Several papers have pronounced a bishop silencing another bishop as unprecedented. Not so. This same scenario was recently played out in Ireland where Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, made a big public display of demanding the resignations of three bishops, who like Mahony, had been instrumental in the cover-up of the sexual abuse of minors. After a suitable and very public fight, the bishops agreed to tender their resignations to Pope Benedict XVI who promptly refused to accept them. Martin went down as an Irish hero for battling the Vatican, and the three bishops went back to work, business as usual.
There is a very little known rite created by, oddly enough, Benedict XIV who wrote the rules for the degradation of a bishop. The Rite of Degradation starts out as follows: " If the degradandus [he who is about to be degraded] be an archbishop, the degrading prelate removes his pallium, saying: 'We deprive thee of the rights and privileges of the episcopal dignity, symbolized in this pallium, since thou hast abused them.'" If Benedict XVI had the chutzpah to use this rite, it would indeed be unprecedented!
However, I digress, and therefore, back to the point of this exposition: the fine acting performance of Roger Cardinal Mahony and his protege Archbishop Jose Gomez, the purpose of which is to put Gomez in the position of white knight so that he can ask for and receive more money from the good people of the Los Angeles diocese. Money, which most likely will cover the legal bills accumulated by his predecessor and those which may arise from criminal charges, if any, filed when the recently released documents have been examined.
Despite the protestations of the church to the contrary, the church can only use laity money. The Roman Catholic Church makes and sells nothing of material value. Therefore, they can only exist by virtue of what they either take or that which is given to them. The hundreds of millions of dollars spent defending the indefensible can be traced back to the laity's pocket one way or another.
According to the LA Times, Gomez has already been in touch with the New York Company, Guidance in Giving Inc. He is using professionals, like his predecessor, to study whether or not this charade worked and when the pew Catholics of Los Angeles will be ripe enough for another round of financial plucking. That folks is what this drama between Gomez and Mahony is all about.
It's all about the money!