31 January 2013

Thoughts on the big news from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles :)

Cardinal Mahony has been removed from all public duties (the link will take you directly to the letter)

A few blogs and news stories have their thoughts...here, here, here here, here here

My emphasis and comments in the letter from Archbishop Gomez...and further comments below

Post Script thoughts:

1) One of the priests that was accused, I knew personally...He was pastor of the parish I was attending when my mom passed away. I would never think of him doing anything like that. It sickens me to think that....Fortunately his accusation did not occur at the parish I was attending. He was a people person...People persons bring out my extrovert radar...

2) To say that I'm surprised by any of these things, well, no, I'm not at all. The vast majority of people have known about the horrors of the situation in this archdiocese for a while. I have a feeling more will be to come.

3) I truly think the transformation of the diocese can begin...With Gabino, Mahony and Curry all gone, I think the good Archbishop will finally have a chance to direct things easier. No longer will he have to be stuck in Mahony's shadow.

4) It's very important that we pray for the archdiocese, even though I no longer call it home, I am from there, and have a deep connection to the diocese there.

5) Lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank Archbishop Gomez for this leadership step. I imagine being a Bishop is something that isn't easy (I definitely don't want the vocation)...and I imagine having to tell a brother Bishop that he's no longer welcome for public appearances is a difficult task. I am glad you're taking steps and doing all that is necessary to protect us from this happening again. Again, thank you Your Excellency. Prayers for you as always!

My brothers and sisters in Christ,This week we are releasing the files of priests who sexually abused children while they were serving in theArchdiocese of Los Angeles.These files document abuses that happened decades ago. But that does not make them less serious.I find these files to be brutal and painful reading (I am sure he wanted to use more brutal words than these, but yes, I too have read them and they are painful and sickening). The behavior described in these files is terribly sad andevil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had theduty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed.We need to acknowledge that terrible failure today. We need to pray for everyone who has ever been hurt bymembers of the Church (Amen!, it's difficult when someone you woudln't expect to hurt you does hurt you). And we need to continue to support the long and painful process of healing theirwounds and restoring the trust that was broken.I cannot undo the failings of the past that we find in these pages (No amount of money will fix the pain of abuse). Reading these files, reflecting on thewounds that were caused, has been the saddest experience I’ve had since becoming your Archbishop in 2011 (It certainly can't be a good one, my prayers double for you this day).My predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protectyoung people entrusted to his care (Hindsight is always 20/20, but the bottom line, he knows the law and should have done more). Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will nolonger have any administrative or public duties (No more public appearances: Confirmations, any public represntation in the Diocese, effectively a muzzle clause long over due, but Deo Gratias). Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry has also publiclyapologized for his decisions while serving as Vicar for Clergy. I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara. (What this means for him, I don't know)
To every victim of child sexual abuse by a member of our Church: I want to help you in your healing. I amprofoundly sorry for these sins against you (Archbishop Gomez is a warm personality while quite shy, but he does have a pastor's heart. If you need to speak with him please do, I have spoken with him twice and he is very approachable and listens to your concerns).To every Catholic in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I want you to know: We will continue, as we have formany years now, to immediately report every credible allegation (This is important, priests are falsely accused at times) of abuse to law enforcement authorities andto remove those credibly accused from ministry (I'd prefer convicted by the justice system, I do believe that priests are innocent until proven guilty). We will continue to work, every day, to make sure that ourchildren are safe and loved and cared for in our parishes, schools and in every ministry in the Archdiocese.In the weeks ahead, I will address all of these matters in greater detail. Today is a time for prayer andreflection and deep compassion for the victims of child sexual abuse.I entrust all of us and our children and families to the tender care and protection of our Blessed Mother Mary,Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of the Angels.Sincerely yours in Christ,Most Reverend José H. GomezArchbishop of Los Angeles

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