On the one hand, men like Cardinal Roger Mahony and the late Msgr. Benjamin Hawkes, who was accused posthumously of sex abuse, seemed to be just the men to act in the best interests of the Los Angeles archdiocese at a time of a rapid expansion of the Catholic population. On the other, they were unable to resist profound moral pitfalls while working to meet those needs.
Mahony is trying to reinstate himself as a moral leader after having been exposed as a protector of sexual predators. Hawkes, after successfully building up an archdiocesan empire before Mahony was appointed its leader, allegedly assaulted two of his young charges.
Both men are among the many Catholic clergy with similar failings. Tales of abuse by so many clerics abound.
The saddest reality, of course, is the unbelievable harm done to children. How deeply we Catholics need to somehow rebuild our church.