Pope appoints Mahony special envoy to Scranton anniversary Mass
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SCRANTON, Pa. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Pope's decision to appoint as his envoy a leading California prelate known for covering up sex abuse is troubling Pennsylvania Catholics.
On January 13, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis appointed Cdl. Roger Mahony, former archbishop of Los Angeles, his special envoy at a 150th anniversary Mass for the diocese of Scranton. The Pontifical Mass will occur at 3 p.m. on March 4 in the Cathedral of St. Peter in Scranton.
"This expression of the Pope's pastoral support is another blessing as we mark the founding of our Diocese, and we look forward to welcoming His Eminence Cardinal Mahony to celebrate this historic milestone with us," commented Bp. Joseph Bambera.
Patricia Farry, a member of Scranton's chapter of Church Militant's Resistance, told Church Militant that Cdl. Mahony's invitation presents two problems: "It appears that Mahoney's participation was not the decision of the Bishop. Secondly, to whom would we register our complaint? The Bishop's office does not even answer legitimate, relative questions which arise from that office, let alone that of the Pope."
"We have sent letters to the Bishop's office during the last three weeks which are unanswered," insisted Farry. "We feel Bishop Bambera no longer even sees the letters."
One concerned Catholic told Church Militant, "It would seem there's some strange attempt to rehabilitate certain clerics that were involved with the sex abuse crisis while simultaneously sort of doubling down on the homosexual agenda in the Church."
"Cdl. Mahony is being welcomed in and it seems like a new level of the crisis in the Church," he continued. "It would appear Bp. Bambera is fully on board with that agenda."
Cardinal Mahony was released in 2013 from all administrative and public duties in the archdiocese of Los Angeles by Abp. José Gomez, following claims he failed to protect young people from sexually abusive priests between 1985 and 2011. Mahony was considered by liberals to be a "leader in justice for farmworkers, immigrants and other victims of economic justice."
Mahony's day-to-day life was largely unchanged following the decision. The cleric could continue to live at a North Hollywood parish and offer Mass while remaining a "priest in good standing."
Scranton Resistance members, along with faithful Catholics, plan on holding a protest in front of the cathedral on the day of the event and offering a Rosary in reparation for the scandal. They also plan on taking out a full-page ad in the local paper listing Mahony's misdeeds, as well as making call-ins to local radio programs and TV networks urging a boycott of Bambera's annual appeal.
Dissenting priest Fr. Thomas Rosica, CEO of Canada's Salt + Light Media and former English language assistant to the Holy See Press Office, is also scheduled to speak at Scranton's Diocesan Clergy Convocation April 9–12. The title of the conference is "Understanding Pope Francis: The Joy & Hope of the First Five Years," which will include five talks based on the theme.
The convocation will be held at Skytop, a luxury resort in the Poconos, confirmed by a Skytop staff member. "How does this fit in to the so-called 'church of the poor' we hear so much about?" asked the concerned Catholic. "The diocese of Scranton has many other options that it could use that are far less expensive, but this luxury resort has been chosen."
Cdl. Mahony is being welcomed in and it seems like a new level of the crisis in the Church.
Rosica praised an openly gay former priest, the late Fr. Gregory Baum, gave a press pass to a gay activist Francis DeBernardo — of dissident New Ways Ministry at the October 2015 Synod in Rome, and has defended pro-gay Fr. James Martin and his book, Building a Bridge — a book criticized by prelates like Philadelphia Abp. Charles Chaput, who wrote a correction to Fr. Martin over his failure to address Church teaching on homosexual acts.
In December, Martin spoke at Misericordia University, a Catholic school in the Scranton diocese, with the express approval of Bp. Bambera, who allegedly screened the priest beforehand.
Martin is best known for his attempts to normalize homosexuality. He has said chastity is not required of homosexuals, Catholics should "reverence" gay "marriage, "transgender" children should be able to register for religious education under their preferred sex and people who have left the gay lifestyle do not live an "integrated life."