Cardinal Mahony: Your Deceit is Despicable; Resign Now

The AP story on Yahoo News and reproduced below makes my blood boil. 

Last year Los Angeles Cardinal Mahony cut a $660 million deal with survivors of clergy sexual abuse, money donated by hard-working LA Catholics. The cardinal cut the deal to ensure he would not have to take the witness stand and tell the truth about how he covered up rapes of kids by priests. As part of the deal the cardinal promised to allow the release of accused priests’ confidential files. Now he’s going back on his word.

The cardinal has placed his own self interest above the peace, serenity, and mental and spiritual health of survivors, above the Catholics of Los Angeles, and above the entire Roman Catholic Church.

This act of cowardice and self-interest by Cardinal Roger Mahony is unconscionable, disgraceful, and despicable.

Cardinal Mahony, shame on you.

You must resign.


Here’s a statement by David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) (SNAPnetwork.org; 314 862 7688): 


Behind closed doors, Mahony, his lawyers, his public relations team, and every complicit church employee – current and former – are chortling with glee at their shrewd scheming and good fortune. Every California Catholic and citizen should be outraged.  


Here’s a statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director of SNAP:


Once again, shrewd church officials and their expensive defense lawyers are exploiting every possible legal maneuver to keep the truth hidden about horrific child sex crimes and cover ups. Mahony knows these secret records will reveal how much he and his top staff knew about child rape and how little he and his top staff did to stop child rape. It’s shameful that even now, he’s fighting tooth and nail to keep the church hierarchy’s complicity under wraps.



Here’s the AP story.


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By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer Thu Sep 4, 4:22 PM ET


LOS ANGELES – The departure of a key figure in a record $660 million clergy sexual abuse settlement has endangered part of the deal that some plaintiffs consider more important than the money: the promise by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to allow the release of accused priests’ confidential files.

More than a year after the agreement was announced, the sudden recusal of a retired judge unanimously selected to review the priests’ files has threatened to undo the fragile deal and could send both sides back to court for months. At the same time, an attorney who has been paid by the church to defend accused clergy is fighting to keep those records sealed — and plaintiffs accuse the archdiocese of using him as their proxy.


The developments have been gut-wrenching for alleged victims, who believe the church papers will contain evidence of criminal wrongdoing by church leaders. The Los Angeles settlement — by far the nation’s largest — was supposed to close the book on the nationwide church abuse crisis that erupted in Boston in 2002.


“Many of us survivors went to litigation to produce the documents,” said Esther Miller, one of more than 500 plaintiffs included in last year’s agreement. “People want to move on and heal and they still have our feet to the fire. The money did nothing. It just pays for expensive therapy sessions.”


The priest personnel files in question contain letters, handwritten notes and reports from doctors and psychologists — and the district attorney has said he will inspect them for evidence of crimes once they are public.


When the Diocese of Orange released tens of thousands of pages of similar files in 2005, they showed that two officials who covered up for molester priests years ago remained in top church positions. Another 800 pages that came out in Wisconsin this year showed the church knew of credible molestation reports against a priest but didn’t remove him.


Recent settlements in Davenport, Iowa and Chicago also call for the release of the private documents and a similar legal battle is under way in Portland, Ore.

“The files and these documents implicate the hierarchy, right on down the line,” said Jeff Anderson, a plaintiffs’ attorney. “That’s why we’ve had a long, titanic struggle for five years. There’s long-kept secrets.”


Under a settlement announced in July 2007, the Los Angeles archdiocese promised to release the priest personnel files to the court, which would then appoint retired state Supreme Court Justice Edward A. Panelli to review each one. Panelli, whose name was written into the settlement agreement as the mediator, would decide which documents could be released and which couldn’t — and none of his rulings could be appealed.


But Panelli suddenly recused himself this summer because he received an unspecified honor from the Roman Catholic church, plaintiff attorney Ray Boucher said. Panelli declined an interview request through his assistant and archdiocese attorney Michael Hennigan said he didn’t know why Panelli recused himself.

Now an archdiocese attorney says if both sides can’t agree on a replacement, the fight over the files could move back to state court, where both sides could appeal any order over the release of the papers.


Hennigan said he will cooperate with a search for a new justice, but isn’t sure both sides can agree on anyone but Panelli.


“That is a very special person that can gather that kind of respect from both sides,” he said. “Will we be able to find somebody who fits that description, where all … people have so much confidence in him that they will waive rights of appeal? I don’t know.”


Plaintiff attorneys expected to file an application to begin that process this week and said they would not let the church go back on its promise. Boucher, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said if the church uses Panelli’s recusal to dodge document release he might file a lawsuit.


Issues related to the settlement will be discussed at a hearing Friday, he said.


“You really begin to wonder whether or not the archdiocese was acting in good faith,” Boucher said. “This could end up in another 10 years of litigation. Luckily the clients have been paid, but in terms of fighting this issue, I’m not going to give up.”


Boucher and plaintiffs are also angry that an attorney for nearly three dozen priests is fighting to keep the files sealed — and they believe the church is paying his bills.


Attorney Donald Steier argued in court papers filed in January that his clients never agreed to a process that could expose their private records. He also argued that the court no longer has jurisdiction to order the files’ release because the lawsuits have been settled.


“We have very strong feelings about trying to create an exception to the constitutional right of privacy,” said Steier, who represents 31 priests. “My clients have never agreed to any release of any private files. We never agreed, and the settlement went through in any event.”


Several priests declined to comment when reached by The Associated Press.


But defrocked priest George Rucker, 87, accused of molestation by 38 people but never convicted, said he worries about what will happen if his file becomes public.


“My attorney told me about that, they already have tried to do that twice,” Rucker said from his room at the Nazareth House, a Catholic nursing home in Los Angeles. “I just leave it in the hands of God.”


Steier declined to say who was paying him for his current work on behalf of priests and a spokesman for the archdiocese, Tod Tamberg, declined to comment.


Hennigan, the archdiocese attorney, said the church was not paying Steier now but paid the legal fees before the settlement of diocesan priests who had not been criminally convicted. He said it was possible the church could continue those payments going forward.


“We made a policy decision that that was required, based on the labor code plus the general relationship between priests and the archdiocese,” Hennigan said of the earlier payments. “These are priests and they typically don’t have a lot of resources.”


The archdiocese spent nearly $32 million on legal fees and expenses associated with the settlement in the 2006 and 2007 fiscal years, according to its most recent financial statement.


For their part, alleged victims say the healing that began last summer has been put on hold because of the delays and legal wrangling. Miller, 49, said she has resumed taking psychological medication and goes to therapy three times a week.


“People want us to move on, they say, ‘Oh, you got that money. Why can’t you move on?'” she said. “But all we had was our truth.”


    5 Responses to “Cardinal Mahony: Your Deceit is Despicable; Resign Now”

  1. Deanna Leonti Says:

    who is Mahony being obedient to?

    7During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

    why do clergy preach this and yet not profess it?

    Melchizedek the Priest
    1This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.

    This passage means that they (ordained)are not human, and have no family, and if they do have family they are to give them up totally right?

    give up “all” attachments to friends, family, relatives, material goods, clergy files and whatever else that they are attached to even if it is someone from the secular world, and not to mention they shouldn’t be attached to one another either…just like Jesus did.

    the line of Melchizedek is to be transparent and holy like a reflection of Jesus isn’t that suppose to be their way of life?
    isn’t this what they profess? but refuse to do?

    Jesus Like Melchizedek
    11If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come—one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. 13He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17For it is declared:
    “You are a priest forever,
    in the order of Melchizedek.”[a]
    18The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
    26Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

    no comparison here between Jesus & priests aka( who say that they are from the line of Melchizedek)

    why do clergy preach this and yet not profess it?

    deanna leonti

  2. Deanna Leonti Says:

    why can’t the pope and the clergy who claim their voction is ordained by God perform exorcisms on those with in their own ranks to purify themselves of every evil?

    why aren’t they (clergy) who deviate the truth called dissenters?.

    instead of looking at the one’s of whom they (clergy pedophiles) imposed their evil desires upon who (victims)now suffer for their (clergy ped’s) evilness?

    it’s all HOG WASH!!!!!!


  3. Michael Skiendzielewski Says:

    No one should be surprised by this outcome……..There is no way that the Archdiocese under Cardinal Mahony will release those internal documents. If (and I surely hope and pray that it does happen) and when it does, the collapse of the Catholic Church in that area will be far-reaching because we know that the files will reveal even more incriminating and damaging evidence against the archdiocesan leaders, both lay and religious.

    Another fine effort of risk managment by former general counsel to USCCB, Mark Chopko. What a fine legal adviser. Cardinal Mahony certainly appreciates your legal expertise.

  4. John Wirtz Says:

    When will the stupid Catholics ever learn that the hierarchy consider themselves to be the church and everyone else is but a member. Pray and obey but above alll pay your dues. They have spent centuries building up this powerful organization to the point of infallibility. They contain in themselves all the attributes of the troughest drug lords, the cruelty of mafia godfathers, cunning of the world’s best con artists. We can only hope and pray that the young do not follow in their footsteps. Knowing what they are should kill all “vocations.”


  5. august swartz Says:

    The fires of hell are licking ever closer to your feet, Mahony, and they are forever. Forever.

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