Cardinal Roger Mahony, who has been at the center of the molestation cover-up at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and subsequently relieved of his duties is praying for forgiveness. Not for himself, but for his accusers. Writing on his blog it is clear that the only person he feels pity for in this growing scandal is himself. Not the children who were molested nor their parents who entrusted them to their abusers.
Given all of the storms that have surrounded me and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles recently, God's grace finally helped me to understand: I am not being called to serve Jesus in humility. Rather, I am being called to something deeper--to be humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many.Forgive them? Forgive them! This statement goes to the heart of the thinking of the church leadership. They are the victims in the systemic cover up of these crimes. They are the victims when they have to dip into money from a perpetual care cemetery fund to cover the $660-million abuse settlement. They always have and always will consider themselves the victims when their abuse and crimes come to light.
I was not ready for this challenge. Ash Wednesday changed all of that, and I see Lent 2013 as a special time to reflect deeply upon this special call by Jesus. To be honest with you, I have not reached the point where I can actually pray for more humiliation. I'm only at the stage of asking for the grace to endure the level of humiliation at the moment.
In the past several days, I have experienced many examples of being humiliated. In recent days, I have been confronted in various places by very unhappy people. I could understand the depth of their anger and outrage--at me, at the Church, at about injustices that swirl around us. Thanks to God's special grace, I simply stood there, asking God to bless and forgive them.
Do to the fact that Mahony remains a priest in good standing, he will be traveling to Rome to participate in the election of the new Pontiff. This is irritating a lot of the faithful, but apparently it can't be helped.
Father Thomas Rausch of Loyola Marymount University said Mahony has no choice in the matter: Church law requires him to vote, along with all cardinals under age 80, he said.That may well be true, but one can't help but wonder why this criminal remains a priest in good standing when, in my opinion, he should be sitting in a jail cell awaiting trial for his role in protecting pedophiles.
"It is a sacred responsibility of every cardinal of the church who is able to attend the conclave to vote," said Tod Tamberg, archdiocese spokesman.