his youth (he is only 63) and American views, many American modernists are pushing for his papability as the spokesman for the new left, but Cardinal Mahony is even to the right of the other liberal candidate Cardinal Carlo Martini, S.J. of Milan who we will cover next week. Despite his modernistic views, Cardinal Mahony has spoken out strongly against the increasing slease and violence permeated by the Hollywood establishment and, because of his roots and respect, many movie moguls are taking his words seriously. We hope and pray he will continue this trend and continue to uphold human rights for all as he has exemplified throughout his priestly life.
Yet “the lay faithful too, precisely as members of the Church, have the vocation and mission of proclaiming the Gospel: they are prepared for this work by the sacraments of Christian initiation and by the gifts of the Holy Spirit”. (239) They have been “in their own way made sharers in the priestly, prophetic and kingly functions of Christ”. (240) Consequently, “the lay faithful, in virtue of their participation in the prophetic mission of Christ, are fully part of this work of the Church” (241) and so should feel called and encouraged to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. Jesus' words: “You too, go into the vineyard” (Mt 20:4), (242) must be seen as addressed not only to the Apostles but to all who desire to be authentic disciples of the Lord.
The basic task for which Jesus sends out his disciples is the proclamation of the Good News, that is, evangelization (cf. Mk 16:15-18). Consequently, “to evangelize is the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her most profound identity”. (243) As I have said on other occasions, the new and unique situation in which the world and the Church find themselves at the threshold of the Third Millennium, and the urgent needs which result, mean that the mission of evangelization today calls for a new program which can be defined overall as a “new evangelization”. (244) As the Church's Supreme Pastor, I urgently desire to encourage all the members of God's People, particularly those living in America — where I first appealed for a commitment “new in its ardor, methods and expression” (245) — to take up this project and to cooperate in carrying it out. In accepting this mission, everyone should keep in mind that the vital core of the new evangelization must be a clear and unequivocal proclamation of the person of Jesus Christ, that is, the preaching of his name, his teaching, his life, his promises and the Kingdom which he has gained for us by his Paschal Mystery. (246)
Individual Christians will be able to carry out their mission effectively to the extent that they make the life of the Son of God made man the perfect model for their work of spreading the Gospel. The simplicity of his manner and his choices must be normative for everyone in the work of evangelization. In this perspective, the poor will certainly be considered among the first to be evangelized, following the example of Christ, who said of himself: “The Spirit of the Lord . . . has anointed me to preach good news to the poor” (Lk 4:18). (250)
As I have already noted, love for the poor must be preferential, but not exclusive. The Synod Fathers observed that it was in part because of an approach to the pastoral care of the poor marked by a certain exclusiveness that the pastoral care for the leading sectors of society has been neglected and many people have thus been estranged from the Church. (251) The damage done by the spread of secularism in these sectors — political or economic, union-related, military, social or cultural — shows how urgent it is that they be evangelized, with the encouragement and guidance of the Church's Pastors, who are called by God to care for everyone. They will be able to count on the help of those who — fortunately still numerous — have remained faithful to Christian values. In this regard the Synod Fathers have recognized “the commitment of many leaders to building a just and fraternal society”. (252) With their support, Pastors will face the not easy task of evangelizing these sectors of society. With renewed fervor and updated methods, they will announce Christ to leaders, men and women alike, insisting especially on the formation of consciences on the basis of the Church's social doctrine. This formation will act as the best antidote to the not infrequent cases of inconsistency and even corruption marking socio-political structures. Conversely, if this evangelization of the leadership sector is neglected, it should not come as a surprise that many who are a part of it will be guided by criteria alien to the Gospel and at times openly contrary to it.
She is called to proclaim that Christ is indeed the Living One, the Son of God, who became man, died and rose again. He alone is the Savior of every person and of the whole person; as the Lord of history, he is constantly at work in the Church and in the world through his Spirit, until the end of time. This presence of the Risen One in the Church makes it possible for us to encounter him, thanks to the invisible working of his life-giving Spirit. This encounter takes place in the faith received from and lived in the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. The encounter with Christ then has an essentially ecclesial dimension, and it leads to a life commitment. Indeed, “to encounter the living Christ means to accept the love by which he loves us first, to choose him, to adhere freely to his person and his plan, which consists in proclaiming and in bringing about the Kingdom of God”. (254)
The calling gives rise to a search for Jesus: “'Rabbi' (which means Teacher), 'where are you staying'. He said to them: 'Come and see'. They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed that day with him” (Jn 1:38-39). This “staying” is not limited to the day of one's call, but rather extends to the whole of life. To follow Jesus involves living as he lived, accepting his message, adopting his way of thinking, embracing his destiny and sharing his project, which is the plan of the Father: it involves inviting everyone to communion with the Trinity and to communion among ourselves in a just and fraternal society”. (255) The burning desire to invite others to encounter the One whom we have encountered is the start of the evangelizing mission to which the whole Church is called. This mission has become particularly urgent today in America, five hundred years after the first evangelization, as we prepare to commemorate with gratitude the two thousandth anniversary of the coming of the only-begotten Son of God into the world.
NEXT MONDAY: Installment twenty-two - Chapter Six: THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH IN AMERICA TODAY: THE NEW EVANGELIZATION Sent by Christ
This retro summer we present each Monday the best of Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW
This summer on Monday's we will present the opportunity to review any of Pat Ludwa's thirty-two columns for this year. Original ones will run in Thursday's issues, but in Monday's issues we bring you these archives. For Pat's past columns, click on VIEW FROM THE PEW ARCHIVES
On this day I want all of My children to recall that I Who Am command of you that this day be given fully to Me, Creator of all.
Dear children, in all of your lives how much time do you give to Me, Who created you, loves you, awaits you in Eternity? Do you take Me with you in every moment; not just in church, My children, where My True Presence is there at Holy Communion and in the Blessed Sacrament, but in all things? Do you realize how infinitely I care about you? If you did, your life would be transformed and the Immaculate Heart of My Holy Mother would triumph now, for that is My Mercy to you.
But I do solemnly tell you this day has become a superficial day of praise and worship to and for Me. You now use this day in idleness of mind and, of greater sorrow, idleness of soul. You do nothing to come closer to Me, and instead move closer to the reign of the antichrist.
Therefore, I solemnly tell you, little children, return this, the Lord's Day to Me and renew all faith in your life, for only then shall you be prepared as I will, for I come!
Dear children, I beseech you! Make good use of these days in order to prepare yourselves for your own ascent of Calvary. Do you still not understand my words to you, which tell you of the great spiritual darkness and the trials you must endure?
Come, little children! Come and allow me to lead you on the Way of the Cross. Follow me, your Mother, as I follow my Divine Son. O! How sorrowful I am because so many of my little ones fast and mortify themselves, not out of pure love for my Divine Son, but rather out of an unacknowledged pride which says to the world: "Behold me. Imitate my way, for am I not holy?"
No, little children of my Immaculate Heart, this is not the true way of prayer, sacrifice and mortification. The true way is to make all of your supplications from your heart, and to seek to let no one see your efforts. That is why you must pray from your heart, so that your own ego neither sees nor acknowledges these spiritual exercises.
O! This Lenten Season is vital for you in order to be more fully prepared for all that is to come upon the world.
Therefore, I do solemnly tell you that you must take seriously my words. You are to fast, to pray, to mortify yourselves and go as frequently as possible to Holy Mass and Communion. Penance should be weekly if it is at all possible for you to receive this great Sacrament.
Pray, my little ones! These are the days when unto you will be given many signs. But if you are not open to the Holy Spirit you will not recognize them, and thus you shall be found weak of faith.
Join your prayers to mine, that in my intercession God may grant each of you full conversion of heart so you may be in the Refuge of His Most Sacred and Sorrowful Heart.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!