Dec 23, 2007

Columnist writes sarcastic column

L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez has written (click on this post's column) a sarcasm-laden column today in which he says, "I've embarked on a mission to bring Cardinal Roger M. Mahony's assailant to justice."
I bring this up to point out that questions continue to abound about the Cardinal's account and that Archdiocesan officials would be doing him, and the whole Archdiocese, a favor by trying to clear up the questions and put the whole matter to rest.
A fundamental rule of public relations is that saying nothing is not a good idea.
In the meantime, let's all keep praying for the Cardinal and our Archdiocese.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What questions need clearing up? I read the newspapers. I read what the guy who said he was a preist said. The issue seems closed. Only church-hating Lopez seems to have
"questions." Well, not only Lopez. You seem to have questions, too. What are they?

5:24 PM  
Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I'm sure that finding Mahony's "assialant" is not of his concern.

I shall definately be praying for our Archdiocese and for our Cardinal.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 5:24 p.m.,

The press identified "The guy who said he was a pr[ie]st" as a priest and named the parish.

Everyone has questions about why the police would not be asked to nab a dangerous, violent man who dared to attack a Prince of the Church / prominent Angeleno.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Joe,

Good for you, for praying for the Cardinal and our Archdiocese.

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didnt those same priests, including a Father Shea, say exactly why the cardinal decided not to report the attack? Didn't he (or was it another priest) say that he made the decision way back when he first began being verbally attacked in the press that he feared a physical attack and that he had decided that if that ever happened, he would not seek out or press charges against an attacker?
And, didn't one of the priests talk about the cardinal wanting to offer his suffering as penance or something? And, didn't the papers report that the attacker had singled out the cardinal for an attack after having identified who he was? It is not like the guy was just mad at anyone and wanted to beat up the first person he saw. It appeared to be a targeted attack.
What other questions are there? And which ones are legitimate and which ones are hateful, Lopez-like questions?

9:01 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 9:01 a.m.,

There is nothing mutually exclusive between offering up being attacked and still reporting the attack to law enforcement.

When the victim of a violent, injury-causing assault does not report it, people are going to think that is strange.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're talking about Cardinal Mahony, not just any "victim." And the attack appeared to be targeted, so said Father Shea or the other priest. If Mahony had reported it, the very people who are criticial of him for not reporting it likely would have questioned his motives in reporting it. A report most likely would have led to an arrest. And an arrest would have led to the question of prosecution, which would have led back to the question of why he reported it in the first place, since he would be accused of knowing that a report would lead to an arrest. He would have been criticized for not turning the other cheek, just as he is being criticized for turning the other cheek. That is what happened when the guy handcuffed himself at the cathedral. And that is what happened back East where that priest who was accused of abuse was shot a few years ago. So, there's the proof. And, as was mentioned before, as far as can be determined from the news, the attack was against him and related to sexual abuse, not aimed at some random person for some random purpose.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 9:07 p.m.,

Yes, according to the accounts the attack was "targeted." But what is to stop that attacker from attacking others whom he also might think could have done more to stop the molesters?

And what if letting this attacker go free inspires and emboldens copy-cats to make similar attacks on other clergymen?

Sorry, but someone who perpetrates a violent attack on a clergyman belongs behind bars. There is no getting around that.

You are right that no matter what we Catholics do, someone will criticize us. But if we are going to incur criticism, it might as well be for a good reason.

And there would be far less puzzlement among Catholic Angeleos if the attack had been reported.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 9:07 a.m.

Oops -- I wrote "p.m." when I meant "a.m." And "Angeleos" instead of "Angelenos."

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps you place too little value on expiative suffering? For that is the reason the cardinal provided to the priests for his not reporting the crime, isn't it? I could see how non-Catholics would be puzzled. But isn't it unfortunate that Catholics in Los Angeles would be puzzled by something that (sadly) is such a rich and important part of Catholicism? Our late Holy Father, John Paul the Great, talked a lot about expiative suffering in terms of global solidarity.
The response to the attack was puzzling because it was decidedly a non-secular response.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 8:02 a.m.,

Expiative suffering, "offering it up," is truly essential, as every Catholic should know and should always put into practice.

But in line with what I've said here earlier, why can't a crime victim report the crime to the police and still offer up his pain?

How could reporting a crime cancel out expiative suffering? That makes no sense at all. It's not "a secular response" for Catholics to wonder about that.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not reporting the personal attack aimed at him -- and nobody else -- is absolutely consistent with expiative suffering. You didn't argue that it isn't.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reporting a targeted crime (beating up Mahony for sex abuse) against one's own person (as opposed to an act of, say, armed robbery that might happen again to someone else) would involve talking at length publicly (since police reports are not necessarily private) about the attack and any injuries suffered as a result. Agreed?
How does that scenario square with expiative suffering? Seems that offering it up also implies that the suffering is done in silence or at least without any fanfare.
Sorry, Q, but I think you are wrong on this one.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 7:50 a.m. and 11:11 a.m.,

Who says expiative suffering must be done with nobody else knowing about it?

What about the victim souls who teach the world about expiative suffering? By your standard, whenever they speak of their expiation they negate it.

By your standard, St. Padre Pio negated all his expiation by talking and writing about it.

By your standard, the Cardinal must have ended his expiation by telling his priests about it.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Padre Pio's spiritual writings, Steve Lopez's columns and police reports aren't the same things. Certainly one can put one's sufferings to constructive use. But, yes, keeping one's mouth shut is part of expiative suffering in this instance and in others. The same Gospel that counsels us to pray to our Father in private; to wash and dress well so that people don't know we're fasting; and to turn the other cheek, is the same Gospel that calls us to suffer quietly and without fanfare.
It seems to me that the cardinal only opened his mouth to his priests as their spiritual father. Opening his mouth to the police and to the media would not have been consistent with expiative suffering.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said Mahony should have reported the crime to possibly stop his attacker from "attacking others whom he also might think could have done more to stop the molesters." Who comes to mind? Nobody, that's who. All we read in the papers is Mahony's name. Saying that there might be "some others" is theoretical to the point of absurdity, in my opinion. The attacker had a moment of opportunity to attack a well-known figure for his handling of sexual abuse. He wanted Mahony and he got him. Period, end of story.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 12:38 p.m.,

"Others who come to mind," God forbid, could include the many bishops, pastors, principals and others in dioceses around the USA who let molesters return to ministry, etc. That's who.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 12:38 p.m.,

"Others who come to mind" could also include any and every Catholic church and Mass, because the entire Church has taken a black eye over the molester and cover-up scandals.

You can't deny that many people are furious with the whole Church because of the scandals.

God forbid that anyone else be attacked. Putting every single attacker behind bars is a deterrent and is a way to protect the flock. No one can deny that.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 10:03 a.m.,

Saying nothing is decidedly not good when saying something would protect others.

Every crime affects the victim but also the entire community.

So what if the attack was a crime of opportunity? A man who commits a violent attack on anyone is extremely likely to do it again to someone else and to have done it before to others.

Such a criminal with such poor impulse control and so prone to violence needs to be put out of circulation to protect everyone.

To let an attacker off the hook sends a really bad message, namely, that it is open season on our Catholic hierarchy, clergy, churches and Masses.

A cardinal has a duty to protect his flock.

The people who say the Cardinal wants to keep off the witness stand at all costs might see his silence about the attack as a way for him to do that in this case.

Reporting the crime would have afforded him the opportunity to avoid giving that impression.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're reaching. If you've turned on a television or tripped over a newspaper since 2002, you've seen that the media have personalized the sexual abuse crisis. It is all about Mahony.
Have you seen SNAP protest or media write columns excoriating former school principals? No, you have not.
The attack was one of opportunity. It was not premeditated. That means that the ape who beat the cardinal does not have a list of names nor plane tickets to other dioceses to beat offending prelates.
C'mon now, let's face the facts.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 9:03 p.m.,

There sure are a lot of my points that you're not answering.

You're pretty Mahony-centric. The Cardinal is by no means the only ordinary, especially in California and the rest of the West, whom the news media have publicized. The news coverage of the scandals in our Archdiocese of L.A. has, as I've said, made a lot of people mad at the Church in general, and that endangers all our facilities and congregations.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your main point has been to generalize the attack against Mahony to include other Catholics and Catholic institutions. Your main point ignores the fact that the attack was targeted at Mahony and was done by some jerk who recognized him in an out-of-the-way place and took advantage of his good fortune to slug the cardinal.
Ignorning the circumstances of the attack, you then go on to make a huge leap in speculation that this attack could and would lead to others. And you place the blame on the cardinal for not reporting it.
Great danger? Where?
The attack happened six months ago. Since then, have we read about church bombings, school shootings or priest beatings related to sexual abuse in our archdiocese or any other? Not a one.
I think that proves my original point.
Again, this attack was about Mahony. He knew it. Everyone else seems to know it, too. Reporting it to "keep others safe" just doesn't hold water.

8:40 AM  

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