REC’ing the Faith

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by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  March 22, 2019   

Why is Cdl. Mahony allowed to speak at the LA REC?

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The 2019 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress (LA REC) is currently underway hosting speakers with pro-gay, pro-transgenderheterodox messages delivered to Catholic educators and youth. Archbishop Jose Gómez, head of the L.A. archdiocese overseeing the event, is also allowing the former head of the archdiocese, the disgraced Cdl. Roger Mahony, to address Catholic educators and youth at the annual event.

Faithful Catholics are dismayed that the infamous Cdl. Mahony would be a guest speaker, as he's known for overseeing the largest series of sex abuse payouts of any single diocese, totaling more than half a billion dollars, as well as covering for predator priests in his archdiocese for years. Truth be told the man should be behind bars.

A petition has launched to remove Mahony's red hat, withdraw him from active ministry and criminally charge him with covering for 34 alleged clerical sex abusers. The petition to hold him accountable for the abuse of some 500 victims by 34 clerics under his tenure has already garnered more than 5,000 signatures. The fact that Mahony was somewhat revived under Pope Francis is causing petitioners to question the pontiff’s so-called zero-tolerance policy on sex abuse.

John Paul Norris, who launched the petition, told Church Militant that Mahony "controls the gay mafia and he needs to go." He added that "Archbishop Gómez and the [LA] archdiocese are doing nothing about it. Mahony will continue to celebrate Masses, sacraments and consecrate the Eucharist because he is a 'priest in good standing' (never mind 500 people that were abused under his watch)."

The widely publicized Pennsylvania grand jury report unveiled the alleged sexual abuse of some 1,000 victims in six dioceses. By comparison, there were more than 500 alleged victims just in the L.A. archdiocese alone under Mahony's tenure from1985–2011. Prelates like Cdl. Donald Wuerl are being called out for shuffling predator priests around instead of notifying law officials. Mahony was notorious for hiding clerical sex abusers from the public and from the law. In spite of this, he’s still allowed to offer the sacraments in the archdiocese.
And while people are happy that Theodore McCarrick resigned from the cardinalate and has been laicization, they are still wondering why Mahony hasn't been likewise demoted. What’s more, the cardinal resides at St. Charles Borromeo Church, which has a school attached.
The petition, Norris said, is targeting some 300,000 Catholics in California and seeks the following measures:
  • Archbishop Gómez and his auxiliary bishops must remove Mahony from active ministry or resign
  • Pope Francis must remove Mahony from the College of Cardinals
  • Father Jose Magaña, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo, must expel Mahony from the premises
  • L.A.'s police chief, Michael Moore, and the district attorney, Jackie Lacey, must charge Mahony with hiding sex abusers
Norris notes in the petition, "There is enough evidence to criminally charge one Roger Michael Mahony ... and put him behind bars." He lists in the petition the specific penal code with which Mahony is to be charged:
In Penal Code 32 PC, California law defines "accessory after the fact" as harboring, concealing or aiding a person whom you know has committed a felony, in order to protect him or her from arrest, trial, conviction and/or sentencing. There is no statute of limitation involving child abuse and the majority of Mahony's crimes came to light in 2013.
Pointing to the evidence detailed at, Norris says Mahony's cover-up of sexual predators was no secret.
Mahony knowingly harbored, concealed or aided many criminals. He knew of their crimes. He knew of their victims. Instead of calling the police, he manipulated information, moved these criminals from parish to parish and allowed the crimes to continue. He directed priests to hide and leave the Los Angeles jurisdiction and the country to avoid criminal prosecution.
Mahony knowingly harbored, concealed or aided many criminals. He knew of their crimes. He knew of their victims.
In January 2013, Abp. Gómez seemingly removed Mahony from active ministry. His statement was reported in the Los Angeles Times: "My predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care. Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties."
Three months later, Pope Francis took over in Rome and inexplicably, Gómez’s tone changed. Mahony was immediately declared to be "in good standing" by the archdiocese and allowed to resume active ministry.
"We believe that Roger Mahony is the poster child of what happens to child abusers and their protectors in the Church; nothing," Norris said.
Even though Norris' petition seeks to silence Mahony, it nevertheless encourages other priests and bishops to speak up for the good of the faithful.
We pray for good and courageous bishops, priests and others who will speak the truth for the love of all souls. Special prayers to all the survivors of sexual abuse, especially those abused by members of the clergy. May our united action and prayers bring justice, healing, and trust back to our Catholic Church.

Watch the panel discuss the dissident Catholics Abp. Gomez allows at the LA REC in The Download—REC'ing the Faith.


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