PRESS RELEASE: Catholics Respond to Tone-Deaf Statement from Archdiocese

Posted February 15, 2013

Archbishop Gomez endorses Cardinal Mahony’s church-sponsored trip to Vatican despite growing call to stay home

WASHINGTON – The Archdiocese of Los Angeles released a statement this afternoon supporting Cardinal Roger Mahony’s participation in the upcoming papal conclave, despite recent revelations of child sex abuse cover-ups that occurred under his tenure as leader of the archdiocese. Catholics United is leading a nationwide effort to encourage Cardinal Mahony to do the right thing for the victims of child sex abuse and recuse himself from the conclave.

The petition can be found at

CU Executive Director James Salt released the following statement:

“Archbishop Gomez’s support for Cardinal Mahony’s participation in the papal conclave demonstrates the crisis of leadership within American Catholicism. Instead of defending the dignity of abuse victims, Archbishop Gomez has chosen to protect the hierarchy first. He clearly does not understand the pervasive hurt and anger within his flock.

“Cardinal Mahony’s involvement with the conclave would bring a dark cloud over the election of the next pope, and our Church deserves better. We at Catholics United, and the thousands who have signed our petition, love the Church, but we find the poor decisions of the bishops increasingly disheartening. The people of the Church are desperate for better leadership and spiritual guidance, not cover-ups and distractions. We expect more from Archbishop Gomez.”

Others share our view:
Washington Post editorial, “The Sins of Cardinal Mahony”

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, “A Faith Unshaken but Unsettled”

The archdiocese’s statement can be found here:

Founded in 2004, Catholics United, and its educational arm, Catholics United Education Fund, are non-profit, non-partisan organizations dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition.

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