Correcting My Post on Bishops' Turf

USA Today
March 29, 2009

I was wrong in my posting Friday on Catholic bishops, says Tod Tamberg, director of Media Relations for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, where Cardinal Roger Mahony is archbishop.

I originally included Mahony and Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, in a list of bishops who were publicly criticizing another bishop (holocaust-denying British Bishop Richard Williamson) outside their ecclesiastical jurisdiction. David Clohessy, a survivor of clergy sex abuse, complained that bishops stayed mum -- in public -- about other bishops' errors during the scandal.

Tamberg says:

Cardinal Mahony co-wrote an op-ed -- meaning he spoke out together with -- two well-known officials of the American Jewish Committee. The purpose of the op-ed was to address folks like yourself, who seem to believe that just because the pope lifted his excommunication, Williamson is Catholic. He isn't.

(And what's with the "trumpeted" description? The op-ed was co-published by The Tidings and Jewish Journal, local publications. The media picked it up and "trumpeted" it on their own.)

The point of the op-ed was to repair any damage to Catholic -- Jewish relations in a city with lots of members of both faiths. How unsophisticated and cynical and wrong to drag it into sexual abuse.

And yes, the cardinal indeed has jurisdiction to prohibit Williamson or anyone else from entering any church or school in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles ...

And here is the Cardinal's original opinion piece and the Boston Globe coverage of O'Malley. O'Malley criticized Williamson while supporting the pope's efforts to draw Williams back into full accord with the church's teachings since the reforms of the Second Vatican Council half a century ago.

Photo by Nick Ut, AP: Cardinal Roger Mahony says those who deny the Holocaust are not welcome at Los Angeles churches such as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.


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