LOS ANGELES–Facing widespread criticism that he plans to exercise his right to participate in the upcoming papal election despite being embroiled in a a massive sexual abuse scandal, Cardinal Roger Mahony called himself a “scapegoat” and expressed his hopes for redemption.
Writing in his personal blog in the context of Lenten repentance, he discusses his soul searching as he tries to make amends, comparing his own suffering and humiliation with that of Jesus.
“I have tried to live out-poorly and inadequately far too often-his two implications of humiliation:
1. the acceptance of being scapegoated, pointing out the necessary connection between humiliation and redemption;
2. this scandal is putting us, the clergy and the church, where we belong-with the excluded ones; Jesus was painted with the same brush as the two thieves crucified with him.”
” I surely need your prayers and your encouragement in my own life to handle all of my mistakes, omissions, and commissions as God asks, and as Jesus and Mary lived out: to take in what swirls around me, to hold it, to carry it, to transform it and to give it back as grace, blessing, and gift.”
In other words, he’ll take the criticism and turn the other cheek.
The blog post focuses only on the suffering and humiliation of Mahony and others in the church. He doesn’t even mention the suffering and humiliation of the countless abuse victims.
Cardinal Mahony’s successor in Los Angeles relieved him of all public duties in the archdiocese after church documents showed Mahony was personally involved in efforts to shield accused priests from prosecution.