Cardinal Mahony, The New Franciscan.

The “Taj Mahony”, a prime example of Franciscan simplicity.

Cardinal Mahony Tweet

Besides being one of the most shameless hypocrites on earth, Cardinal Mahony must be truly terrified.

Clearly sensing further humiliations might be in store for one of the poster boys for the stupidity, inefficiency (and perhaps worse) exhibited by too many shepherds in the matter of homosexual sex scandals, our friend hastens to lavish the Pontiff with suspiciously loud praise; a brazen captatio benevolentiae  that would sound strange in normal times,  but is simply pathetic in the particular situation in which the Cardinal finds himself.

Let me say beforehand that I do not like at all this sudden infatuation of the entire Catholic planet for the newly rediscovered “return to the simplicity of the Gospel”. It seems to me that it smacks of easy populist slogan in the best of cases, and demolition of the prestige and authority of Church and Papacy in the worst.  I do not doubt all those enthusiastic “new Franciscans” will not stop being stunned at the lavish richness of Roman churches and palaces, and at the magnificence the Church still so often displays in her activity. I actually notice most of this newly found admirers of poverty have nothing against ermine Mozzettas, very seldom seen on Francis’ shoulders (on very cold days, perhaps?). I do admire the astounding beauty and shameless splendor of the Church, and therefore avoid waxing lyrical about this “return to the original spirit of the Gospel” (or however it is called). Still, if a clergyman has the credentials to praise the new “Franciscan fashion” without appearing a hypocrite, more power to him.

But wait, is this the case of Cardinal Mahony?

Isn’t this the very man who built a huge, horrible monument to his own vanity? An unwatchable bunker with nothing to tell a casual observer it is a Cathedral (Modernists don’t “do God”), but otherwise huge?

How about the decoration?  5.6 acres of ground,  33,500 sf of alabaster (world record), an organ with 6,019 pipes and the man tells us “so long, ermine and fancy lace”? Can you imagine how vast a surface of 33,500 is, all made of alabaster? Is this “encountering Jesus without trappings”?

How about the cost? $189.7 of total cost, how is this “LOW and humble church”?

Seriously: how can the one lavishing praise on Pope Francis’ “simplicity” be, of all people, the man mocked all over the planet for his megalomaniac passion for ugliness and waste?  How can he have the brazenness of launching himself firmly on the side of the black shoes and the simple cassock?

Again, the man must be terrified, and ready to face the ridicule he perfectly well knows will fall on him, for the hope the new Pope will be somewhat moved by his utterly shameless adulation, and persuaded to spare him further trouble.

Seriously, this man is a walking provocation.


P.s. Mahony tweets courtesy of Father Ray Blake’s blog.

Posted on March 16, 2013, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Mahoney is shameless…..but I’m not ready to praise our Pope just because he wears old shoes and drives around in a bus either. The Pope must stop religious dialogue with ANY other “faith” on religious matters and begin to politely tell them, as had always been the case, that its either the Catholic Church’s way or the highway (to hell that is). It is both sinful of the Pope and any other member of the Church, and a damning dis-service to those outside of it, to NOT tell them that they are in mortal error. The Pope must also end the idea of “hermeneutic of continuity” while re-instituting the oath against modernism. Unless this Pope does both things, he has failed as far as I’m concerned….the idea that everyone will be saved whether of the Faith or not AND the idea that dogma can change with the times are basically the ONLY two problems with the Church. If they are remedied everything else will fall back into place.

    • You hit the bull’s eye, arwiv. If one’s theology is flawed, he can’t be a good Pope in the end, irrespective of how well intentioned he is. But what he can still be, is to manage to be a good Pope for the standard of Vatican II. Alas, it will then fall to one of his successor to tell the truth entirely instead of in installments.

      Mahony made it to Cardinal. Already this is indicative of whence questionable Popes come.


  2. Mundabor, I rarely disagree with you, but I think you’re letting the Vatican off the hook. Cardinal Bergoglio was a flagrant Modernist, on the level of Wuerl or Schoenborn (he infamously dubbed the Homoporn-Kardinal). I find his audiences extremely disturbing (especially this one which to me smacks of Modernism). St. Francis was struck with distress every time he saw a dirty or ill-maintained church. He was a humble man and a great Saint personally, but he was humble next to the splendour of God’s Holy Roman Church and in his own sin, he did not seek to make the Immaculate Bride of Christ humble.

    • Patrick, for a Brit you are supposed to have a better sense of humour.

      You may want to read the blog post again, this time more attentively.

      In case you are criticising my “more power to you” remark, simple churches do not have to be in a state of ill-repair; but certainly, Franciscan churches are generally noted for their (beautiful) simplicity. If a Francescan with a coherent track record advocates a simpler style, this is fine.

      I prefer splendour. Shameless, and unapologetic.


    • Revoco.
      Thank you, Mundabor,

  3. Humility without Charity is a false humility, and, the ‘poor’ are in need of two foods, those for sustenance of both body and soul. Francis I also appears to eschew the status of the Papacy for that of Bishop of Rome and a mere ‘Chairmancy of the Synod of Bishops’ Conferences’. Vatican II Collegiality writ large!

    • What truly grates me is that Cardinal Mahony is the type who builds a mausoleum for himself and then rants against red shoes and Mozzetta (brown-nosing, of course).

      The Pope has at least this for himself, that he has practiced what he preaches.

      He is certainly wrong and I am not sure at all he is as “humble” as he is described, but I would not call him a hypocrite.

      I also find this obsession with “food” an inversion of priorities. Does anyone believe in past centuries there was less poverty than today? Where did the priority of the Church lie?


  4. I would recommend reading ‘The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels’ by Msgr. Francis J. Weber. It gives the history of how the ‘Taj Mahony’ was built, including copies of financial statements. It actually would have cost more if you wanted it to “look like a church.”

    • And what is your argument exactly? More compared to… What? To a church with 33,500 sf of Alabaster that also look like a church?

      What about a church looking like one, and of appropriate dimensions?

      As to the costs, if the money is there by all means, build a wonderful Cathedral full of edifying works of sacred art! But don’t go around afterwards praising “Franciscan simplicity”, or the like.

      Seriously, are you pulling our leg? Or do you mean it could have been even more wasteful? I don’t resent expensive churches, it’s all ad majorem Dei Gloriam. I resent a huge expense for something which doesn’t even look like a Church…


%d bloggers like this: