Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony has been eating some much-deserved crow since the Archdiocese of LA, which he heads, agreed Saturday to settle for $660 million with about 500 people who had accused Catholic Church priests of abusing them.
He offered this apology at Mass yesterday, and he just got done getting grilled by my former colleague Chris Weinkopf, the Catholic editor over the LA Daily News’ editorial pages. Here are some the notes from their conversation (Weinkopf in bold, Mahony below):
I tried to stress the difference between “I’m sorry about what’s happened to you” versus “I’m sorry for what I have done.” Isn’t there an important difference between the two?
That’s true, but that’s not what (victims are) looking for. They would love to meet the offender and hear him say that. They’re looking for an apology from the Church.
On why he didn’t call the police when he learned of abuses:
Unfortunately, in those times we just didn’t do that as readily, we didn’t understand the depth of the problem…. The McMartin trial was first time in the state of California that this whole issue came into the spotlight, into the light of day…
In those days we didn’t think of it in those terms. We would send (offenders) to a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist we knew and we told the police that if they discovered there really was an abuse that they would notify law enforcement….