Wednesday 13 March 2013

Roger Mahoney

Cardinal Roger Mahoney is at the moment in Rome helping to choose the new Pope. His diocese today has come to a settlement worth nearly £10 million with victims of a priest who abused them. The priest, Michael Baker, was shielded by Mahoney, and permitted to abuse again after his first offences came to light. Documentary evidence has made clear that Mahoney shielded many people and covered up many instances of child abuse during his 25 years as archbishop.

The Catholic church claims to be repentant, claims to feel genuine remorse over the misery suffered by victims of the many priests who have abused them. The fact that Mahoney is still a cardinal is proof enough that those claims are hollow. The fact that he is in Rome, among those choosing the new Pope is unforgiveable.

The church is hiding behind the fact that their rules require him to be there. If they were really serious, really repentant about what they have allowed to happen, they would have changed the rules to ensure that he, and others like him, had no part in this transition. His presence there convicts the Catholic authorities of hypocrisy, and of a meanness of spirit that shows that there is no soul left at the top of the Catholic church.

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