I have to confess, I am somewhat cynical when it comes to believing that dissenter-cardinals who have scandalized their flocks for decades in complete arrogance are likely to change. And, yes, that means you, Cardinal Mahony. In fact, Roger Mahony has done more to destroy the faith in the U.S. than most cardinals. Not only was Mahony a major enabler of child sex abuse, but his West Coast catechetical conference is an ongoing scandal that undermines the faith of catechists and therefore the children they teach. Mahony is a double whammy child abuser: enable children's physcial abuse and enable their spiritual abuse as well. And do it unapologetically for years and years and years.
So pardon me please if I'm a bit of a skeptic when I read about Mahony's new "call to humiliation?" And, frankly, I don't see much humility in his description. Here's a little of what Mahony wrote on his "humiliation" blog post:
Given all of the storms that have surrounded me and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles recently, God's grace finally helped me to understand: I am not being called to serve Jesus in humility. Rather, I am being called to something deeper--to be humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many.
I was not ready for this challenge. Ash Wednesday changed all of that, and I see Lent 2013 as a special time to reflect deeply upon this special call by Jesus.
In the past several days, I have experienced many examples of being humiliated. In recent days, I have been confronted in various places by very unhappy people. I could understand the depth of their anger and outrage--at me, at the Church, at about injustices that swirl around us.
Thanks to God's special grace, I simply stood there, asking God to bless and forgive them (my emphasis).Excuse me, Mahony is not the one to forgive anyone! He is fully deserving of every bit of humiliation he receives. In fact, he belongs in jail for aiding and abetting.This is a man who covered up and used diocesan lawyers, and spent the money collected from the faithful to prevent the truth EVER being known. It was only the opening of thousands of pages of files documenting abuse, in some cases of priests who assaulted dozens of victims over years, that exposed how criminally irresponsible Mahony was! And yet, he's the one "forgiving?" (Well, he was just naive, you see. And besides, he's said he was sorry. What more can anyone want?)
I would believe his post a lot more if he said he THANKED every person who humiliated him and begged THEIR forgiveness. He's the one to be on his knees striking his breast in a mea culpa for all the children he helped abuse, sending the child rapists back into ministry to rape again. As for being naive, how many brains does it take to recognize that raping children is a criminal offense?
Mahony is like every other liberal caught in horrifying misdeeds: just say you're sorry and move on. I'll believe he's sorry when he publicly repents of all the damage he's done with his dissent and undermining of church teachings throughout his career and then goes into a monastery to atone in prayer and penance. But I doubt that will happen too soon because Mahony is looking forward to flying off to Rome (first class?) to lobby with the progressive wing of the hierarchy for a pope who will "modernize" the Church. And there are those who will forgive him anything as long as he supports women ordination and other heterodox positions which are much more important than defending the children (born or unborn). It's instructive to remember that some doctrines of the Church, by Mahony's own admission, are above his pay grade.
Fortunately, for the orthodox, we know that the Holy Spirit is the one inspiring the election and the term of the next pope. So even if the worst possible cardinal is chosen to succeed Benedict, the Church will be protected in her doctrinal truth.
As for Mahony, his legacy has finally caught up with him and it's not a pretty one, unlike his nemesis, Mother Angelica. I imagine Mother, despite Mahony's attack on her, is engaging in serious prayer for his conversion. That would be a good Lenten practice for us all since Our Blessed Lord admonished us often to "pray for our enemies." It's clear that the enemies within need our prayers as much or more than those outside!
Legacies of Mother Angelica and Cardinal Mahony