Patrick Brennan reports some troubling news, as if it could get any more bizarre:
The Los Angeles Times expresses confusion, as we all should, about what the heck is going on in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Three months ago, Archbishop Gomez relieved his predecessor, Roger Cardinal Mahony, of "public duties" in the Archdiocese, including, according to a spokesman for the Archdiocese at the time of Archbishop Gomez's announcement, celebrating the sacrament of confirmation. At the moment, however, the Cardinal is traveling around the Archdiocese celebrating that sacrament "every week" (his own words) and telling those who question him about it to "go home now" (his words). Meanwhile, Archbishop Gomez refuses to comment.
Cardinal Mahony's mishandling of his clergy's abuse of children boggles the mind and saddens the heart. A decade after Cardinal Law was pressured into resigning for his own mishandling of such abuse, Mahony continued the mishandling right up until he submitted his resignation as required at the age of 75, and his successor, who surely knew much or all of what Mahony had done to hide the abuse, distanced himself and the Archdiocese from Mahony only when files Mahony had endlessly litigated to keep secret became public. Two years Archbishop Gomez waited, and when at last he relieved Mahony of his "public duties," he did so only for purposes of a phony publicity stunt, it would now seem.
Only the Pope can discipline a Cardinal, but Archbishop Gomez has jurisdiction over the confirmation schedule in his own Archdiocese. We can hope that Pope Francis will ground Cardinal Mahony and turn off his self-serving blog. We can also hope that Archbishop Gomez will do right by the faithful of his Archdiocese and *in fact* relieve Cardinal Mahony of his public duties in the Archdiocese. Members of the hierarchy need to stop scandalizing the faithful. Enough already. It is Cardinal Mahony who should "go home now." If Pope Francis seeks to "rebuild" the Church, Cardinal Mahony's public presence is only impeding that all-important work. Public penance for the Cardinal would be a help to that work on which turns, after all, the salvation of souls. Archbishop Gomez's integrity is on the line here as well, and the jury -- including in the form of the LA Times -- is observing the evidence as it pours in.