Cardinal Roger M. Mahony © Paul Haring (KNA)
Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, turns 85 on Saturday. He led the California archdiocese from 1985 to 2011. Los Angeles is among the most important dioceses in the U.S.
Mahony, on 27. Born Feb. 1936 in Hollywood, he was the first native-born archbishop of Los Angeles. He became involved with immigrants from Latin America, many of whom lived as farm workers in Southern California. His tenure was overshadowed by sexual abuse cases.
Mahony was criticized for his handling of it. Archival records show he protected pedophile priests from state prosecution. His successor, Jose Gomez, removed Mahony from all remaining posts in February 2013 in an unprecedented move.
Participated in the conclave
Regardless of the accusations, Mahony attended the conclave the following month that elected Francis as pope.
Mahony defended his actions as bishop, saying he acted according to the usual standards of the time and later took a harder line. In 2006, the archdiocese accepted the equivalent of around 500 million euros in compensation payments to victims of sexual abuse in order to avoid further lawsuits.
Of the 15 U.S. cardinals, 9 are currently under 80 years old and therefore eligible to be pope.