I’m not Catholic, but I do know that the Catholic Church is looked upon as sacred and reverent to Catholics. Yet it is in this holy church that many scandals have occurred, and one big scandal just recently happened in Southern California- the Mahony scandal. The once-revered Cardinal Mahony is now facing opposition upon being realized that he tried to keep the abusive priests safe from the law. Not only that, what has enraged people is the fact that Mahony did not even consider to help the abused victims. Along with Mahony also fell Bishop Thomas Curry.
Read the article here (click link): LA Times- A Sudden Fall for Cardinal Mahony’s Former Right-hand Man
The LA Times article was a little bit of a revelation to me. Before, when I was a little younger, I used to think that the clergy who started these scandals were stupid and retarded in the fact that they tried to protect those abusive priests from the law. I thought they were stupidly trying to just protect the church’s reputation, when they should have known that to God, the reputation was already damaged. However, this article changed my opinion. I was now beginning to see that there is perhaps a moral reason why Mahony and other clergies involved did what they did. This is not just a Californian problem but a worldwide one.
Let’s see how all of this can have a moral reason. One quote from the article: In a 1990 letter, Curry wrote that he viewed a boy molested by Garcia as ‘the victim of a person who, as a result of his own illness, committed grave wrongs.‘ Basically, Curry was saying that the true victim was not the actual victim himself, but rather the abuser. Society does not tend to look at a deep level; we see what is literally and physically happening, thus we support the abused. However, if we take it into a religious level as with Curry, the greater sinner was the abuser. And in God’s eyes, sinners are the true victims of Satan, the ones who need help. Thus maybe the reason why Mahony and Curry and others both did not tend to the victims but rather to the abusers. In this case, I will have to partially agree with Curry. However, that does not mean he can neglect the victims.
There is also perhaps another moral reason. Check this quote out:
Of one priest, George Neville Rucker, accused in 1989 by a 31-year-old woman of decades-old abuse, he wrote: “It was of great concern to him that for something that was so casual to him at the time could be so devastating to her … he stays awake at night because of this. The trouble it caused him and his transfer was such a trauma for him that he has never been involved in anything since that time.”
What did I get from this quote? The reason why Curry and other clergy have kept abusive priests safe from the law is because they morally believe that it is the church that is a sinner’s haven. Again, let’s look from a religious point of view. God is like a father, who will always welcome back his son, no matter how sinful his son has been. In a sense, the house of God aka the church will always be open to even the vilest of sinners. In this case, it is the abusers. Why have them suffer in prison when they have learned from their mistakes? Let them come in peace with the Church and the Lord.
Again, this I have to partially agree. However, I believe that no matter the reasons or excuses that exists for this issue, whether legal or moral, the priests still have some fault. Mainly because they should have at least given the victims some care and attention. Anyway, whatever turns out for the priests or the victims or the offenders, let us all pray for them. May God be with us all. Amen.