Mahony (allegedly) lies, trust dies

Mahony (allegedly) lies, trust dies

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles allegedly lied, but it’s okay because he was under court order. In October 2005, Mahony told a parish that a video made by an accused priest, Fr. Lynn Caffoe, did not show naked boys and there was no sexual activity. Yet in April of that same year, he’d told the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the same videotape showed “partially naked” boys in a state of arousal and that it was “objective verification that criminal behavior did occur.”

It’s all good, though, because Mahony’s lawyer says he had to lie.

J. Michael Hennigan, Mahony’s lawyer, said he sees no contradiction between Mahony’s public statements and the file contents because at the time the cardinal spoke out, the archdiocese was under court order not to reveal the contents of the personnel files. Hennigan said two judges had reviewed the material and considered the summary to be adequate. The statements “were not intended to be a description of the contents of the files, which we were not allowed to do,” Hennigan said. They merely served as “an index, a chronology.”

Hennigan adds that he doesn’t think Mahony ever even saw the tape in the first place, so his lie is compounded. If he didn’t watch the video, how could he say that it provided verification of criminal behavior. Perhaps he was merely relaying the findings of underlings. Fair enough, but it still doesn’t explain why he made two completely contradictory statements—whatever his lawyer said—to different audiences, months apart.

Does anyone in Los Angeles trust this man to tell the truth? I stopped expecting it after the infamous Holy Week 2002 emails within his inner circle were leaked.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
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