Cardinal Roger Mahony, who served as Archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, has again defended his response to abuse allegations.
“People say, ‘Well, why didn’t you call the police?’ In those days no one reported these things to the police, usually at the request of families,” Cardinal Mahony said in an interview. “What I did in those years was consistent with what everybody did, in the Boy Scouts, in public schools, private schools, across the country.”
Cardinal Mahony said that he was “amazed” at the controversy over recently-released abuse files, the release of which led his successor, Archbishop José Gomez, to declare that the cardinal “will no longer have any administrative or public duties.”
“I’m here because the Holy Father appointed me a cardinal in 1991, and the primary job of a cardinal, the number one job, is actually the election of a new pope should a vacancy occur,” he added. “Without my even having to inquire, the nuncio in Washington phoned me a week or so ago and said, ‘I have had word from the highest folks in the Vatican: you are to come to Rome and you are to participate in the conclave.’”
In recent blog posts, Cardinal Mahony said that March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, would be “a great day for the Inaugural Mass of our next Pope” and that “there is no human being on earth who could meet all of [the] requirements” of “the perfect Pope.”