A moment of truth for the Catholic Church is at hand now, as cardinals travel to Rome to select a new pope. Expected to participate is disgraced and disgraceful former Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Mahony.
The cardinal was a key cog in the vast criminal conspiracy in which molester priests were shielded rather than brought to justice and were shamelessly shuffled from parish to parish in order to enable them to evade detection and justice (“Files show how Catholic Church leaders in L.A. controlled damage,” Web, Thursday). Cardinal Mahony has apologized for his actions, asserting that he did not recognize the long-term effects on a child that has been molested. Does anyone believe him?
His successor took the rare step of condemning Cardinal Mahony and ordering that he not participate in public events as an official representative of the Church. The cardinal has not, however, been defrocked or brought to justice.
Cardinal Mahony’s victims have said he is lucky not to be in jail, and I concur. If he is permitted to have a hand in selecting the new pope, the Church will demonstrate that it is not ready to reverse the damage and horror inflicted upon the myriad victims of its criminal priests and that it still does not get it.
OREN M. SPIEGLER
Upper Saint Clair, Pa.
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