For a decade now, the sex
It goes without saying that the Catholic hierarchy from
This forgiveness principle was misused in the most horrible ways by priests who were eager to get past repentance and on to the next victim. Just one example: The newly released files tell the sick tale of one priest who placed his hand on the forehead of the boy he had just violated and absolved him of sin. According to the boy, this happened 15 times.
Archbishop Gomez characterized the files as "brutal and painful reading."
"The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil," Gomez said in a letter to L.A.'s Catholics. "There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed."
Of course, the files describe things that happened in the 1980s and the church insists steps have been taken to prevent such things from happening today. We all pray that is true. But, as they say in politics, the cover-up is more damaging than the crime, at least to the powerful men who try to keep terrible secrets. Cardinal Mahony is the latest to learn this lesson.