The article quotes Msgr. Robert J. Gallagher as telling his parishioners at St. Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood on Sunday that "young people whose lives were ruined … need a sense that they are being invited back into God's grace."
This strikes me as an astonishingly cruel and insensitive statement — thoughtless, really. Are the targets of the Roman Catholic Church's predators to understand that they've been separated from God by being victims of crimes and that they are now, somehow, eligible to embark on a journey of redemption? If so, why not before?
In the context of the ever-unfolding scandals, members of the church hierarchy seem to use language as decoration while remaining tone deaf to content.
As disturbing as I find the information being released from the Los Angeles Archdiocese's priest personnel files, what I find even more disturbing is the apparent lack of outrage in the form of massive demonstrations at the downtown cathedral and at parishes across L.A.
If the abused children had only stayed in the embryo stage, then maybe ardently pro-life Catholics would be storming the church doors demanding more than empty "sorry, we got caught" apologies from Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and even his successor, Archbishop Jose Gomez, who worked to block the release of these files the moment he arrived in Los Angeles.
I've been following Steve Lopez's coverage of Mahony, and the thought occurred to me that this situation should have been handled similarly to how Penn State University dealt with its child molestation case.
Mahony would have been fired outright, with no further connection to the church. And in addition to the $660 million the church paid to hundreds of victims, the priests he allowed to continue in their jobs would be sitting in jail, as is disgraced football coach Jerry Sandusky. That would have been real justice.
Lopez has been the consistent driving force in exposing the coverup of sexual abuse in the Los Angeles Archdiocese and the role Mahony played.
Seven years ago, Amy Berg's documentary, "Deliver Us From Evil," detailed the coverup of one priest under Mahony's jurisdiction. Why was that not the nail in his clerical coffin?
Mary Brent Wehrli