Recent news that Archdiocese of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony claims he was assaulted by someone angry with his treatment of sex-abuse survivors brings back memories of my own obnoxious attack on His Eminence over the rapes of innocents. It was in October of 2005, and I was spending a week in Los Angeles as part of the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism's seminar on the Latinization of Arts in America. Seminar organizers kicked off the week with a visit to Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, the cathedral better described as the Rog Mahal. I protested loudly to no avail and looked on glumly as some diocesan hack went on about the cathedral's architecture, doors, blah, blah, blah.
We were allowed to explore the cathedral on our own for a bit--and that's when I saw my chance for some payback.
On the altar was the cathedra, the throne upon which a presiding bishop or cathedral sits (hence the term "ex cathedra," from which this column gets its name). I noticed its arms had holes in it, so I decided to leave Mahony a message.
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While no one was looking, I pulled out a business card and scribbled on the back "Cardinal Mahony: May God give you what you deserve for your role in the rapes of innocents." I dropped it in the arm's hole and walked away with a smile. Mahony never called.