Is Cardinal Roger Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles, getting in a few last swings before he's forced into retirement in the spring of 2011?
Mahony wrote a blistering post on his blog Sunday morning, saying that the "Arizona legislature just passed the country's most retrogressive,
mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law."
Among other things, the law directs local police to determine who's legally in the United States and is considered to be one of the toughest immigration measures in the country.
Mahony has long been supportive of immigrant rights, which has made him a darling in some progressive circles, even though he supported the anti-gay marriage measure Proposition 8 and allegedly played a role in covering up sex scandals in the L.A. archdiocese.
Whether Mahony is a true liberal or not, his replacement probably won't be writing such left-leaning, political blog posts, which may be why Mahony feels a need to throw a few, last jabs before he goes.
According to Father Geoff Farrow, a California priest who became a black sheep in the Catholic Church when he refused to publicly endorse Proposition 8, the selection of Archbishop Jose Gomez to replace Mahony shows that the Los Angeles archdiocese will be taking a "sharp thrust to the right."
Gomez is a member of the secretive Catholic group Opus Dei, which is known for its conservative politics.
"Mahony, who likes to view himself as a progressive," writes Farrow on his blog, "would never
voluntarily be replaced by a member of the ultra-reactionary group, Opus
Dei. His replacement by someone from Opus Dei clearly communicates that
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Mahony has lost all practical influence in Rome and was not able to
name his successor."
But at least the cardinal will have his blog, which may make for interesting reading as he gets closer to retirement.
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at email@example.com.