Remember this from the April 22 edition of the Los Angeles Times?
- The cardinal, who asked to remain anonymous, said Sunday that he had been “commissioned” by other senior prelates to take their case against Law directly to Pope John Paul II’s inner circle. He said that he, as well as others, would do so today during private meetings at the Vatican. Today’s meetings come a day before two days of talks between America’s cardinals and Vatican leaders on the abuse scandal. “If the Holy See wants to send a strong signal of quality and standards of leadership,” the cardinal told The Times, Law “will have to be replaced. This cannot be a phaseout.” The cardinal said he did not want to undermine his efforts by publicly disclosing his name before speaking to the Vatican.
Seeing as how the article appeared in the Los Angeles newspaper and that one of the bylined writers was a guy known as the mouthpiece for a certain prelate in Los Angeles, it wouldn’t be a great stretch to guess that the unnamed cardinal is Roger Mahony.
What was most interesting about this story was that this was no leak from an anonymous source. The cardinal presumably sought out these reporters and allowed for them to publicize his office if not his name. And that cardinal suggests he would make his claim public anyway as he says he didn’t want to make his name known before making his case for Law’s removal.
And yet when the apparent hypocrisy by Mahony became clear over the intervening months—Mahony is alleged to have moved about pedophiles and allegedly conspired to hide their crimes—the journalists to whom he bared his soul have resisted the urge to label him a hypocrite and kept his name secret. What could possibly make journalists overcome the very strong cynical impulse ingrained in them in J-school? It’s not like we’re talking about loyal sons of the Church here. They’re antagonism toward orthodox Catholicism is very clear.