In what is apparently a response
Jose Gomez’s letter to the faithful, Cardinal Roger Mahony today
on his blog a letter he sent to Gomez concerning the “historical evolution
of dealing with the sexual abuse of minors.” Gomez’s letter, published yesterday,
acknowledged failures on the part of the archdiocesan leadership in the
handling of clergy sex abuse, and announced that Cardinal Mahony, who led the diocese from 1985 to 2011 and is currently archbishop emeritus, would “no longer have any administrative or
Mahony’s letter makes no mention of Gomez’s letter or
of the archbishop’s decision regarding Mahony’s responsibilities within the archdiocese.
Starting with the admission, “Nothing in my own background or education
equipped me to deal with this grave problem,” Mahony gives an account of the
measures taken by the archdiocese regarding clergy abuse from the 1980s to the
end of his tenure as archbishop. He also states that Gomez, after being
apprised of the way in which abuse had been handled, did not “raise any
questions about our policies, practices, or procedures in dealing with the
problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors” when he took over as head
of the archdiocese.
Mahony’s letter concludes:
I have stated
time and time again that I made mistakes, especially in the mid-1980s. I apologized for those mistakes, and
committed myself to make certain that the Archdiocese was safe for everyone.
cannot return now to the 1980s and reverse actions and decisions made
then. But when I retired as the active
Archbishop, I handed over to you an Archdiocese that was second to none in
protecting children and youth.
With every best
wish, I am
Emeritus of Los Angeles