Once again we are engulfed in the never ending, unrepentant saga of Cardinal Roger Mahony. With the recent release of secret documents on pedophile priests, the victims are finally hearing the true stories that Cardinal Mahony so desperately wanted to keep hidden from the public eye. And now the focus is on what the Cardinal's legacy will be, if any. For the victims there has to be a certain amount of satisfaction knowing that Cardinal Mahony and his accomplices have finally been exposed, but this by no means will ever erase the pain and sufferings they have endured for so many years. Finally a little justice has prevailed. However it is my opinion that our prayers and support should be focused on the victims of these despicable crimes.
It is also my opinion that it is imperative that Cardinal Mahony remove himself from the limelight and allow these victims and the faithful to find some closure and a time to heal. In reality it will be God who judges the Cardinal's legacy. There is no doubt that the presence of Cardinal Mahony at various religious events throughout the Archdiocese can only serve as a bitter reminder that will continue to be a sharp sword in the sides of these victims preventing them from healing.
On Sunday Jan 27, 2013 the Los Angeles Times did a cover story on the fate of Mahony's legacy. Cardinal Mahony will always be remembered as a champion for the rights of immigrants. He will also be remembered for his vision, efforts and contribution to the building of the Cathedral in Los Angeles.
Many have asked me what should be done with Cardinal Mahony. My faith tells me not to judge and pray for him. That said, the greatest legacy he could leave at this point would be to accept total accountabilty, relinquish his title and spend the remainder of his life out of the spotlight. The Cardinal remaining in the public eye can only add insult to injury. I pray he will do the right thing for the sake of the victims and our church. But to achieve this noble gesture he will have to remove his ego and arrogance.
The scandal hidden by Mahony and his regime has left a bad taste in the mouths of most Catholics leaving Mahony's legacy forever tainted. With that being said I truly believe that a new dawn is on the horizen in our Archdiocese. New policies are now in place to prevent this from ever happening again.
Many times the victims are disappointed in our good men and women in the religious life who seem to remain silent in their support, but I can assure these victims that while most religious remain silent in fear of disciplinary action they are biting their tongues.
Since 2008 the church has failed to recognize my religious order as an official order of the church. However I have come to realize that this has been the will of God. Had the church recognized my order I would have no freedom to write this blog to defend God's church and the victims of these crimes.
Those of us in the religious life who played no role in this despicable behavior are suffering as well. These criminals have placed our lives and reputations in jeopardy. Yet the Cardinal has never apologized to us either.
The fate of Cardinal Mahony and his legacy is in the hands of God. Let us continue to pray for the healing of these victims and the restoration of our church. Let us pray that with the release of these doucuments the victims will find a sense of closure and peace that they so much deserve. I'm a firm believer that times heals all. Even as Catholics it is sometimes difficult to forgive, but I truly know that this is what God is expecting us to do. I pray that God will pull all those associated with this scandal from their canyon of pain, bitterness, anger and suffering.
Always remember we are one in Christ and with the healing of our spiritual lives we will get back to what we do best and that's being Catholic.
Br. Christopher B.P.P.