Coalition Asks Mayor to Cut Ties with Cardinal
October 25, 2006
(CBS) Los Angeles A coalition representing victims of clergy abuse asked Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Wednesday to distance himself from Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony and watch a documentary about sexual abuse within the church.
The mayor's cordial relationship with Mahony sends the wrong message to children abused by priests, members of the group said outside City Hall.
"The mayor gives the cardinal more credibility, credibility the cardinal does not deserve," James Robertson with Survivors of Silence said.
"We ask that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is the mayor of all citizens in Los Angeles, to please end his relationship with this renegade cardinal."
Inside City Hall, members gave a mayoral aide a copy of the documentary "Deliver Us From Evil," which is the story of former priest Oliver O'Grady, who allegedly abused hundreds of children in California over 20 years, including a period of time when Mahony was his superior in Stockton.
"We're going to ask (the mayor) to stop appearing with the cardinal because when he appears with the cardinal he grants him a level of municipal credibility," abuse victim Tim Healey said.
The Mayor's Office had no immediate comment. Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the archdiocese, said Mahony has no intention of changing his relationship with Villaraigosa.
"The cardinal and the mayor have worked together on solutions for homelessness, poverty, medical coverage and immigration reform that helped literally hundreds of thousands of people, and to request that that good work be somehow terminated because of a factually erroneous and highly biased, controversial film is ridiculous," Tamberg said.
Group member Mary Jane McGraw said all parents should see "Deliver Us From Evil," which is currently in theaters.
"This documentary is a wonderful educational film that should be seen by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Parents need to know the methods and the circumstances under which people of authority end up being able to abuse their children," McGraw said.
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