POSTED BY ROCCO PALMO AT 15:28
Hours after Cardinal Roger Mahony's successor announced that the retired LA prelate would "no longer have any administrative or public duties" in the nation's largest diocese after the release of damning sex-abuse files from early in Mahony's quarter-century tenure, it should come as little surprise that the "born fighter" wouldn't take Archbishop José Gomez's blockbuster move quietly.
At 11.30am Pacific, the cardinal posted a letter he wrote to Gomez in response on his blog.
Dated today, below is the full text, with the Mahony's preceding explanatory note.
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Friends in Christ,
This morning I sent this letter to Archbishop Jose H. Gomez giving the history and context of what we have been through since the mid-1980s. There is nothing confidential in my letter. I have been encouraged by others to publish it, so I am do so on my personal Blog. I hope you find it useful.
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February 1, 2013
Dear Archbishop Gomez:
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.
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony
Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles
In deference to his successor's judgment, however, Mahony's confirmation schedule in the archdiocese will be handled by other bishops.
In Rome, meanwhile, the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, was quoted by Catholic News Service as saying that the "measure taken by the archbishop naturally regards his archdiocese and not other duties that Cardinal Mahony has received from the pope in the Roman Curia."
Mahony is currently a member of three Curial dicasteries. As a general rule, cardinals hold those seats until, just like one's Conclave rights, automatically losing them on turning 80.
As previously noted, while Gomez almost certainly consulted with the Vatican on his plans and received a favorable response before making the moves public, any regulation of the universal faculties granted to cardinals by canon law is subject to the discretion of the Holy See alone. Most specifically, Canon 357 stipulates that "In those matters which pertain to their own person, cardinals living outside of Rome and outside their own diocese are exempt from the power of governance of the bishop of the diocese in which they are residing."
The most salient quote of all, though, might just be the late-night prediction of one SoCal op who knows predecessor and successor alike:
"This is going to get ugly."
If nothing else, it's safe to say we haven't heard the last of it....
To be continued.
SVILUPPO: In a brief clarification issued late Friday afternoon Pacific time, Gomez said that Mahony and Bishop Thomas Curry – who resigned from his administrative post in the archdiocesan administration, but not as an auxiliary bishop of LA – both remained "bishops in good standing" and enjoyed "full rights" to minister "without restrictions."