April 06, 2005

Cardinal Is First-Class Pope Material

Los Angeles Times

Steve Lopez:
Points West

I wasn't going to say anything until a reader noticed the same thing I did in a story about Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony. His Eminence, flying to Rome in the Pope's final hours, was stretched out rather comfortably in first class.

"I know that it's a little early to be nitpicking about these things," said a reader named Carol. "I thought at some point you might want to do a column about this, because I think it's just shameful."

In the photograph Carol is referring to, Mahony was sitting with his flack, Tod Tamberg. The cardinal, with his eyes closed and rosary beads in his hands, has his comfy seat tilted so far back that he appears to be crushing the woman in the row behind him. ...

Mahony sold crypts under the altar at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for up to $50,000 apiece, hawked paving stones for $5,000, peddled wine under the cathedral's name and accomplished all of this while managing one of the biggest church scandals in modern history.

The most amazing thing about the scandal, in fact, is that Mahony continues to pass himself off as a national sex abuse reformer, even as he zealously stonewalls investigators trying to get to the bottom of cases involving priests accused of molesting young boys.

Alleged victims have pleaded and prosecutors have screamed for the cardinal to open up his files on accused priests. So have attorneys handling the 544 civil claims pending against the archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at April 6, 2005 12:24 PM