Thursday, July 19, 2007

One man's orthodoxy is another man's heterodoxy

In an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News blog, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles responds to a question whether the real problem with the sex abuse crisis is "a lack of discipline and orthodoxy in the seminaries" by agreeing and then giving a narrow definition of orthodoxy.

Well, first of all that's one of the things that we still are studying. As you know, the bishops are conducting a study of causes.... In our case, many of the priests came out of the "good old days" -- Latin-only, cassocks-only.... Most of our cases did not come out of post-Vatican II, they came out of pre-Vatican II.

So orthodoxy, according to the cardinal, is post-Vatican II, cassock-less, Latin-less. Of course, the statement is misleading, but what's new from Dodging Roger. The Cafeteria is Closed gives some statistics on the abuse that show quite clearly where the problem lies.

Overwhelmingly, they were ordained prior to the election of John Paul II and rates of abuse dropped precipitously after. Also, the cast majority were ordained in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, with the peak decade being the 60s.

Rather than coming from the "good old days" most of these priests were during and after Vatican II, which is not necessarily a slam on the Council, but disproves Mahony's contention.

More importantly, when did the cover-ups occur? When did the majority of the bishops shuffle off predators and perverts to new assignments and new dioceses? Sorry, Rog, but that was on the watch of you and your peers.

Catholic World News recalls that Mahony once said Cardinal Law of Boston should resign because of the number of lawsuits in Boston. This Los Angeles situation dwarfs the worst of Boston. Will Mahony be consistent and turn in his own resignation? I didn't think so.

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