Archbishop Gomez: Pray for Cardinal Mahony as he travels to Rome
Archbishop Jose H. Gomez on Friday sent out a letter urging the faithful to pray for Cardinal Roger Mahony to help select a new pope and reiterated his message that Mahony remains a priest "in good standing" despite new details emerging about clergy abuse cases.
“Having been promoted to the dignity of Cardinal, Cardinal Mahony has all of the prerogatives and privileges of his standing as a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church,” Gomez wrote.
Gomez announced last month that he had removed Mahony from all public duties amid revelations that he plotted to conceal child molestation by priests from law enforcement.
Gomez wrote in a letter to parishioners last month that newly released priest files were "brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children."
Gomez wrote that Mahony, his predecessor as leader of the archdiocese, "has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care. Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties."
A church spokesman later clarified that Mahony remained a priest "in good standing" and maintained all his powers as a cardinal.
Gomez reiterated this point on Friday.
There has been some debate about Mahony going to Rome to help select a new pope.
Here is the full text from the L.A. Archdiocese:
Archbishop Jose H. Gomez invited all clergy and faithful in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to pray for Cardinal Roger Mahony as he prepares to leave for Rome to elect a new pope to replace Pope Benedict XVI, who announced Monday that he will retire at the end of February.
In a letter sent to all priests in the Archdiocese Feb. 14, Archbishop Gomez also expressed confidence that “Cardinal Mahony’s accomplishments and experience in the areas of immigration, social justice, sacred liturgy, and the role of the laity in the Church will serve the College of Cardinals well as it works to discern the will of the Holy Spirit in these deliberations that will lead to the election of our new Pope.”
Archbishop Gomez also repeated his previous public comments in which he sought to clarify “confusion in some media” reports about the status of Cardinal Mahony and Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry.
Both Cardinal Mahony and Bishop Curry “remain bishops in good standing in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Both have full rights to celebrate the Holy Sacraments of the Church and to minister to the faithful without restriction,” said Archbishop Gomez.
He added, “Having been promoted to the dignity of Cardinal, Cardinal Mahony has all of the prerogatives and privileges of his standing as a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.”
Photo: Cardinal Roger Mahony, left, walks with his successor, Archbishop Jose Gomez, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in April 2010. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images