Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Makers: 1963-2013

I was close to tears during most of Makers: Women Who Make America, the 2 1/2 hr. documentary on the women's movement from 1963 to the present, inspired by the 50th anniversary this year of the publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique.    Buy it now from PBS.  

For women of a certain age, our lives passed before us as we watched.

My friend Sharon Billings wrote "with admiration and delight":

What an experience to watch my life literally unfold before my eyes.  How profoundly we impact history by our efforts, something easy to miss in the moment.  Kudos to all who participated.

The optimism of the early 1970s was so moving, when we thought our nation could add women to the Constitution as a matter of course--and then we saw the rise of misogyny led by Phyllis Schlafly, the Harvard-educated mother with hired child care to permit her to fly around the country opposing the Equal Rights Amendment.  

I used to hate Phyllis Schlafly, but now I almost never have to think about her.  When I do see her snarling, lip-sticked, bee-hived image on my television screen, that hate springs right back.  She is the snake in the Garden of Eden, speaking to the male:  "Of course you were made to rule.  Shut up, Eve."

Back on June 30, 1982, when the ERA went down in flames with only three more states needed to make the 38 needed for ratification, I was heart-broken.  My first daughter, Roz, sat in her baby seat on the kitchen table as I tried to explain the significance of the day to her, but my earnestness face-to-face only made her smile and laugh.

The perplexity of whether to incorporate defense of lesbian women into the mainstream fight for equal rights also kept my emotions on edge: reliving Betty Friedan's initial unwillingness to risk all by including gay rights, followed by the enthusiasm at Houston in 1976 when inclusiveness was adopted.  

In the Christian feminist organization I've been a part of, Evangelical Women's Caucus, we went through this same process of "No, we can't succeed in our mission if we support our lesbian sisters" to "Yes, we will stand--or fall--together."  Those who left in 1986 then formed Christians for Biblical Equality, which has prospered.

The interwoven fight for reproductive choice was also moving and the statistics were shocking: 5000 deaths a year in the US pre-Roe v. Wade.

Faces of the movers, shakers, and makers made this history come alive, such as a young Patricia Schroeder entering the 93rd Congress in 1974, to bring the total number of women to 14 out of 435.

How could we live and breathe in such a sexist, male-controlled world?  

Shirley Chisholm was one of those Congresspersons, and my first vote in a presidential election went to her in 1972.  

Bella Abzug was another of our sheroes;  I heard her speak at a demonstration for the ERA in San Francisco in the 1970s.

"I have a brain and a uterus and they both work," said Pat Schroeder when asked how a mother could possibly serve in Congress.

Another riveting moment in the documentary was mention of the UN's Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, 1995: "Women's rights are human rights, and human rights are women's rights"--not the diversion of the privileged few.  Friends attended it--I was there in spirit.

Then I relived the horror of the 1980s and 90s when women realized that jobs and men were not changing to accommodate our numbers in the work force.  Arlie Hochschild wrote The Second Shift about this problem while President Nixon vetoed a bill for day day of children. 

Makers ended with interviews of prominent women today such as Cheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook.

Today's statistics: women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.  

One fifth of our Senators are women and 81 out of 535 Representatives are women--15%.  In order to match the 20% in the Senate, we would need 107 women in the House.

Compared to many nations, these totals are pathetic.  Compared to our past only 50 years ago, they are improved.  Compared to equality--50/50 men and women in our Congress--the statistics are still humiliating.

My own work history attests to the 77 cents statistic.  I fought to stay employed and to succeed in my career, but time out for childbirth and child care and moving to accommodate my husband's employment opportunities took a huge toll.  My various salaries tell the story.

This part of Makers also kept me close to tears. 

Hillary Clinton appeared throughout the documentary, from a young wife to a senior statesperson.

"The 21st C. is about ending the pervasive discrimination and degradation of women," she asserted.

Meryl Streep speaks as the unseen narrator throughout, and at the end she says, "The revolutionary moment is gone, but it goes on--the biggest social movement in the history of the planet."  

More tears, of course.  It has been my privilege and my pain to be a small part of that movement.

"There is a maker in all of us," notes the narrator.  I realize that the title chosen was not "Women Who Made America" but "Women Who Make."  

Present--and still tense.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fighting Hate with Love

Before 7 am helicopters were blasting over the houses in our neighborhood.  A police chase?  A traffic jam on the freeway?  

No, this time it was the fundamentalists that had come to town.

Crazies from that church in Kansas had arrived to get some publicity by picketing the Oscars, and on the morning after, they wanted to picket a high school, any high school.

Ellen & Carlos at counter-demonstration

Santa Monica turned out to be their choice for location-most-likely-to-generate-publicity for their anti-gay protest.

A total of 6-7 from Oklahoma showed up--greatly outnumbered by members of local churches, who had mobilized to counter their message with signs of "God is Love" and "God cares for all creation." SMHS's Gay-Straight Alliance also took part.

When John and I found out that our daughter Ellen and her husband Carlos had driven from mid-town Los Angeles to take part in this God-loves-you demonstration, we were delighted.

Ellen is a grad of Samohi in 2003.  She and her classmates Erin Neff and Erin McConocha cared enough to come and defend their school and their values--and to arrive at 6:15 am to do so!  
Check out the video on YouTube made by Ben Ross:

Ellen and Carlos were married at nearby St. Augustine by-the-sea Episcopal Church, where gay priests such as Malcolm Boyd have preached.

We were also happy that coverage of the Academy Awards had gone on for hours with no mention of this group so determined to get their five minutes on the national stage.  

Below are a few words from the LA Times on this non-event:  
Christians standing up to anti-gay demonstrators


Here are a few more photos:

Early morning demonstration at Ellen's high school

Sex and the Single Priest

Amid the hullabaloo over selecting the next pope, several forbidden topics have come up for discussion.

  • A cardinal has publicly advocated giving up the requirement of celibacy for priests.  Keith O'Brien of Scotland was the highest official in recent history to take this position in the Roman Catholic Church--perhaps because he knew he was resigning soon.
  • E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post wrote a column suggesting that the next pope should be a woman and thus that the ban on women priests should be lifted.
  • Italian media are reporting a gay sex scandal inside the Vatican. 

The great ship Vatican appears to have sprung a few leaks, giving rise to the new term Vatileaks from the previous word wikileaks.

Centuries-old icebergs of doctrine against married priests and women priests are shifting, turning and breaking up.  The Vatican may have to choose between shifting course and crashing.

I may have to move up my prediction for when the Roman Catholic Church will ordain women regularly.  I had said 2050, but sexual scandal within the church could move things faster than advocates of women's ordination ever could.

Scandals new and old continue to rock the church as cardinals arrive at the Vatican to join the fray over who will become the next pope.

O'Brien, head of the Catholic Church in Scotland and Britain's top prelate, submitted his resignation a few months ago, but the Pope did not accept it until Feb. 18, apparently to make sure that O'Brien would not taint election of the next pope.

Pressure mounts on Roger Mahony and two others from Belgium and Ireland not to participate in the conclave of cardinals, but if all cardinals who have participated in covering up sexual abuse were to resign, there might be very few left to vote.

Are we surprised that a gay scandal inside the Vatican is being reported?  

It's a boys' club par excellence--"No girls allowed."  But boys will be boys.

Actually, my colleague Mutombo Nkulu-N'Sengha told me a year ago that when he studied at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome to become a priest, there were rumors of Joseph Ratzinger having or having had sexual relationships with men.  

Truth will out, and perhaps the Roman Catholic Church will become a more honest, open institution by allowing priests to marry, allowing women to become priests, and some day even accepting priests who are in a long-term, faithful, same-sex relationship.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Guns and Miracles

Great column today in the Washington Post by E. J. Dionne: "The Miracle on Guns."

He sees forces coming together to pass legislation on gun control, and he looks at the factors that are causing it:

  • Sandy Hook
  • President Obama's strength beginning a new term
  • Vice President Biden's skills and history in the legislature
  • The American public seeing through the claims of the NRA
  • Support from mayors and police chiefs
However, he notes that a ban on assault weapons may not make it into the legislation.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pope Nun I

Hooray for Rachel Manteuffel in coining this new byword: Pope Nun I.

Rachel Manteuffel applauded E. J. Dionne's column asking for a nun to be pope and reported reader response in the Washington Post's PostPartisan blog, "Postscript: Dionne and Pope Nun I."

Shortly after news of Pope Benedict XVI's plans to resign, Dionne floated the idea of electing a nun to be pope.

His idea was quoted with glee by some observers and disgust by others, who noted that a woman doesn't have the physical prerequisites to be "the Holy Father."

That's just the point.  

Many nuns such as Joan Chittister do have what it takes to be holy, but some of the church's priests and cardinals--even those supposedly papabile--are lacking when it comes to holiness.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

22 Suicides of Vets a Day

It's not patriotic to think or talk about the 22 veterans who commit suicide every day.  (This figure is from 2010, the most recent year for which there are approximate totals.)

It's negative thinking.  We need to support our troops, not badmouth them, say some people, but Aaron Glantz has taken the time to think and write about this problem in his book, The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle against America's Veterans (UC Press, 2010).

UC Press writes: The War Comes Home is the first book to systematically document the U.S. government's neglect of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

A report in the New York Times contrasts rates of suicide among veterans with a total rate of 105 suicides per day for the whole population in 2010, the year with most recent totals.

Because the rate has been rising for everyone over a 12-year period, the per cent relating to veterans has been declining.  

PTSD and easy access to guns are two of the factors that lead to suicide for many soldiers.

Thank you to Aaron Glantz for telling us about these unpleasant truths.  He works for the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, CA.

In our fierce efforts to balance the budget, let's not do it by hurting those who have given up their mental health to serve this country.

Women Crossing the Border

Women who cross the border don't get much press.

See my article this week on the website of EEWC-Christian Feminism Today for the story of Martha and Mary, two sisters who returned to Mexico to visits their dying mother and then were arrested while trying to return to their families in the US.

Immigration is a women's issue too.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Welcoming the Stranger

It's time to gear up for the big immigration debate in Congress this spring.

The only way reform will get a vote is if thousands of people, both Democrats and Republicans, contact their senators and representatives asking for significant immigration reform.

Jenny Hwang has a lot of answers for those who are against immigrants.  Her book, Welcoming the Stranger with co-author Matthew Soerens, debunks the major myths out there: that immigrants cost the US more than they give, that they don't want to learn English and integrate into our society, that the best solution is mass deportation.

Jenny points out that the word ger (immigrant) occurs 92 times in the Hebrew Scriptures.  God cares a lot about those who are strangers and migrants.

To check out 40 of those verses and hear myths debunked,  go to this website:

To listen to a 30-minute talk by Jenny on immigration as a biblical issue and how immigrants are strengthening Christianity in the US, go to this website of Calvin College:

For a list of evangelical leaders who support immigration reform, see:

To learn how you can be an advocate for immigration reform this spring and summer, go to the World Relief website.  Jenny works in Washington, D.C. for World Relief, an arm of the National Association of Evangelicals.  She is director of advocacy and policy for the Refugee and Immigration Program of WR.

World Relief is sponsoring a conference in Philadelphia on Feb. 22-24 called "Justice and Liberty for All."

Thank you to Linda Bieze for linking me to Jenny's talk at Calvin College and her other advocacy work.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Soup and Scandal

A breakfast of strawberry oatmeal soup and papal scandal--what could be nicer?  

Well, I wish I'd planned the oatmeal better so it hadn't ended up so soupy.

Thank you to Rachel Donadio in today's New York Times for outlining the mistakes and pressures that drove Pope Benedict XVI to resign.

So it turns out that mishandling of sexual abuse by priests was only part of the story.

Not only did he fail to excommunicate Marcial Maciel Degollado, the rapist and drug using priest in Mexico, but he lifted the excommunication of a schismatic bishop who had denied the Holocaust.

He issued his welcome to disaffected Anglicans in 2009 without consulting the Vatican official in charge of Anglican-Catholic relations.

He quoted a Byzantine emperor about the "evil" of Islam, causing several deaths in Muslim riots of protest.

And then there was the scandal of his butler leaking documents that revealed corruption and mismanagement in awarding construction contracts in the Vatican.  Apparently the butler's actions were part of a power struggle among cardinals.

Mitchell Landsberg also had some answers in yesterday's LA Times.,0,6881369.story

The case of Marcial Maciel made the third paragraph of his report, which lists cases of the Pope condoning bishops' cover-up of abuse, even while making speeches about the horror of abuse.

"Critics, though, say that both as cardinal and later as pope, Benedict failed to act quickly or strongly enough on sexual abuse cases, despite knowledge of the depth of the problem and some bishops' practice of hiding sexual abuse cases from civil authorities."

All in all, a sobering way to enter Lent 2013.

Dust we all are, and to dust we return.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pink Smoke Rises Again

The circus begins--woo hoo!

Cardinals of the Catholic Church will soon be parading about in their red robes, spectacularly sexist in their refusal to allow women in their midst.

Women who are pressuring for the ordination of women as priests will picket the event with big signs, as they did last time, and they will send up pink smoke signifying the absence of women in the priesthood and in the leadership decisions of the Church.

If you haven't seen Pink Smoke Over the Vatican yet, order your copy now from Amazon or another website.  In it Catholic women discuss their calling by the Holy Spirit to become priests, including some who as children acted out little scenes of Eucharist with their friends.

We need elections of new popes every year or two to keep the issue of male-only priesthood front and center in all media discussion of the Roman Catholic Church.

Dramatic scenes of sexism in the Church are like the coffins of lost soldiers that the US doesn't want to display.  As long as faithful Catholics don't have to think about the men-only club that governs them, the men can get away with anything, even cover-up of sexual abuse of children by priests.

The more face time these cardinals have the better.  Thanks, Ratzinger, for resigning.

I've got my popcorn and my picket signs ready--let the show begin!

Good Riddance to Ratzinger

My mouth dropped this morning when I heard Pope Benedict XVI is resigning "for health reasons."

He has a lot of other reasons to resign, primarily his involvement in covering up accusations of child sexual abuse while he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Survivors and activists against child sexual abuse by priests in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, the US, and other nations are quoted in today's article on The Guardian website titled "Pope Benedict 'complicit in child sex abuse scandals,' say victims' groups."

In Los Angeles it has been only ten days since Cardinal Roger Mahony was "relieved of administrative duties" in the Archdiocese here, where he was formerly archbishop.  

This action was taken by the current archbishop.  In order for him to rebuke Cardinal Mahoney, officials at the Vatican had to have given approval, including the Pope.

Likewise, there had to be a lot of debate over this retirement of the Pope, something that hasn't happened in nearly 600 years.  

There had to be agreement that it was the right thing to do, and in the past, ill health has not been a reason to rock the boat by resigning.  The Pope as spiritual leader has continued up to his death, whether or not he could actively travel and administer the Vatican.

Perhaps the release of thousands of pages of cover-up documentation in California was the last straw for cardinals in Rome managing the Church's public relations.  Perhaps some realized that Ratzinger's handling of the abuse cases that came to his desk was a liability--or at least a crying shame.  

Some forces in the Vatican wanted to wipe the slate clean and start over--but they clearly didn't want to advertise the Papacy turning over a new leaf.    

A priest in San Francisco is reporting that the Pope said this morning that he had "prayed about it again and again" before making this announcement.

If this Pope was indeed praying so deeply, he would have known in his heart that his own handling of child sexual abuse by priests was very much like Cardinal Mahony's.  To approve the rebuke of Mahony while and continue to reign over the Catholic Church might have seemed to him a bit hypocritical.

Perhaps I am giving Ratzinger and the other men in Rome too much credit, but reports are now coming out that he was "not a good administrator" and the Church wanted to start over with someone else.

That's probably as close as they can come to revealing the truth.

Hooray to the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press for continuing to press for release of the files on priestly sexual abuse in this archdiocese.  Their work led to the silencing of Roger Mahony, which may have been the foreshock triggering today's earthquake.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Civil rights during a manhunt

At a friend's birthday party, the topic of the missing killer on the loose in southern California came up.

"I really hope they find him," said one of the men earnestly.

His tone struck me--why did he care so much?

He told us.  

On Thursday about noon when I was driving east on the 105, suddenly I noticed a couple of police cars behind me, pulling me over.

I thought: my speed?  my signals?  And then I remembered the earlier news about this guy Dorner who had killed some people.

As I listened to Melvin, I realized the problem: he's a bald, light-skinned African American man. 

"But you're about a hundred pounds lighter than that guy," I said.

Right--I'm 185 and I wasn't driving a truck, said Melvin.  But I'd seen his photo, and I realized some driver must have reported me.

I pulled over, and 12 police cars pulled up behind me.  No officer came to my window, however.  One stood behind my taillight on the left.

"Do you want me to get out of the car or show you my license?" I asked.

"No--stay where you are.  Don't move," said the officer.

I sat there, not reaching for anything, waiting.  They were clearly running the license of the car, and from that getting my driver's license and my photo.

Then all at once the officer got back in his car and they all drove off.  

The officer didn't come to the window of my car or anything.  No apology.  They just drove off.

When I and a couple of others heard this story, we were aghast.  But we heard that many people were stopped like this.  

Furthermore, two women delivering newspapers were shot.  Waiting lines at the US border to enter Mexico grew long and tedious.  Here and there in malls and gas stations, someone reporting sighting Dorner and everyone's day was interrupted as police cars arrived.  

Tonight Dorner died in a fiery inferno--not a happy ending, but at least closure.  

LAPD can stop the frantic search, and people who resemble Dorner or simply find themselves in the path of armed officers can stop fearing for their lives.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Diploma or GED?

One of the kids in my extended family has parted company with his high school by mutual agreement.

Instead, he's taking the five exams to earn his GED.

His mother emailed me these shocking facts:

* US high schools only graduate 6 students for every one who satisfies the requirement by GED. 

* That figure doesn't even take into account those who drop out and do not bother to get the GED.  

* 30% of high school graduates flunk the GED. 

Find out from your local high school:
1) How many students graduated last year?
2) How many started four years earlier?  And thus, how many fell through the cracks?

If free public schools are failing a large portion of their students, how can we provide alternatives?  

Can we set up GED tutoring centers where attendance is not required but chosen, where students are focused on attaining specific goals?  

Even better, can we tailor that tutoring to meet the needs of a variety of learners?

It's hard for a teacher in a classroom to speak to the variety of levels of ability and interest found among 30-40 students.  Maybe we need to give up the classroom model.

Still Saying "No Women Priests"

I love the comment by one reader of "Mahony defends his actions" at 8:30 this morning on the LA Times website.

She writes:

"So let me get this straight. 
In this church:
You are allowed to remain an archbishop, vote on the pope, and administer the sacraments even if you have demonstrably shielded child molesters. 
However, you cannot become a priest if you are a woman.
Wow. Just wow."

What more can I say?  The illogic and hypocrisy of these men is out there for all to see.
Thank you to "youareuniquelikeeveryoneelse" (her posting name on the LA Times).

Fathers Who Are Not Fathers

What about that claim of "naivete"?

"Not enough was known" about child sexual abuse for Archbishop Mahony to report it to police? 
 Any parent even one hundred years ago would have known enough to get the abuser either arrested or shot.

If only Rome let its priests marry and become parents, they would have more insight on what it means to rape a child.  

A priest who had also witnessed the miracle of birth and had held his own child might still have committed sexual abuse against children.

But a bishop who was a father would have reacted more appropriately.  He would have had an inkling about what a child is and what rape by a trusted adult could do to a child's developing sense of self.  He might have  been able better to balance damage to the child against damage to the church's reputation.

As in plane crashes and other disasters, there are multiple causes of priestly sexual abuse of children.

Preventing priests and bishops and archbishops from marrying and having children is one of the causes of the cover-up--not to mention a cause of the misdirected sexuality.  

If the Roman Catholic Church really wanted to do some soul-searching, it would look at these root causes.

We can force it to the table by withholding our money, refusing to use Catholic hospitals, and not sending our children to Catholic schools and colleges.

Hit 'em in the Wallet

I'm following comments on "Mahoney defends actions" on the LA Times website.  They're excellent.
One person writes:
 "What's amazing as well is that people will still continue to give money to the Church week after week, even though that money is mostly going to lawyers and lawsuit settlements.
As for me, not one penny to the Catholic Church anymore after reading these disgusting memos.  Not one penny more.  I urge other fellow Catholics to do the same.  
Donate to the various orders of nuns out there.  Their donations don't go to legions of lawyers and hundreds of millions in settlements."
[His/her handle is "Only a fool would."]
Yes, the real way to make a difference here is for Catholics to stop giving money to the church and for all persons to stop using Catholic schools, colleges, and hospitals.
The message will not get through to the top of the Church until revenues start to fall.

Archbishop Demeritus

Wonders never cease.  

Just after the yesterday's stunning headline "Mahoney relieved of duties" comes news that is even more shocking: Mahoney punching back at Archbishop Jose Gomez with a public letter on his blog.

And this is a guy who cares about embarrassing the Church?  A food fight between archbishops is a spectacle we haven't seen before.,0,5622288.story

I guess you can take the archbishop out of his esteemed status, but you can't take that sense of pride out of the archbishop.

He still has no clue that maybe he needs to wear sackcloth and ashes.  Maybe he needs to vanish or at least lower his public profile a little.

Pride--the sin of Lucifer.  The first of the seven deadly and cardinal sins (yes, pun intended).

He handed over to Gomez an archdiocese that was "second to none in protecting children and youth," he says in that letter sent to Gomez and published on his blog.  It was also second to none in continuing to hide the truth about how they covered up abuse.

"In a sense what this is is a public shaming," notes Fr. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit professor at Georgetown University quoted in the Times article.

There's danger in public shaming.  "Let him who is without sin throw the first stone," Jesus said in saving the life of a woman who had done nothing more than a consensual sexual act outside of marriage.

I should hesitate to judge, because I too am a sinner.  I should not enjoy this spectacle so much.

Yet I can't help but wonder what Jesus would do to a man who raped children while wearing titles and robes of the church bearing his name.  What he would say to a man who shielded those rapists?

Jesus saved his angriest words for the public hypocrites of his day:"Woe unto you... ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness" (Matthew 23:27 KJV).

Thus it is really scary to watch a prince of the church draw on public media and his remaining power as a Cardinal to lash out against rebuke.

It's like watching the opera about Doctor Faustus, who sold his soul to the devil, and sitting on the edge of your chair just before Mephistopheles comes in and drags Faustus off to hell.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Last week as I drove to work to teach my first two classes of the spring semester, I was listening to Larry Mantle's Airtalk on KPCC, a public radio station out of Pasadena.  
The topic was the release of documents proving that Roger Mahoney and  his aide had discussed how to keep law enforcement from finding out about certain priests who had confessed to child sexual above and how the two had transferred priests out of the LA area.
I called in to make this point: Catholics and abuse survivors should pressure the Vatican to remove Roger Mahony from his status as a Cardinal.
I also told Larry that he shouldn't continue to refer to Mahony as "Archbishop Emeritus."  'You should just refer to him as 'the former archbishop,'" I said.
"But that's how he's referred to on his official stationery," Larry argued on the air.
"As of today, with the disclosures in these documents, he's no longer Emeritus," I answered. 
Now the new archbishop has officially removed Mahony from any status and "administrative or public duties" in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
But as Terence McKiernan pointed out Thursday, Mahoney needs to lose the title of Cardinal too.  

Take Down the Cardinal

Thank you to USA Today for highlighting this call for Pope Benedict XVI to remove Roger Mahoney from the College of Cardinals:
Terence McKiernan, president of the online site, which tracks church documents in the abuse crisis, complained Thursday night in a statement that Gómez only acted when the documents became public and that the pope should remove Mahony not only from his top ranking as a cardinal, a "prince of the church" but also from the priesthood itself.
"Gómez has had these documents for months and known about Mahony's wrongdoing long before now. And yet Mahony has continued to be an honored prelate and prince of the church. The difference is that now the people have access to evidence of Mahony's misdeeds. Sadly, we see the church acting ethically in these matters only when its actions become known," McKiernan said.
"Mahony's misdeeds deserve a much more substantial punishment than the tweaking of his administrative status by someone junior to him in the church's hierarchical society. Pope Benedict XVI should remove Mahony from the College of Cardinals."

Cardinal Sin

After years of inaction, the Roman Catholic Church is suddenly getting up to speed on handling child sexual abuse by priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  

Roger Mahoney no longer gets to have administrative and public duties, calling himself "Archbishop Emeritus."  He can throw out the stationery with that fancy title.

He's now Archbishop Demeritus.

Note: According to reports later in the day, Mahoney still gets to style himself "Archbishop Emeritus."  But in the minds of many, that D will still haunt him.

Thank you, Archbishop Jose Gomez, for recognizing the seriousness of the cover-up arranged by Mahoney and his right-hand man, Thomas Curry.   

Thank you to  LA County Superior Court Judge Emilie H. Elias, who overturned the 2011 decision of a private mediator that names of church officials could be hidden when documents about the sexual abuse were made public.

Thanks also to the Los Angeles Times and others who persisted in trying to get the names of church officials handling and mishandling the sexual abuse cases.

Remaining problems: this guy is still a Cardinal, lending new resonance to the term "cardinal sin."

Catholics and survivors of sexual abuse by priests need to press the Vatican to remove Mahony from this high status.  

If he continues to wear the distinctive red cap of a Cardinal, that cap will glow like a scarlet letter.  The "A" today stands for abuse, as well as aiding and abetting in its cover up. 

The color red has long been associated with Satan, hellfire, and damnation. If this protector of demon priests doesn't give up the cap that is his badge of honor, may the red he wears take on supernatural heat, tormenting him.

Another problem: he's still celebrating Mass in North Hollywood as a "priest in good standing."  Apparently standing up in church and handling the body and blood of Jesus Christ are not part of the "public duties" that Archbishop Gomez took away from his predecessor.

In his blog, Mahoney claims that he was simply naive and ignorant when he plotted to move abusers to another parish and make sure they didn't talk to therapists who would report them to police.

Jesus forgot to make any statements about contraception and abortion, those issues on which the Catholic Church has condemned many people.  Instead Jesus saved his harshest words for those who harm the trusting children they interact with:

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea."  Mark 9:42