It is appalling that as reported by Rebecca Trounson in the Los Angeles Times, that a group of nuns will be thrown out on the street and their convent dissolved as one of the outcomes of the pedophilia scandal that has rocked the ranks of the priesthood throughout the Catholic Church in America.
SANTA BARBARA — For 43 years, Sister Angela Escalera has lived and often worked out of her order’s small convent on this city’s east side, helping the area’s many poor and undocumented residents with translation, counseling and other needs.
Now retired and partly disabled at 69, the nun thought she would live out her days here, in the community where she is still an active volunteer and in the dwelling that was built for the order in 1952.
But she and the other two nuns at the Sisters of Bethany house recently received word that their convent, which is owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, will be sold to help pay the bill for the church’s recent, multimillion-dollar priest sex abuse settlement.
Appalling, but not a surprising move coming from Roger Mahoney. Cardnal Mahoney has clearly demonstrated in his hollow words and in his actions that he still does not have his priorities in the right place. As this story has unfolded it has become quite clear that Cardinal Mahoney was very aware of the crimes being committed by priests in his church for many years, yet chose to ignore the victims, and hide the perpetrators. The cardinal dragged out the civil litigation for as long as he could, and then caved to a settlement, not as he might want his parishioners to think as an act of compassion by the church, but as a cold blooded, tactical ploy so he could avoid having to testify in court.
That the Los Angeles Diocese would stoop to evicting a group of elderly nuns, not only making them homeless, but revoking the services that they have been providing for their local community is a purely selfish, immoral act. The defendants and their attorneys in the priest abuse case would do a great service to their fellow church members by going back in to court and demanding that the court have the books of the Los Angeles diocese opened for forensic examination. Mahoney and his cohorts must think that the public is incredibly stupid and gullible, thinking that we would swallow the fiction that the diocese is so strapped for money to make the settlement that they have to displace some elderly nuns and revoke the social services they had been providing to the community. Any reasonable person will know, whether Mahoney thinks so or not, that a great part of the treasury of the Los Angeles Diocese lies not in hard assets, like church occupied real estate, but more likely in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, money market instruments and other investment pools.
This ploy by Mahoney and the Los Angeles Diocese is based purely on greed and the premise that their church must retain its power and autonomy over all of its members.
Shame on Roger Mahoney and shame on Pope Benedict and all of your brothers in the College of Cardinals.