Tim Rutten returns to the L.A. Times op-ed page with part two of the conversation in which Roger Mahony reflects on his term as cardinal in Los Angeles. Some of the highlights:
On not denying communion to elected officials who go against Catholic teachings: ""It isn't for us to guess at what's on someone's conscience...I just try to extrapolate it out in my own mind: OK, so you've got a Catholic legislator who votes for a pro-choice piece of legislation, and you're going to say that automatically leads to punishment? Well, does that mean that the chief of staff who didn't stop him or her from voting that way also can't go to communion? Does that mean that the secretary who handles their paperwork also can't go? I mean, where does it end?"
On being uncomfortable about opposition to Prop. 8: "Like a lot of Catholic people, we were torn. There are many gay Catholics, and many of our people have family members who are homosexual. While we support enshrining the biblical tradition of marriage, we didn't want to be part of any attack on homosexuals. So when people tried to make the campaign for Prop. 8 an attack on homosexuals, we couldn't be part of it."
On the sex-abuse scandals: "I'm surprised that more people didn't leave the church over this....I have apologized to those who suffered whenever I could. I can never say, 'I apologize' enough times."