Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony responded to criticisms in a blog post published Friday. Archbishop José H. Gomez stripped Mahony of his administrative and public duties and accepted the resignation of bishop Thomas Curry, who allegedly assisted in the cover-up of church sexual abuse with Mahony. Gomez also agreed to fulfill a court order to deliver thousands of pages of confidential files related to Catholic priest sexual abuse.
Mahoney publicly apologized two weeks ago after the release of confidential church files showed that he had played a part in covering up sexual abuse in the church, and had kept evidence away from prosecution. In a blog post published Friday, Mahony expressed his frustration at being shamed by Gomez and argued that his archdiocese had been at the forefront of abuse victim protection. Gomez’s public rebuke continued Sunday when he addressed the Catholic community from the pulpit and in a letter.
What’s your reaction to Mahony’s explanations? Is it possible Church leadership didn’t know any better how to deal with perpetrators of child sexual abuse? How could someone in such a position of (moral) authority seem to have a moral disconnect?
Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea, a clinical psychologist, was the only mental health professional to address the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the sexual abuse crisis at their 2002 Dallas meeting. Author, "Perversion of Power: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church."
Jennifer Hughes, Associate Professor of History at University of California, Riverside, with an expertise in Catholic Studies