Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony apologized to the hundreds of people who were sexually abused by priests. The pending sexual abuse cases against the church were recently settled for the sum of $660 million. Cardinal Mahony was quoted:
“I have come to understand far more deeply than I ever could the impact of this terrible sin and crime that has affected their lives. There really is no way to go back and give them that innocence that was taken from them. The one thing I wish I could give the victims… I cannot.
“Once again, I apologise to anyone who has been offended, who has been abused… It should not have happened and should not ever happen again.”
The reactions to these developments were mixed. The settlement was bittersweet at best for the victims. Steve Cooley, LA County District Attorney responded:
“Cardinal Mahony and many others are going to have to live with their conscience and live with their incredible moral failure to the people of Los Angeles. We’ve done everything we can under the constraints of the laws of California.”
The District Attorney has been critical of Cardinal Mahony for some time since the Cardinal refused to turn over pertinent church documents concerning the priests that were accused and stonewalled the investigation for nearly 5 years.
Church parishioners seemed by in large to be glad that it is over. though a few blamed Cardinal Mahony for dragging the church through a lot more than was necessary. Some blame the Cardinal for his involvement in covering up for the priests.
This is really a black eye for the Catholic Church. The fact that Cardinal Mahony has seemed to be more concerned with covering for the priests involved and for the administrators including himself, than for the hundreds of victims.
He strung this out for years refusing to hand over church documents to the DA and negotiated a settlement that continues to maintain the privacy of all the Church docs. with limited access given only to a retired judge for evaluation. Yet he did apologize, which is far more than many expected and far less than morally needed.