Why is Cardinal Mahoney going to Rome and voting for the next Pope????!!!!?????

If a priest molests a child he should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He should be immediately dismissed. He should serve jail time. Molesting a child is a criminal act and it should be treated as such.

Furthermore, any church authority who is complicit should also be held accountable. This includes covering up the priest’s actions, refusing to cooperate with police investigations and/or shipping the priest off to a different parish.

There must be a 100% zero tolerance for the molestation of children and I’m absolutely appalled by the decades long coverups that have gone on under Cardinal Mahoney’s watch in Los Angeles.

In light of the release of records that show Cardinal Mahoney actively engaged in the coverup of child molestation, I really cannot believe Cardinal Mahoney is still going to Rome to vote for the next Pope.

This is disgusting and outrageous!!!! HOW is this happening?

I am absolutely HORRIFIED by the sickening, decades-long coverups that directly perpetuated the abuse of children. I am beyond angry. I am OUTRAGED!!!!

I am angry on behalf of the victims!

I am angry at the priests who knew about this and participated in covering it up!

I am angry at fellow Catholics who say these scandals are being overblown by the media!

I am angry at fellow Catholics who say the priests’ sins are the result of a “sex-saturated” culture! NO! The priests criminal acts are the result of their OWN decisions. They are responsible!

I am angry about the utter disregard for children! It is an utter mockery for us Catholics to say we uphold the right to life and are very “pro-children” when thousands and thousands of our children are being sexually molested.

I am also angry on behalf of the good, honest and sincere priests who live holy lives and who are suffering as the result of the criminal acts of their fellow priests! I have such respect for the priests who so kindly and humbly helped me into the Church. My heart breaks for these men.

Judgment begins with the house of God. Period. When we refuse to clean our own house, God allows others to clean it for us. I want a full and complete accounting of all wrongdoing. I want 100% transparency! I want the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to seek outside help. I want safeguards. I want background checks. I want humility and contrition.

This is a complete STENCH in the nose of God and I am actually GRATEFUL for the news media and for the watchdog groups and for the advocacy groups that are going after this.

Yes, I am Catholic and I love the Church with all my heart! And it is that LOVE which compels me to demand purity, honesty and transparency!

Cardinal Mahoney, please recuse yourself from voting in the papal conclave!

  • KatR

    This, this, this. The continued apathy and arrogance of the Catholic Church leadership embroiled in this is an affront to the abuse survivors and their families, as well as the Catholics who care about the well being of children. You all deserve so much better than what you are getting.

  • http://likesunshineinthehome.blogspot.com/ Sarah H

    So sad…and frustrating.

  • Tara S

    What? WHAT? Somebody lock him in a shed before he gets to the airport. That is mind bogglingly unacceptable.

  • Pam M

    The Catholic church has a lot to offer, but this is a really big issue. I moved from a legalistic Evangelical upbringing all the way to becoming an Episcopalian but could not go further down that road to Catholicism because of the prevalence of child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church (plus to a lesser degree the restrictions around women in ministry). We live near Boston, which was ground zero for the expose that started it all. I am glad to hear that you are speaking out against this. p.s. Just started reading your blog and think it’s great.

    • http://devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog/ Devin Rose

      Pam, be on guard against similarly awful, disgusting abuse in the Episcopal church. And in schools, and in other places. Do not let your guard down.

      • Pam M.

        Good advice. I did not mean to imply that any church (or school or organization) is 100% innocent. Everyone needs to be watch for both individual and systemic problems.

        • http://devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog/ Devin Rose

          No worries, Pam. Just wanted to make sure you didn’t have a false sense of security. Ironically, after these terrible crimes have been uncovered, Catholic parishes and schools are some of the safest places for children. Even so, with our children we scrutinize every program and the people involved: Mother’s Day Out, preschool, etc.: who works there? Who cleans? What controls are in place there? God love ya and may He keep all our children safe!

    • Anonymous

      The Catholic Church is not alone with this problem. Right now it is the church being talked about. There has been a lot of light turned on our Church. Praise God. In a way, it makes our church safer. There is a lot more awareness than there used to be. And less denial.

  • http://twitter.com/NatalieTrust Natalie Trust

    Oh it is such a mess…and I am heartsick over it. I was appalled by it BEFORE I converted, but now it sickens me even more.

    Apart from an act of God, he will vote. It is Church law. I don’t think the Church knows what to do with crimes of this nature on a global scale. They desperately need to reevaluate proceedings.

  • Rachel

    Bravo! I love the energy you have around this!

  • Calee

    This is exactly why we joined the Orrhodox Church with her married priests. We loved what we saw in the Catholic Tradition but couldn’t get past the scandal hurdle.

    • http://devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog/ Devin Rose

      Calee, married clergy is not the remedy for perversion of those who abuse children or adolescents. As I said to Pam, be vigilant wherever your children are.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, it’s not about celibacy or being married. This is about sexual deviancy. That isn’t cured by getting married! I mean, we saw this going on at a secular institution: Penn State football!!!

        • KatR

          Right. When an abuser works his way into a system where there is great power and great incentive to protect that power, it’s hard to find anyone willing to speak out.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, I agree.

    • Anonymous

      You know, it’s not the celibacy vs. marriage thing that bothers me, here. If someone is sexually deviant, then getting married isn’t gonna be the magical cure. In fact, it will just hurt MORE people (wife, future children, etc.). The issue, here, is sexual deviancy. Period. It’s not about being able to have sex or get married.

      • Marie

        So true. Look at how many married men in the Southern Baptist churches have been guilty of molestation!

      • http://twitter.com/DandelionHaven Kateri

        Yes, exactly. One of my sisters was molested by a MARRIED greek orthodox priest.

      • Anonymous

        I so agree and I get tired of that “reason” given for why priests abuse children. I was molested by my father. He was married.
        Sexual abuse of children is a societal problem and exists everywhere. Most, if not all, religions, schools, organizations involving children. Families. Remember Penn State?
        We have to stop making it just the problem of a few. It is not just a Catholic problem. It is a serious problem in society and we all need to work on getting rid of it.

  • rapunzel77

    Amen! I am sickened by all the crap that is going on in the Church. It is very painful to deal with but hang in there. In fact, that is what we must do as Catholics. I think it will take a very long time, probably not within our lifetimes for this to be cleaned out. Basically, there are a bunch of folks within the Curia and the hierarchy itself that are covering up not only these sex abuse scandals but other stuff. It is so entrenched. This is probably the main reason why our dear Holy Father is stepping down. He is too weak to deal with this horrible situation. May God have mercy on us and pray, pray, pray that we get a good, holy Pope. As for as Mahoney, has he gone to Rome yet? IF not, he should be arrested ASAP!

    • KatR

      “I think it will take a very long time, probably not within our lifetimes for this to be cleaned out.”

      Ok, I am not and have never been Catholic, so maybe I’m not understanding something, but why does it have to take this long? Why has it taken this long? Why doesn’t the Pope say that the records will immediately be opened to the authorities? Why doesn’t he direct the Cardinals and Bishops to immediately tell what they know about abusive priests?

      • Christine

        The problem is that there’s a lot of inertia. If the reflexive actions are to hide & cover-up & make excuses, it will take a long time (and rely on attrition) to actually fix that, no matter what instructions are passed down. This has as much to do with the size of the Catholic church as with anything else.

        • KatR

          That does make sense, bureaucracy is hard to overcome, regardless of the institution.

          • Anonymous

            There is an article on NCR website by John Allen about all that Pope Benedict has done about this and some of the bureaucratic and regional problems. For example, there are actually countries where child sexual abuse is not against the law! Lord, have mercy.

          • Amy Rosenthal

            I’m sure that makes it much more difficult for the church to address. How awful that that is still the case anywhere in the 21st Century!

          • http://www.fromtracie.com From Tracie

            I understand that the fact the abuse is not against the law means that the abuser will not be prosecuted. BUT the church could still remove the abuser from his position.

        • Anonymous

          Agreed that the CC is a huge institution. But all it takes is one lone voice calling out in the wilderness. Remember, this is a spiritual issue, too. If God wants to break in, all He needs are a few people willing to speak up!!

      • Anonymous

        Here’s the thing: I really DON’T think it has to take that long. Countries have fallen overnight. Institutions fall apart in a day. Eradicating abuse and corruption doesn’t have to take an “entire lifetime.” This could be done in two weeks time.

  • Anonymous

    “When we refuse to clean our own house, God allows others to clean it for us.” Well put. I have no patience for my fellow Catholics who think media scrutiny of predators and those who cover for them is “anti-Catholic” (although I have to say that I *think,* not sure, but I think that those people are simply a loud minority). It’s true that even Christ had Judas in his midst, so there have been betrayers since the beginning. But why would people not want a cancer excised?

    I’m a lifelong Catholic and share all the concerns, disgust, outrage that you outline above. My bafflement is that Mahony is too what ? arrogant, obtuse? – to recuse himself. And his fellow bishops are too what ? arrogant, obtuse, tone-deaf, cowardly? – to force the issue. I really don’t know what the problem is, but it is truly unbelievable.

    I’m a nurse and if it were exposed that there was a chronic problem of nurses abusing patients and supervisors covering it up, I would WANT the individuals involved out of nursing. For every reason. I wouldn’t be involved in any professional organization or events that they were a part of, and I’d probably be complaining about it to everyone who would listen. Why don’t our bishops do the same? Even if it would just be for selfish reasons, like restoring a bit of their shredded credibility?

  • beth

    Amen! I am completely bewildered by this issue. The church has not removed a single cardinal or bishop who has covered up sex abuse. This greatly diminishes the ability of the church to be a moral leader. I am just as outraged as you are. Truthfully, I have no respect for the hierarchy as a result of this lack of accountability.

    • Anonymous

      Pope Benedict did remove a Latin American priest (Maciel, I believe?) who molested lots of children–but only a few months before the guy died. :(

  • ShyVi

    Maybe you have been brought to the Catholic church, Ester, “for such a time as this” and to fight fornthe rights of the children and to demand that the priests fulfill their vows of abstinence.

  • Tamara

    Amen, Elizabeth. Amen. And to any who think this is just a Catholic problem, no, sorry. It’s just not. Protestant churches are full of the same hypocrisy when it comes to the care of children. We put our Cardinal Mahoneys on the boards of huge Christian universities and make them presidents of mission boards and we wouldn’t DARE take away their ordination–goodness knows it was hard enough to rip the ordination from the abuser, God forbid we try to clean His house of the ones who looked the other way. And, no, marriage has precious little to do with it, ever abuser from my childhood was “happily” married. This, this, this is what is killing the faith. Not “liberal” theology, not homosexuality debates, not ANY of the things that Christian publishing LOVES to talk about. It is this utter, disgusting refusal to be held accountable for sins against children. You don’t have to be the abuser to be complicit in the sin AND the abuse. And this. turns. people. away. period.

    • http://twitter.com/NatalieTrust Natalie Trust

      Tamara, thank you for what you said. Just. All. Of. It.

      I grow so weary of hearing the argument that if priests were allowed to marry then the abuse wouldn’t have happened.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you.

  • http://www.wideopenground.com/ Lana

    Way to go Elizabeth Esther!

  • TheresaEH
  • http://www.facebook.com/do.kraatz Doreen Kraatz

    if ur so angry, why dont u sue this and all the other fools?

  • Amy Rosenthal

    I am equally disgusted, although I believe the poster who linked the article below is correct, per canon law, every cardinal must arrive at the conclave for it to convene. Even those over 80 who cannot vote must be there, though they will not participate once it is officially opened. Now…the question remains, is it possible under current canon law for him to remove himself once in it opens, be removed by others, or abstain from voting (by his own choice or the agreement of the other cardinals). In the event that it is permissible for him to remain present but be forced to abstain, we would likely never know that happened due to the secrecy of the voting process.

    As to the idea that the church has done nothing, this bothers me a lot. There needs to be more reform without a doubt, but steps have been taken to protect children and they are wise and valid. As a former teacher in a Catholic school, I can tell you that every employee in Catholic schools around the country is subject to a background check and must attend workshops that train you to recognize signs of abuse and of children being groomed. In many dioceses, every volunteer who works with children in a parish is also required to go through the workshop. Rules are in place and communicated in the workshops regarding no child being in one on one situations with any adult. Schools are supposed to require two adult coaches or sponsors for all extracurricular activities. In our diocese, priests annually attend a two day seminar on these issues. As an example of safeguards in our parish, a parent is required to attend altar serving training with each child and to accompany him/her when arriving to serve at a mass. As a point of contrast, in the two largest public schools in my state, teachers are only subject to background checks at the time of initial certification (when they complete college) and support staff (secretaries, paraprofessionals, janitors, bus drivers, non-certified substitute teachers, etc…) are not required to have background checks at all. The American church has taken steps to protect children. More can be done, by all means, but the issue has not been ignored at the ground level when it pertains to the people in direct contact with our children.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for writing this. It is the same with our diocese. Every employee is fingerprinted and must attend those workshops. Volunteers too. And children in our religious ed classes and Catholic schools are taught about sexual abuse, using age appropriate materials. People need to go to the USCCB website and read all they are doing. All of us need to be educated in order to prevent child sexual abuse. More is being done than a lot of people realize.

      • Amy Rosenthal

        Yes. I forgot the component where children are taught as well. Here a wonderful curriculum that is age appropriate for each level called “Circle of Grace” is used in Catholic schools and parish catechesis programs.

  • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

    I have only blogged about this a few times and have only been blasted by Catholics. The RC Bishop in our KC area covered up abuses and did a plea deal with the District Attorney. He remains in office as the current Pope has proven incapable to discipline folks like Bishop Finn. I join you in your anger but I am not hopeful that anything will change with a new Pope. The real question is how long will Roman Catholics tolerate such behavior by tacitly supporting the church with their time and resources.

  • http://cuppboard.blogspot.com Elizabeth Erazo

    In my opinion, the Catholic Church can do all the education it likes, and enforce multiple “requirements” about altar children, but until members of the hierarchy begin cooperating with authorities and honoring victims rather than covering for each other and making fumbling half-apologies, this sickness won’t be healed.

  • Sheryl

    If Cardinal Mahoney resigned he wouldn’t have to go to the conclave, as far as I can see from Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s resignation today

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21572724

  • http://thehomespunlife.com Sisterlisa

    I don’t think clergy should ever be in a position to decide for the lives of others anyway. We’re all equal in God’s eyes and hierarchy is not part of his Kingdom.

  • HAROLD melton

    Why is it that if you don’t
    approve of homosexual acts you are homophobic or prejudiced? Homosexuals want
    to deny CHRISTians that believes that homosexuality is a sin based of their
    belief of their written Bible that was inspired by God.

    Bible is very clear about homosexual
    behavior and other sin of the flesh. It is written about “forbidden sex” in
    Leviticus chapter 18 &20, and in Roman 1:26.27, Genesis 6:4;19:4,5,; Jude
    6,7, Roman 7, and very important Chapter 1 Timothy 2:4, and also 1 Corinthians 6:9,10.
    15,16: and in Genesis 2: 18-25 God made women for man, not man for man or women
    for women. There are God’s laws and
    there are Man’s laws, only ONE will get you into God’s Kingdom. If you do not
    believe that is a God, you better be right.

    It states in Deuteronomy 22:5: “The woman
    shall not wear that which pertained unto a man, neither shall a man put on a
    woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy
    God.”