The End of the Cardinal Mahony Era

There isn’t much positive to say about a man that wrecked havoc in the largest U.S. diocese.

Except that today was his last day as Archbishop of the Los Angeles Archdiocese!

He’ll be remembered for closing down seminaries and convents and picking on little old nuns like Mother Angelica, building the Taj Mahony, but mostly for losing millions of nominal Catholics to indifferentism and agnosticism.

His many low points are too numerous to recount but his deconstruction of the Mass until it looked like nothing more than a campfire sing-a-long is quite shameful.

His promotion of syncretism and modernism has gained him the infamy he so richly earned among his peers.

I’d like to give a hat tip to Adam Bartlett of The Chant Café for the following video that displays Cardinal Mahony’s disdain of liturgy:

This last video I would like to dedicate to my old blogging friend Quintero of L.A. Catholic who has documented so well the many atrocities that Cardinal Mahony has inflicted on the good Catholics of Los Angelese.

Vaya con Dios mi amigo.

More to explorer


  1. But here’s the real trouble – how was be appointed, in the first place; and how did he stay in so long? The gates of Hell will not prevail against God’s Church, but one must presume that there is something seriously wrong in there at the moment…

  2. Jerry, whoops I mean Roger Mahony, should be forced to retire to an isolated monastery on a very dangerous mountain that has no communication with the outside except on rare occassions. His chances of wrecking more havok on the Church in his retirement will be cut to near zero!

  3. Good summary, Tito. I would just add that his egregious behavior with respect to priestly child abuse also has to be considered. Both during his time in Los Angeles and during his tenure as the Bishop of Stockton.

  4. Bravo, Balto.

    Dougal: (trying to pray) Hail Mary who art in heaven…….
    Ted: Hallowed.
    Dougal: Oh yeah. Hallowed Be….
    Ted: Thy Name…
    Dougal: Papa Don’t Preach……..
    Ted: Dougal, you know you can praise the lord with sleep.
    Dougal: Really Ted? You can praise him in lots of ways, like that time you said that I could praise him just by leaving the room.
    Ted: Yes, that was a good one !

  5. Thank you, Tito for that wonderful video of that beautiful ceremony in Los Angeles. I understand that you consider it shows disdain for the liturgy. I respect your point of view but disagree. You say, vaya con dios, amigos but I don’t think you have ever seen a mass in Hong Kong or in the Olivera mission in LA or at the Cathedral in Fresno—in all of these, mariachi bands play and sing during high mass. Jesus is universal not white, western European. If African culture contains dances and drums that show its honor and respect, then it is not a campfire sing a long when they drum and dance in church.
    When I was very young I was present when Mahony,stood by the poor and farm workers as they proceeded to change the law in California winning basic health and labor interests for those that pick our food and work the crops. Those were the days when the Church did stand with the poor and the oppressed playing a great role in civil rights, labor, and unjust wars. I have no expectation that you will change your opinion that Mahoney stood for the principles of Vatican II and those of Jesus to extend to your neighbors what you would have extended to yourself.
    I can understand how upsetting it is for those who are old or have only been exposed to old tradition and have not seen the church as it exists cosmically or at least, internationally, to see the birthing of a new spirit evolving in the church. I wish you the best.
    And by the way, watch the video and watch Arch Bishop Gomes and how he claps compared to the white cleric to his right–Gomes has rhythm. People who have rhythm usually have soul and if you have soul, you tend to see all people, each and every one as your brothers and sisters without discrimination. I’m betting on him.

  6. Antonio,

    That was one of the most racist rants I’ve ever heard. And I’ve heard many from both “white” and people like yourself.

    You see the world through ethnicity and color rather than through the dignity of the human soul.

    What nearly everyone, even the Pope’s and the choirs of Heaven, have said is to bring holiness and reverence to the Mass.

    Not nationalist sentiment like mariachi bands.

    You’re being placed on moderation until you cool your bigotry.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    A Proud first generation young American of rich Mexican heritage.

  7. A “new spirit evolving in the Church”? That is heresy, that is blasphemy.

    “Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain “restoration and regeneration” for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a “foundation may be laid of a new human institution,” and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing “may become a human church.” — Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, 10

  8. Tito, bravo for putting AC on moderation! He’s the guy who’s upset about the negative stance that most of us have shown on incest on Lisa Graas’s latest post. Well, it figures he would be ticked at any criticism of Mahony. Liberals tend to flock together!

  9. Stephen,

    Being placed on moderation only means his comments need approval.

    He got placed there not for his comments on Lisa Graas’ post, but for his bigoted comments on this thread.

  10. I can understand how upsetting it is for those who are old or have only been exposed to old tradition and have not seen the church as it exists cosmically or at least, internationally, to see the birthing of a new spirit evolving in the church.

    Not to be disrespectful, but I see Sr Chittister’s influence in that statement. “Cosmically”? “Birthing of a new spirit”? Spare me. Joe is correct – such beliefs are contrary to Church teaching, and blasphemous.

  11. Wow! antonio, I did not know that anyone thought Jesus WAS ‘white western European”. I was under the impression that Jesus is, was and ever shall be the SAME. I also thought that Jesus was Incarnated as a Semitic Hebrew in first century Palestine, so His body when He walked the Earth was clearly NOT Mexican, hence I don’t understand the mariachi band (I doubt that He ate knishes or bagels and lox or spoke Yiddish either). Furthermore, I am confident that there were no mariachi bands in Mexico before the white western Spaniards from Europe came to liberate the poor Indian people from the slaughter and oppression of their pagan, Hummingbird Wizard witchdoctor overlords. If I am not mistaken those Spaniards were Catholic.

    When you view the world only through your ethnicity, race or nation while crying for ‘universality’ you reveal yourself a hypocrite. Please be honest. You are not calling for general universality; you are calling for a universal disdain for all things European, which means Western, which means Christendom, which means you stand against the universality of the Church. Like it or not, St. Peter went to Rome to establish his see and the universal Church, established in Palestine is administered from Rome (more specifically from the Vatican), hence why ALL Catholics, no matter the race, ethnicity, nation or Rite are in communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Servant of the servants of God.

    Anyway, as far as I am concerned Jesus isn’t white, Jewish or Mexican – He is wheat. I know, I saw Him earlier and He was definitely wheat Bread. He told me so Himself! Should I yell at Him for not being whole-grain, multi-grain, barely, lembas or any other type of bread?

    This site is the American Catholic, but make no mistake, it is Catholic first.

    Before you attack me for my provincial, white, right-wing, Americanist views, I am one of those ‘brown’ people, in fact, I share genetic code with those people of first century Palestine. Yet, that doesn’t make me relate more or less to Jesus or the Roman Pontiff who was born in Germany to German parents, or to my American of Italian descent bishop, or my Irish pastor, or Tito or any of the other bloggers here at TAC. Weird, huh?

  12. Tito, he may have been placed on moderation for what he said on your thread, but hey, it doesn’t matter to me where duck gets shot!

  13. “What nearly everyone, even the Pope’s and the choirs of Heaven, have said is to bring holiness and reverence to the Mass.
    Not nationalist sentiment like mariachi bands.”

    I am absolutely NO fan of Cardinal Mahony and I agree it is long past time for him to go. But before we all pile on Antonio C., I have to say that there MAY be at least a grain of truth to what he said.

    Yes, the Mass is supposed to “the same” everywhere (this was one of the beauties of the Latin Mass) and obvious liturgical abuses or departures from the rubrics should not be tolerated.

    However, does that mean there is absolutely no room for cultural variation or expression anywhere in the liturgy? There are, after all, many other rites besides the Latin Rite that are recognized by the Church and in full union with Rome — Byzantine, Syriac, Maronite, Alexandrian, Armenian, Chaldean, etc. Does their existence indicate “disdain for all things European, which means Western”? Also, did not Pope John Paul II himself say that the Western and Eastern traditions were like “two lungs” and the Church would never be fully healthy until both were reunited?

    I agree that one should not view EVERYTHING through the narrow prism of one’s nationality or ethnicity, but neither should one pretend that it has NO effect on one’s view of the world, or on how one expresses piety or love for God. The time and place where you are born and where you live is part of who you are; none of us can be, or should be, totally detached “citizens of the world”. Yes, we are Catholic first, but that doesn’t mean there should be nothing in second place.

    The problem with Cardinal Mahony’s approach to liturgy was that as a Latin Rite bishop he went far beyond the bounds of what the Latin Rite permits with liturgical dances and whatnot. Perhaps there were people who did actually enjoy those liturgies, or who found them moving — but how they felt about them is not the point. The point is that they were conducted in flagrant disobedience of liturgical norms for the Latin Rite. The problems went way beyond merely having mariachi bands provide the music.

  14. Elaine,

    I am proud of my Levantine ancestry. In fact, I was born in the Levant (Lebanon to Phoenician and Palestinian parents). That is my ethnic and national origin. I am still ethnically Levantine; however, I am no longer Lebanese. I am a proud Virginian-American. I am not facebooking my personal information, especially since I use an anonymous moniker here. I simply state this to indicate that the uniqueness of our catholic Church and the inherent universalism of America (despite her WASP origins) are similar. When one chooses to move to another nation, not as a temporary or visiting guest, but as a new home, they usually have to conform to ancient tribal/cultural practices and are always in someway a stranger. Here, it is different. We are not melted into being American, we are not assimilated, we are integrated into a new national identity. How so? This country is a cultural amalgam of diverse cultures (mostly European, but also African, Native American Indian, etc.). It is easy to become American, which is why I find it so baffling that many born here in the last 40 years and those who have come here in the same period seem to resist it so fervently.

    What unifies the American nation? Our national creed, as Chesterton (I think) said, we are the only one’s who have one. Our creed is Christian in character. The fact that this is a Christian nation is what allows us to so easily become one. Since Christendom fell apart, this is the only nation in the world with such an identity (one could argue the same for Malta; however that is an unfair and useless comparison).

    That being the case, we have to recognize that as Catholics who are also Americans we have to guard ourselves from too much integration. The creed of the nation is Christian in character, but it is not necessarily Catholic. When we allow our public worship, our liturgy, to seem no different than Protestants and Evangelicals, we dilute the truth. Our Liturgy is the only one that is centered on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Our ceremonial worship MUST reflect that. Liturgy is not about what we want, what we like, what we need – it is about the once and for all Holy Sacrifice of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. No one else can claim that and we MUST worship and appear to worship with Him and Him alone in mind and heart. No other ‘Christian’ church offers the prayer of the Son to the Father as we do. This must be celebrated – by one of His priests and ASSISTED by the laity.

    The video we saw above, in no way resembles that. We may as well have Joel Osteen preach. Don’t get me wrong, I like Osteen – but, he cannot offer the Sacrifice no matter how sincere, how worshipful, how inspiring he may be and no matter how great the music is. It can never ever be the Holy Mass. I know you know this, but many do not and we who know must be very clear and firm as to what Mass is and how it is to be celebrated.

  15. Sorry to break the news to you Donald. Oh, and by the way Santa Clause was a bishop, not an elf. Please don’t cry. 😉

  16. The good news (or bad news, depending on the perspective) starts:

    US judge allows clergy abuse lawsuit to proceed against Los Angeles, Mexican cardinals
    By: Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press
    Posted: 02/28/2011

    LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A Mexico City man can proceed with a clergy abuse lawsuit filed in U.S. court against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, even though the alleged abuse occurred in Mexico and the priest and plaintiff are Mexican citizens, a federal judge has ruled.

    U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton Tucker on Friday denied a motion from church attorneys who had sought dismissal of the case by arguing U.S. courts do not have jurisdiction.

    Michael Hennigan, an attorney for the archdiocese, said the case has no merit and would ultimately be dismissed.

    The unusual lawsuit was filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789 and alleges that recently retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony and his counterpart in the Mexican Diocese of Tehuacan conspired to protect the priest and help him avoid authorities on both sides of the border.

    More at

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