Cardinal Mahoney: “I’m surprised that more people didn’t leave the church over this.”

At the end of our two-hour conversation, he came back to the subject, describing “the incredible sorrow” he has “for what the victims of these terrible wrongs went through, and are going through. I’ve met with more than 90 victims. I watched all the videotaped depositions of those involved in the settlement. I could only watch for a time, and then I had to go to the chapel. They were heartbreaking. I also read all the victims’ statements. One, I simply couldn’t believe the terrible things that had been done. It took me three days to read; an hour of reading and then back to the chapel. I had no idea what these people had suffered. It still has a profound impact on me.

“I have apologized to those who suffered whenever I could. I can never say, ‘I apologize’ enough times.”

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L.A.Times takes a trip down memory lane with retiring Cardinal Mahoney.

When the social and political history of Los Angeles in the late 20th century comes to be written, it’s likely that two men will stand out as fundamentally transformative leaders. One will be Tom Bradley, the five-term mayor who changed the city’s politics and realigned its economic course; the other will be Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Hollywood-born prelate who has led what is now America’s largest Roman Catholic diocese as archbishop for the last quarter-century, a post from which he will retire Sunday on his 75th birthday, as church law requires.

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Editor’s note: Isn’t that special!

Good news from Los Angeles: gays, progressives and liberals hate to see Cardinal Mahoney go!

These are only some of the comments of a disappointed, openly gay priest who is no longer permitted to exercise priestly faculties:

Cardinal Mahony, wrote Fr. Farrow, “who likes to view himself as a progressive, would never voluntarily be replaced by a member of the ultra-reactionary group, Opus Dei. His replacement by someone from Opus Dei clearly communicates that Mahony has lost all practical influence in Rome and was not able to name his successor.”

“What does this mean for the future of the Catholic Church in Los Angeles and California?” asked Farrow. “It means a sharp thrust to the right. The Archbishop of Los Angeles does not merely run the church in LA; he also has tremendous influence on naming the bishop in its associated sees (i.e. San Diego, Orange, Monterey, Fresno, and Riverside) and Region XI, which includes the rest of California. Many of these sees will soon require new bishops and Gomez will have tremendous influence in naming who those bishops will be. He will also reshape the education and formation of new priests for the whole region since St. John’s Seminary, where priests are trained and formed, is under his direct control.”

“(Archbishop) Gomez is an excellent choice from the perspective of Rome,” wrote Fr. Farrow. “He is a member of Opus Dei and therefore ‘orthodox’ and more importantly subservient to Rome. He is a Latino who speaks broken English with a heavy Spanish accent and possesses a populist ‘easy going’ demeanor. He will be a huge hit with Latinos in Southern California and politicians will think twice before confronting Gomez on any point.”

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Editor’s note: After a long string of various scandals and embarrassments, plus some $600 million in abuse settlements, things (finally) appear to be looking up for left-coast Catholics!