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Cardinal Mahony Fires Back At Archbishop Who Rebuked Him Over Pedophile Cover-Up

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Well, this is not playing out how we expected at all. Today Cardinal Roger Mahony publicly fired back at Archbishop Jose Gomez, who announced last night that he was stripping his predecessor of his public duties after documents came out showing that he and other higher-ups had conspired to shield pedophile priests from criminal prosecution.

Experts clued in to the way the Catholic hierarchy operates said the public rebuke was unprecedented but that the Vatican was likely involved in the decision. So we're a little shocked that the church's response to this scandal is playing out so publicly, especially when you consider that the underlying issue here is that the church was criminally good at keeping secrets.

Mahony wrote an open letter to the Archbishop on his blog in a post that we're guessing will not earn him any sympathy. The gist is that Mahony made a lot of mistakes that he says he's already apologized for and that he in fact laid the groundwork for making the archdiocese a safer place for children.

He starts out saying that he was not prepared him for dealing with a sexual abuse scandal, "Nothing in my own background or education equipped me to deal with this grave problem."

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He goes on to explain the various steps he took in his position as an archbishop to address the problem (glossing over the fact that some of these steps were clearly taken in response to public pressure). Then he takes a shot at Archbishop Gomez for not saying anything when he first took office:

"When you were formally received as our Archbishop on May 26, 2010, you began to become aware of all that had been done here over the years for the protection of children and youth[...]Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices, or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors."

We're guessing victims or anyone who sympathizes with them will find it hard to stomach Mahony getting so defensive about losing mostly ceremonial power when he helped to cover up behavior that was so clearly criminal that his adviser once euphemistically referred to it as "first degree felony manner." Ick.Related:
L.A. Cardinal Mahony Relieved Of Public Duties After Shielding Pedophile Priests