That Times story, by the way, sits right next to a big story, photo and all, that glorifies Catholic pro-abortion politician Nancy Pelosi.
Basically, the article about the Cardinal says the clergy abuse and hierarchy-enabling-and-coverup scandal has eroded his moral authority and his political power, and so has the rise of Latino politicians to such political heights they think they no longer need his help.
The story cites Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez's public defiance of the Church on the death-by-doctor pending legislation AB374 -- as if Catholic politicians defying the Church on the right to life is something new! We have news for the Times about that.
The article is really an essay, not a news story with facts. It does have a photo of Cardinal Mahony beaming and applauding beside Catholic pro-abortion politician Antonio Villaraigosa as he gesticulates exuberantly during his inauguration as L.A.'s mayor.
That photo captures the real reason for loss of clout by the Cardinal: He has backed the Catholic anti-life politicians, worked with them and done them many favors even as they have defied him for decades to push the killings of millions of California babies -- and, now, to push euthanasia.
Catholic bishops who do that sell their birthright for a mess of pottage; and then we hear, in someone's phrase, the unmistakable flapping sound of chickens coming home to roost.