DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     July 19, 1999     vol. 10, no. 133


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      Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we spotlight each member of the Conclave in alphabetical order. We find this necessary as our dear Sovereign Pontiff Pope John Paul II grows older, clinging to hope, as we join him, of seeing the light of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart with the dawn of the new millennium - the Jubilee Year 2000. How much longer this 264th successor of Peter has left on this earth only God knows for sure, but His Divine Mercy is evident in allowing him to be with us this long for he truly is a saint for our times, truly Christ's Vicar on earth in these waning days before the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Time of Peace, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Pentecost, the Second Advent, the Age of the Holy Spirit. What 1999 will bring we have no idea, nor does anyone else, but with John Paul II at the helm, we feel much more secure in knowing God's Will will be done. Nevertheless, we want to preview the future Pope whether that be soon or much, much later, for no one lives forever and eventually one of those prelates will be selected as the 265th successor of Peter. This will give the reader a better insight into the man whom the Holy Spirit will move the conclave to choose. Thus we bring the reader vignettes on each cardinal in alphabetical order gleaned from the Catholic Almanac, The Official Catholic Directory, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

76.   Cardinal Roger M. Mahony

          Cardinal Roger M. Mahony is no stranger to controversy. He was born on February 27, 1936 during the dawning of the talking motion picture in the shadow of the Hollywood studios as a tremendous transformation was taking place. He grew up in the atmosphere of the glitz and glamour that is his birthplace - Hollywood, California. He entered the seminary at the height of the Hollywood black-list controversy that engulfed the industry in a fear campaign. He was a trend-setter in being one of the first students to enroll at Our Lady of the Angels in Mission Hills. At the close of the age of innocence he was ordained a priest on May 1, 1962 in the Fresno Diocese. Soon after he was assigned to the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. After receiving his degree he returned to the west coast where he became Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities and Social Services. In addition he joined the faculty at Coalinga College in Fresno. It was in these two duties where he became more involved and concerned for the growing Spanish community, prompting him to join the Administrative Council of the Episcopal Committee for Hispanics. This prompted his interest in helping form an ad hoc committee that the NCCB officially sanctioned for farm workers as he worked closely with activist Cesar Chavez for human rights for the workers. His endeavors earned him the Fresno Junior Chamber of Commerce's "Young Man of the Year" award in 1967.

          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.

July 19, 1999       volume 10, no. 133


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