Does Cardinal Roger M. Mahony deserve a prison scentence?

More evidence has emerged that the Catholic Church enabled and covered up the criminal acts of paedophile priests. From the New York Times:

"The retired archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, and other high-ranking clergymen in the archdiocese worked quietly to keep evidence of child molesting away from law enforcement officials and shield abusive priests from criminal prosecution more than a decade before the scandal became public, according to confidential church records."

"Rather than defrocking priests and contacting the police, the archdiocese sent priests who had molested children to out-of-state treatment facilities, in large part because therapists in California were legally obligated to report any evidence of child abuse to the police, the files make clear."

Did Cardinal Mahony and other high-ranking clergymen break the law?

If so, what law? If not, should there be a law against what they have done?

Will any of them ever see the inside of a prison cell? 

Tags: pedophile, priests

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In the UK there is an "Obstructing the course of Justice" law that would apply.  This covers hiding a criminal, and withholding evidence regarding a crime.  It would also come under "aiding and abetting" laws. Finally, there would be an outcry in our tabloid papers that would pretty much 'convict' him without a trial.  And there would probably be angry and potentially violent protests until the government was forced to take action.

Why don't people protest at his house, at their government offices and in the newspapers here?

In the US the equivalent charge would probably be obstruction of justice.

Why don't people protest at his house, at their government offices and in the newspapers here?

I'd sure like to know that myself. If this was the CEO of a major corporation he'd be sitting in jail by now waiting for his trial. There has been some public outcry but not nearly as much as one might expect.

If this was the CEO of a major corporation he'd be sitting in jail by now waiting for his trial.

Are you sure about that? How many bank officers whose companies were directly responsible for the economic crash have even been indicted? None!

Are you sure about that? How many bank officers whose companies were directly responsible for the economic crash have even been indicted? None!

I'm sure. It's one thing for bankers to pay Republican congressmen to erase Depression-era antitrust laws for their benefit. But no amount of corporate money can buy enough political clout to legalize child rape so the perpetrator walks. For that you need religion.   

Then there's this, involving a Monsignor:

'Cross-dressing Meth Priest Liked Sex in Rectory'

The Catholic priest busted for allegedly dealing crystal meth was suspended after church officials discovered he was a cross-dresser who was having sex in the rectory at Bridgeport's St. Augustine Cathedral.

Monsignor Kevin Wallin was relieved of his duties in May, but the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport had continued to pay him a stipend until his Jan. 3 arrest -- a day he was planning to fly to London on vacation.

Now dubbed "Msgr. Meth" by some, Wallin seemed to live a life that easily could have been ripped from the script of "Breaking Bad," the popular AMC series about a high school chemistry teacher turned crystal methamphetamine producer. At one point, Wallin was selling upwards of $9,000 of meth a week, according to his indictment.

In his post-priesthood, Wallin, 61, bought an adult specialty and video store in North Haven called Land of Oz that sells sex toys and X-rated DVDs. Investigators believe the shop helped him launder thousands of dollars in weekly profits.

Wallin's arrest sent shock waves through the Bridgeport and Danbury communities where he was known as a charismatic speaker who was involved in many charitable activities, and who enjoyed Broadway musicals and show tunes. He often attended musicals with his mentor, former N.Y. Cardinal Edward Egan and parishioners.

I'm glad to see this lying reptile is facing criminal charges.

But I'm not pleased (or surprised) to see the Church coddle him until after the police bust.

Oh.  It said "sex in rectory," not "sex in rect..." 

oh never mind.

Currently in Australia (where I live) a National Royal Commision has been launched into child abuse, corruption, and cover ups within the catholic church as well as other institutions. This is really awesome because a Royal Commision, which has 6 people in charge, can go on as long as these people deem fit to properly investigate, and the government cannot stop it. They can also seize classified information, like if the catholic church paid off someone to sign a confidential agreement, the commision can still open it up, and police can get involved.

But yeah, theres evidence that the catholic church did the exact same things that you're describing in Australia, sometimes even through the use of police officers who wanted to help the church more than the victims.

I think anyone who obstructs justice in this way definitely deserves a prison sentence. here are some links to the Royal commission

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Commission

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/julia-gillard-anno...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-12/gillard-launches-royal-commis...

It really blows my mind that there are still people giving 10% of their wages to the Catholic Church.  I've spoken with a few and asked them how the can live with themselves while giving financial support to institutional pedophilia.  Most can't even acknowledge there has ever been sexual molestation and just pass it off as a few obscure cases in Boston that occurred years ago which have nothing to do with their diocese or generation.  I really can't believe how thoroughly religion can undermine morality.

I recently watched a documentary titled "Deliver us from Evil" about a priest in the US  named Oliver O'Grady who had molested hundreds of children starting in 1973, and was eventually put in jail until 2000--and then subsequently deported back to his native Ireland.  The church was also force to pay millions in restitution.  Mahony was a part of this coverup.

This is not an anomaly.  It is quite common, as many natives can tell you from the "residential schools" they were forced to attend.  Abuse--sexual and otherwise--was common.  Priests have been taking care of their own for centuries now.  They are no different than tyrants such as Hitler in view.  It is high time they were taken into account for their actions, and for the world to see just how despicable these people really are.

We have had similar debates about the Catholic Church leadership in Ireland over the last number of (too many) years. It is only in recent times that they have got it into their Christian skulls that they are also subject to the criminal laws of the state and not just Canon law as many had been using to hide behind while the actively moved paedophiles around the world. There was no concern for the welfare of the victims and only for the “good name” of the church. Most of the hierarchy still appear to have no grasp of the horrors their clergy have inflicted on children for generations. This has led me to conclude that a reasonably sized proportion of the current cardinals were at some stage child rapists themselves for they were ordinary priests and the peers of many of those already convicted.

However it is because the Catholic Church and its hierarchy have been too closely aligned with governments for hundreds of years that both parties seem to have reached a tacit understand not to prosecute too many above the rank of bishop. Hiding the crime or not disclosing it does not make any difference. They are guilty of criminal charges. I have even heard them talk about how they nobody really understood paedophilia “back then”. WTF!! They did not know raping children was wrong? They do view themselves as more important than the ordinary laity but they should be given the same treatment as everyone else before the law. So give them a fair trial and hang them.

Of course Cardinal Mahony deserves to be in prison, sharing a cell with Cardinal Law and other priests who chose not to protect children from sexual predators, and who obstructed justice by preventing law enforcement from catching pedophile priests.  But WILL he ever go to prison?  No, he won't - for two reasons: the statute of limitations; and the willingness of the Vatican to protect him by promoting him and moving  him to Rome, if it becomes necessary.  The Vatican and the Pope have made it excruciatingly clear, especially by their reprehensible behavior in Ireland, that NOTHING supersedes the sanctity of the Holy Roman Church - not even the safety of children.  How like the NRA they are!

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