LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A day after being relieved of his public and administrative duties, retired Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony is reacting.
In a letter to Archbishop Jose Gomez dated Friday and made public on Mahony’s personal blog, the Cardinal says his actions were in keeping with the standards of all Archdiocese across the country.
Mahony said, “I have stated time and time again that I made mistakes, especially in the mid-1980s. I apologized for those mistakes, and committed myself to make certain that the Archdiocese was safe for everyone.”
He continued, “Unfortunately, I cannot return now to the 1980s and reverse actions and decisions made then.”
At St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in North Hollywood, CBS2’s Randy Paige spoke with parishioners about the unprecedented news following the release of 12,000 pages outlining hundreds of cases of abuse and personnel files.
The documents reportedly reveal Mahony’s role in protecting clergy involved in suspected sex abuse cases from prosecution in the 1980s and later.
Parishioner Larry Carstens said, “It should have happened years ago, what were they waiting for?”
“My faith is very strong. I met a lot of good priests who help people and I love them and follow them and we just got to be alert and make sure our kids are safe,” said Monica Betula, another parishioner.
Demonstrators stood in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, located in downtown Los Angeles, to protest the on-going scandal. Victims of sexual abuse said the church’s actions don’t go far enough.
“Cardinal Mahony personally oversaw the transfer, oversaw the facilitation and oversaw the enabling of abusers to continue to abuse children in Los Angeles for decades,” said Joelle Casteiz, who self-described herself as an abuse victim.
Although relieved of public duties, Mahony will retain all of his rights as a retired Cardinal inside the church.
The Archdiocese responded to CBS2’s request for an on-camera interview stating that Mahony will not be making any public statements Friday.