Karen Hall posts:
In the middle of the L.A. Times article, one happens upon this staggering statistic:
In Los Angeles, some 75% of the archdiocese’s 288 parishes were served at some time by a cleric accused of molesting, according to a Times study. As the scandal’s details slowly emerged, it became clear that the church hierarchy knew about complaints against some priests and that at least a dozen were allowed to continue working in ministry after their conduct with children was questioned. (emphasis mine)
Now, just for fun, name another industry or organization wherein the boss could have overseen operations that led to the above quote in the L.A. times and a $600,000,000 loss for the company/organization without any consequences?
People are also bound to wonder about the obvious difference in treatment between Cardinal Mahoney and Cardinal Law. The difference between the L.A. Times and the Boston Globe’s coverage of their respective cardinals is striking. The L.A. Times has had some highly critical pieces on Cardinal Mahony in relation to priestly abuse, but not very many of them.
One difference that comes to mind is the cases that came to trial in L.A. are, as Diogenes previously noted, 44 representive cases the Archdiocese agreed could be litigated in court range from 1958 to 1984. All of them prior to Mahony times Archbishop. So there is no direct linkage to the Cardinal and the details of the cases prosecuted and post 1985 abuse cases will likely be settled out of court. So we just are not going to hear about the cases where he might have been involved in covering up abuse when he was still a priest and those cases he was obviously involved in as a Cardinal.
Though even the case cherry-picking does not account for the disparage in coverage. There have been some moves in the Archdiocese handling of priestly abuse under Cardinal Mahony that have been breath taking in their arrogance. The legal maneuvering to hide records of what the Archdiocese knew such as invoking confidentially of correspondence and putting any meetings between the Cardinal and a suspect as being spiritual guidance and protected. In the case of abuser Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera the Archdiocese prevented further interviews under the guise of fear of an immigration crackdown. All of these legal tactics should have demanded spectacular headlines form the L.A. Times and other papers, but while there was coverage it certainly wasn’t amped up as the Globe’s was.
The differences in coverage seem to be due to the fact that the L.A. Times is quite sympathetic to Cardinal Mahony and the issues the Cardinal has fought for over the years. Cardinal Law despite his quite obvious flaws and complicity in the abuse cover ups was quite orthodox in his theology and heavily involved in the pro-life movement and of course this made him a prime target. Cardinal Mahony in contrast makes some noises in a pro-life direction, but is hardly active in the movement and has no problem holding events for ardently pro-abortion politicians. The L.A. Times can easily see him as one of their own and while they are troubled about the abuse problems under his watch, well between friends can’t we overlook some flaws? The media is certainly not going to shame Cardinal Mahony into resigning barring some yet unknown circumstances. The Cardinal is safe just as long as he doesn’t become too pro-life or actually start showing signs of orthodoxy.