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Mahony Ads Betray a Bunker Mentality

June 06, 2002

Re "Mahony Ads Seek to Reassure Public," June 4: The cardinal's newly hired public relations firm, Sitrick & Co., seems to be taking the church a few steps backward as it tries to protect Cardinal Roger Mahony in the wake of a growing church scandal.

It is disturbing to see Mahony, who only weeks ago was talking honestly about the church's problems, react now as if every criticism is part of a strategy to damage the church. In deploying this type of spin, the cardinal has demonstrated an unhealthy bunker mentality. Why in the world would the archdiocese hire Enron's PR firm?

Maybe it is time the church leaders are held accountable for the abuses they have furthered by their laxity in dealing with the "problem." Is prosecution too much? As far as I can tell, they're co-conspirators for knowing the problem existed and doing, in effect, nothing except covering it up.

Candice Weber

Agoura

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Mahony is looking for a benefactor to subsidize the cost (under $50,000) of his ads [scheduled to run today] in three Los Angeles newspapers. With crypts at the almost completed Taj Mahony projected to sell for as much as $50,000 and the church sitting on untold and untaxed wealth in the form of real estate, jewels and artworks, surely the archdiocese can scrape up the cash to pay for these ads, ads that will tell us that things are going to be different now.

If change is coming, it is only because Mahony was exposed in his cover-up of scandalous, pernicious behavior by some of his priests. Now he is looking for someone else to foot the bill for his save-the-church ad campaign.

Judi Birnberg

Sherman Oaks

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