Critical Commentary

Posted on February 23, 2013 by


The Roman Catholic Church has had its number of scandals over time.  One of the most recent scandals involved an archbishop from California.  Cardinal Roger M. Mahony who is known throughout the world in the religious community as a liberal, and was respected by many if not all of his peers.  However, Mahony was relieved of his position of archbishop last month after the release of internal church files showing Mahony had been protecting priests accused of sexually abusing minors.  Now that the conclave is coming up there is a controversy over if the Cardinal should make an appearance in Rome to vote for the new Pope.    


Many have been arguing on the side of Cardinal Mahony saying the he should attend and vote in the conclave.  Carmen Vargas who is a master catechist (a teacher of the Christian religion) from California said that Mahony is just a man and he made a mistake.   Many high level church members also agree that Mahony’s “mistake” should be overlooked.  They claim that the Cardinal has a sacred duty to perform and is obligated to attend the conclave.   Even though he might have a sacred duty to perform I am siding with group of Catholics wanting him to not be involved with the conclave.  Many Catholics believe that the Cardinal’s actions are not forgivable.  According to the New York Times there are going to be protests outside of the Cardinal’s house in Hollywood. 


The current archbishop of California José H. Gomez, who has been a long time friend of Mahony, seems to have mixed feelings about Mahony’s position.  When asked about the scandal involving his friend Mahony the archbishop said that he found the church files brutal and painful.  However, even though Gomez hasn’t supported Mahony throughout the scandal he still believes that Mahony should report to the conclave.  Personally I find this completely contradictory.  The Catholic Church shouldn’t be supporting a man that was founded to have helped priests abuse minors sexually.  This doesn’t quite seem right to me I feel that the church shouldn’t just say he made a mistake and continue on with their business. 


The fact that the higher members of the church are supporting Cardinal Mahony is the most troubling aspect of this story.  I feel that the Cardinal’s actions should give the church a good reason to ask him not to attend the conclave.  I find it morally wrong to have a man who was known to be helping priests that were sexually abusing minors decide an important decision such as who the next Pope is going to be. 

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