Jul 17, 2007

The L.A. Times ... and what we need to do

Today's Los Angeles Times goes after Cardinal Mahony with front-page stories (click on this post's title), a lead editorial, letters to the editor, an op-ed piece and a column by Steve Lopez.

We should pray for people to not lose their faith over the scandals, of course. We should counsel and encourage anyone who is wavering by reminding them that we should never let any scandal separate us from Jesus and His Church, which unlike others has the full Bible and has Jesus truly present in every tabernacle.

We should also pray for a renewal of holiness, resolve and vigor among every Catholic in our Archdiocese, so that we not only withstand the scandal, we take initiative: We must do our part as never before to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ far and wide. It is up to you and me and all of us to bring back the fallen-away and to win new souls for Christ and His Church.

And an essential part of Catholic witness today must be pro-life work, because it touches on the biggest moral and social wrongs today, so many people's involvement in the killings of millions of babies in the womb and in the fornication and adultery that lead to the baby-killing.


Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Quintero, L.A. Catholics also must demand that Rome act to remove Mahony as archbishop. NOW! He has proven himself to be lax in doctrine, infatuated with power and access to those who have it, willing to intimidate subordinates to keep them in line (in direct opposition to Jesus' command in John that those who hold power in his name must serve instead of lord it over others) and has shown himself to be an incompetent, malfeasant administrator.

Prayer is wonderful, Quintero, but prayer is not enough. God gave us minds, wills and the Holy Spirit to help us discern between truth and fallacy, good and evil. Did Jesus pray for the hypocritical religious leaders of his day? Or did he confront them vigorously, even to the point of fashioning a whip to drive the moneychangers out of the Temple?

Issues like the Motu Propio are irrelevant when those who hold power in God's name act as medieval potentates rather than servants of the Living God. Mahony has acted this way ever since receiving the red hat, if not before.

Enough is enough! We must stand united to get rid of this corrupt archbishop. Otherwise, we are not men.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc. said...


Jesus may have well prayed for the hypocritical leaders while at the same time pointing out their gross hypocricy and "confronting them vigorously"!

How can we expect Rome to get rid of Mahony while Levada is where he is at? Pray for our Church!

God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like it or not, Cardinal Roger Mahony is, by the grace of God and the favor of the Apostolic See, archbishop of Los Angeles in California. Rather than treating this issue politically, trying to lobby the Holy See for his removal, let us take the more Christ-like path and pray for our archbishop more fervently than ever before. Let us recommit to our communion wth him for it is through him that we are in communion with Apostolic See and the Vicar of Christ on Earth. The cardinal needs our support, not a petty attitude that says, "Good, he's down...now let's go for the jugular."

4:19 PM  
Blogger Hoodlum said...

You know, for all the complaining that Traditionalists do about the behavior of SanFran people, it seems they've emerged relatively unscathed from this scandal.

Perhaps this is a sign from Jesus that their ways are correct.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Paul said...


I agree with you that we should pray for, counsel and encourage those who have let the Cardinal's handling of the scandal get between them and the Church. It is one of the saddest consequences of the scandal that huge numbers of Catholics in LA have stopped attending Mass directly due to the duplicity of our cardinal archbishop. I have met dozens of such people over the last year. They would never consider "changing churches", but can't get past the fact that the Cardinal is still here despite all of his shenanigans and the "contradicting" statements that have emerged. I can't tell you how many times I have heard, "how can the Church continue to support a bishop whose public actions are in opposition to Church teaching?" I must tell you, I have yet to come up with a good answer. I pray that our nuncio is on the case and that the Holy Father does not wait until February 2011 to rectify this situation.

Paul in Long Beach

12:31 PM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Let us recommit to our communion wth him for it is through him that we are in communion with Apostolic See and the Vicar of Christ on Earth.

anonymous, Mahony is counting on that kind of attitude to survive and to avoid accountability. It is nothing but sanctimonious cowardice. Being a Christian does not mean being a doormat. It means standing up for Christ and for those under His care -- particularly the innocent -- when those who have been appointed to do so fail or refuse.

If this is the best that Catholic men can do, then Catholicism has really become a religion for weak-kneed and weak-spined mollycoddles.

We as Catholics have the moral responsibility before a holy, righteous God to confront the malfeasant who abuse power in His name. If we do not do this, He will hold us to account -- more so if we use the kind of sanctimonious excuses that you unwittingly provide.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Joe from Long Beach said...

Unfortunately, the phenomenon of so many Los Angeles Catholics feeling 'indecisive' about what clearly needs to be done to deal with the issue of Cardinal Mahoney's involvement and mishandling of the Priest abuse scandal is frighteningly similar to the actions of the enabling and duplicitous family members of child molesters themselves. Feeling a deep sense of shame, they stay in a perpetual state of denial as to the monstrous acts being perpetrated, choosing, instead to 'save face' and stay silent rather than actually confront the issue directly and risk causing the molester to be exposed. I find this type of person and attitude MORE evil than the molesters themselves and I cannot rationally accept keeping a person like Cardinal Mahoney as the Arch-Bishop of the Largest Diocese in the United States! He has lost his moral credibility and continues to this day to pursue ways to escape any personal accountability for his actions, preferring instead to allow money that is sorely needed in SO MANY church programs of outreach and education to cover the costs of his transgressions!

Cardinal Mahoney’s ability to lead his flock has been irreparably compromised and the Vatican must be made to see the immense importance of removing him from his current position of authority.
We Los Angeles Catholics must take decisive action and prove to ourselves and the American public our ability to deal with internal crises in an impartial and realistic manor.
I urge you all to contact the Vatican and voice your displeasure.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. D'hippolito,
I am just remaining faithful to Catholic theology, in this case specifically, Catholic ecclesiology. It is the domain of the Holy See to judge bishops, not the faithful or even the clergy. That is why we say that Cardinal Mahony is Archbishop of Los Angeles "by the grace of God and the favor of the Apostolic See."

Your attitude seems to be Lutheran in its inspiration--"I'll place my judgment above the Pope's"--or, worse, an attempt to democratize the Church--emphasizing the "will of the people" over the hierarchical structure Christ himself established.

Virility has nothing to do with it. It's about being faithful even when docility is challenging. I detect a great deal of anger and the desire for "payback" in your posts. Resisting these emotions and relying instead on a more detached rational approach is the truly human quality circumstances require.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Everyone,

In a sense, Cardinal Mahony called for his own resignation back in early 2002.

The Wanderer of July 18, 2002, reported that Cardinal Mahony said that if he were in Cardinal Law's shoes and had covered for as many molester priests, he would resign.

Obviously there is nothing stopping L.A. Catholics from calling for anyone's resignation or replacement.

It is very true that we must pray for the Cardinal, but it cannot be the case that our duty is to pray for him only to stay in office.

We should pray for his spiritual good AND for the spiritual good of everyone in the Archdiocese of L.A., in whatever way those things can come about.

We really do need to pray and work to get Catholics to not lose their faith or to stay away from Mass because of the scandal.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Hood,

I think we all know that Frisco has not been doing everything right, to say the least!

10:33 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Paul in Long Beach,

Thank you for telling all of us about the Catholics you have met who are disillusioned.

May we all be a good example to them, and may we encourage them by reminding them that Jesus has told us He is with us to the end of days.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Your attitude seems to be Lutheran in its inspiration--"I'll place my judgment above the Pope's"--or, worse, an attempt to democratize the Church--emphasizing the "will of the people" over the hierarchical structure Christ himself established.

Well, anonymous, I guess you wouldn't have approved of the criticism laid at the feet of popes by such people as Catherine of Siena, Francis of Assisi, Erasmus and even Augustine. I suppose they were "Lutheran" in approach, as well (especially since Luther was not yet born when Catherine, Francis and Augustine were alive).

Do you seriously think that the "hierarchical standard that Christ established" justifies corruption, malfeasance and exposure of the innocent to evil? What do you think Christ or Peter would say to such shenanigans? For that matter, what do you think Christ or Peter would say to *you* for hiding cowardice behind a sanctimonious facade?

There's a reason the Church is governed by Canon Law, anonymous. It's to prevent malfeasance and corruption by those who hold power in God's name. Bishops are supposed to be shepherds, not medieval potentates who lord it over others; Christ Himself used those very words to His disciples in Matthew's Gospel.

It is the domain of the Holy See to judge bishops, not the faithful or even the clergy.

And when the Holy See is lax, as it was under John Paul II, then the faithful have a moral obligation to take the responsibility. Catholic ecclesiology is no excuse for apathy in the face of evil.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. D'hippolito,
As your own post makes clear, your argument is not with me but with the Catholic Church. I gladly stand with the Church.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did Boston get rid of Cardinal Law? What specific things can we do to do the same here with Mahoney?

5:19 PM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

1. Boston got rid of Cdl. Law because the priests united and sent a petition to the Vatican. The Vatican might not listen to (or care) about the laity but when priests raise a stink, Rome has to listen.

Given that Mahony has intimidated untold numbers of priests in his archdiocese, those priests must unite, come forward and expose this malfeasant "shepherd." This is the beginning of the end for Roger the Truth Dodger.

2. As your own post makes clear, your argument is not with me but with the Catholic Church. I gladly stand with the Church.

When the Church -- for that matter, when any church, Christian sect, denomination, whatever -- aids and abets evil, standing by that entity is itself an evil act.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Joseph,

We must differentiate between our Holy Catholic Church and the personnel who happen to be in place at any one time.

We must always stand by our Holy Catholic Church. But that does not mean we have to stand by particular personnel.

The Holy Catholic Church that Jesus has founded for us, and in which we profess belief in the Creed, is much bigger than the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the rest of the U.S. dioceses.

"The Church" does NOT "aid and abet evil." Individuals might, but not the Church; and that is not a meaningless distinction.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Quintero, on the one hand, I understand that the Church is far bigger than any one corrupt bishop, a series of corrupt bishops or even an entire history of corrupt bishops. Ultimately, the Church reflects (or fails to reflect) Christ Himself.

It is on that point where I wish to disagree. The history of Church corruption has pointed out an undeniable fact: Church leaders prefer to cover their posteriors than protect the innocent, fight evil or stand up for Christ. Many of those who have taken the proper path (Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena, Erasmus) have done so in direct opposition to the religious authorities of their day!

Standing by the Church, Quintero, does not mean making flimsy excuses (as "anonymous" does). It means more than complaining publicly about episcopal malfeasance (as you've courageously done). It means taking action. It means throwing wolves like Mahony and his ilk out of the flock. It means DEMANDING ROME TO TAKE ACTION AT THE RISK OF FURTHER OFFENDING A HOLY, RIGHTEOUS GOD WHOSE REPUTATION HAS BEEN SULLIED.

Sometimes, it means standing against Church authority when that authority stands against Christ.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Joseph,

Lay people in any diocese are always free to ask the hierarchy, the Holy See and the Pontiff himself for redress of grievances.

I don't know if the volume and effectiveness of complaints from the USA will rise because of the recent scandals or not.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. D'hippolito:
I'm afraid that your raw emotion blinds you to historical fact.

Case in point: St. Francis of Assisi never, NEVER, opposed Church authority. The reason Waldo and the Waldensians were declared heretical, but Francis and the Franciscans were not is quite simple. Waldo and his followers condemned the Pope and bishops for their lavish lifestyles and lack of poverty; Francis and the Franciscans never condemned anybody. Indeed, they proclaimed what they belived by the sheer power of their example.

Remember that, when St. Francis was urged by people in a town near Assisi to publicly condemn the parish priest who was a public drunkard, Francis pointed at the besotted cleric and said, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

Spend some time learning Church history, my friend. It will do you a great deal of good and help prevent you from making goofy remarks.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

anonymous, what the blazes do the Waldensians have to do with lay people like yourself enabling those in ecclesiastical authority who sully God's name and lord it over others as if they were medieval potentates rather than the servant whom God's Son called them to be?

12:24 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous and Joseph,

To oppose a miscreant or failed authority in the Church is not to oppose the authority of the Church.

That is a good distinction, I think.

Anonymous, we cannot say that members of the hierarchy are never to be criticized for anything on the grounds that to oppose them is to oppose the Church!

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Q,
I agree with you that miscreant members of the hierarchy should be reported to the Holy See since, as I have previously stated, we believe that the bishops and archbishops who head sees serve "by the grace of God and the favor of the Apostolic See."

However, once the report has been made, it is time to allow the Holy See to examine the situation and render a decision. This requires much patience, more prayer, and even more trust that the Holy Spirit will operate through the Pope and his counselors in the Roman Curia.

What I oppose is lobbying campaigns like the one currently underway by radio talk show hosts and bloggers to try to put public pressure on the Holy See. This is simply wrong and not at all in keeping with the Catholic Church's way of proceeding.

1:48 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous,

That reminds me: A group of people putting pressure on the Holy See these days is the several U.S. bishops whose statements on Summorum Pontificum have been less than "welcoming, "inclusive," "willing," "tolerant" and "generous" toward the Tridentine Mass.

Almost no bishops have echoed the Pope's praise for that Mass. They are accepting it like an uncharitable couple would take in a stepchild whom they do not want.

1:35 PM  

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