Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony finds himself in a war of words with the state lawmaker who wrote controversial immigration enforcement legislation that passed this week in Arizona.
After Mahony criticized the proposed law, Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce lashed out Wednesday against the cardinal on a nationally syndicated radio show. Pearce said Mahony had no right to speak because the Catholic leader had been -- in his words -- "protecting child molesters and predators all of his life."
Mahony's spokesman, Tod Tamberg, shot back against what he called Pearce's "mudslinging." Tamberg said the senator has "no good answer to the cardinal's challenge that this is a draconian and unjust law."
The Arizona measure makes it a state crime for migrants to be in the state without documents.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.