Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sin of omission

The Cardinal removed from his duties, after the damage was done, because of his role in the cover-up of sex abuse of children in Los Angeles has been singled out for another sin, and surely these are sins: Cardinal Mahony used cemetery money to pay sex abuse settlement.

It appears to be legal, not that it makes it right, to have used the money, in fact, the good cardinal probably had no other choice. He just conveniently left that fund off the publicly announced list of sources for settlement funding. It is not too hard to imagine the push back if he had told the parishioners his intention.

But arguably the parishioners would have approved, even if grudgingly. But it is just one more deception by the Church and this cardinal. One suspects that there will be more revelations as the media gets around to doing their job.

There are two interesting aspects in the story. One is that "[a]n official archdiocese history published in 2006 recounts how the faithful of Mora's era [Bishop Mora opened the fund in 1896] were assured their money was "in the custody of an organization of unquestionable integrity and endurance" — the Catholic Church."

The other is that the Vatican wasn't willing to even loan the money to help fund the settlement. The Catholic Church as represented by the Vatican has continually distanced itself from responsibility for the sexual abuse of children entrusted to them by God. When it comes to the secular legal responsibilities - the local dioceses are on their own. I understand the probable legal ramifications associated any admission of responsibility, but doesn't the moral and ethical responsibilities top legal?