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Cardinal Mahony defends response to abuse, says nuncio asked him to take part in conclave

Catholic World News - March 04, 2013

Cardinal Roger Mahony, who served as Archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, has again defended his response to abuse allegations.

“People say, ‘Well, why didn’t you call the police?’ In those days no one reported these things to the police, usually at the request of families,” Cardinal Mahony said in an interview. “What I did in those years was consistent with what everybody did, in the Boy Scouts, in public schools, private schools, across the country.”

Cardinal Mahony said that he was “amazed” at the controversy over recently-released abuse files, the release of which led his successor, Archbishop José Gomez, to declare that the cardinal “will no longer have any administrative or public duties.”

“I’m here because the Holy Father appointed me a cardinal in 1991, and the primary job of a cardinal, the number one job, is actually the election of a new pope should a vacancy occur,” he added. “Without my even having to inquire, the nuncio in Washington phoned me a week or so ago and said, ‘I have had word from the highest folks in the Vatican: you are to come to Rome and you are to participate in the conclave.’”

In recent blog posts, Cardinal Mahony said that March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, would be “a great day for the Inaugural Mass of our next Pope” and that “there is no human being on earth who could meet all of [the] requirements” of “the perfect Pope.”

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: unum - Mar. 04, 2013 7:16 PM ET USA

    Ah, the "everybody did it" defense. There should be some interesting conversations at the pearly gates as this generation (the clergy, the religious, and the faithful) tries the "everybody did it" defense with Our Lord. There won't be any high-paid lawyers and PR men around to help us either!

  • Posted by: Defender - Mar. 04, 2013 6:46 PM ET USA

    Reminds me of little kids, "Why did you steal a cookie?" And in reply, "Well, everyone else did it too!" Don't we expect more from those we trust to act morally? As for being asked to come to Rome, isn't it a requirement that all cardinals must attend a conclave except for a really good reason? So please....

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Mar. 04, 2013 6:26 PM ET USA

    What can you add to this? The guy is simply incorrigible, convinced he is indispensable to the Church despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary. How many of these foul balls must we endure and for how much longer?

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Mar. 04, 2013 6:15 PM ET USA

    Very interesting. Let's assume for the moment that the nuncio did make a special phone call requesting that Mahony attend the Vatican proceedings. Did he call other cardinals too, or just Mahony? If he didn't call all of 'em, it calls into question where the nuncio is coming from, and not just him, but whoever up the ladder requested that he call Mahony. This conclave is going to be interesting.

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