Up | February 17, 2013
>>> are cardinal mahoney archbishop in los angeles who has in his ministry done a lot of laudible things particularly around immigrants and immigration and creating a kind of sense of oasis for people feeling alienated, marginalized, persecuted in american life not documented, that said his handling of child rapists within the flock of his priests is horrifying and i just want to give an example because this man will be voting on the next pope and to me the fact that he'll be voting on the next pope sim bottomizes exactly everything that's wrong right now with where the church is in terms of dealing with this, dealing with this evil. father peter garcia was a priest who abused a dozen young boys . this is letters that we now have because of the lawsuit of roger mahony writing to his chief adviser about monsignor garcia . i feel strongly that it would not be possible for monsignor garcia to return to california and to the archdiocese of los angeles for the foreseeable future. the two young men who were involved may have legal action filed. basically this is just a straightforward degree of laugh evading criminal counsel which is you were wanted by the fuse here for the horrifying things you did, you should not come back. there are many, many and i spent six months reporting on this and you and i correspond about this. there's more letters like this.
>> 1,000 pages.
>> there's a lot of letters. this to me the question when you think about the pope's legacy particularly what will it take for the church as an institution to get right on this inthere's a certain amount of where the evil that's been done cannot be undone. institutionally what would your solution look like for the church to get right on this so you do not have a situation in which the pope himself there were some cases in which under his -- that priests were transferred after having accusations and justified accusations of this kind of behavior what's the solution for the church to get right on this, michael?
>> there's no one solution for it, right, because every institutional reform in the catholic church and it's gone through them in every age and effort of its being ends up being subverted by the men within the church , the human nature . but in the immediate term i think there are some solutions which is one, bishops who have done this should lose their authority. i mean just -- that's it. cardinal mahony should have his red hat taken away from him.
>> and some of these men should be turned over to authorities. the church should encourage the prosecution of these crimes. that's the decent things that don't require extraordinary holiness or religious insight to do. i mean it's just that basic. if you protect child rapists, you're done.
>> i know that they spend -- it's my understanding that prior to the actual election the bishops spend time and the cardinals spend time talking about tissues that face the church and this is one of the most significant things, the credibility is nil in so many places because they have not taken responsibility for their own actions and haven't acted justly. or in a gospel fashion. so they are the only ones in a sense -- they don't seem to respond the reiteratism from the newspaper, the media, the letters.
>> there's a lot of bunkering. there's a lot of reaction it in a very defensive posture.
>> when the bishops adopted a policy in dallas ten years ago or so, the policy itself was unobjectionable, it was already in place in most places but they decided to say with cardinal law who at the time was cardinal mahony in that position, they decided to say what cardinal law needed was a better policy and if we had a better policy which fundamentally was most the case. they knew it. if instead they said we need to cauterize this law. cardinal law did a lot of great things but when you didn't react properly to this signal then you have to step aside . as the pope is stepping aside his physical and mental capacity isn't up to the job as michael said step aside . if hundred bishops resigned because they felt they mishandled the issue god will judge their soul and conscience. they wouldn't be saying i'm a moral failure. what they would be saying is we lost the credibility to have this office within the church that's an important office that's more important than me. and the bishops have never found collectively that capacity to recognize the reason people leaf the church is not because priests have done a horrible thing. but what they are more horrified by is people who can't say i have this pathology i can't help but trying to keep people out of the state away from the long arm. law.
>> i agree with that. and one of the things we've seen actually which is real interesting other institutions, you know, have acted in similar ways. one of the big differences is they have rubbed up against the outside world with the law much faster than the church was able to keep things internal for so long sometimes with the complicit of catholic district attorneys and police. in the case of penn state that went on for a very long time. eventually it hit up against the wall of secular law. i want to turn where the church goes and what this conclave will look like given what this handling of the sex abuse scandal says about the institutional dynamics at play right after this break.