Something Archbishop Emeritus, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles wrote about on his blog is rather disturbing to me. In an article of March 17, 2013 entitled "Power of the Holy Spirit," he writes about how the immense amount of prayers helped the Holy Spirit move through the Conclave. In one paragraph he writes,
"However, when the first blank ballot was given to us, and when it was time to write down a name, something powerful--and strange--happened.
I picked up my pen to write, and I began. However, my hand was being moved by some greater spiritual force. The name on the ballot just happened. I had not yet narrowed my thinking down to one name; but it was done for me.
I wrote it, then trembled deeply. That's when I knew the Holy Spirit was fully working within the Church of Jesus Christ, and that my role was not to "select" the new Successor to Peter, but to "write down" his name--a name that had been given to me." Cardinal Roger Mahony Blogs L.A., Power of the Holy Spirit, March 17, 2013This might seem wonderful at first reading, but on closer inspection, what he describes sounds a whole lot like occult "automatic writing". That his hand was forced to write a particular name is indicative of this type of practice used by New Age practitioners.
He never says whose name he wrote. Therefore, I don't just assume he voted for Cardinal Bergoglio.
To gain clarity on this issue, I searched out articles that teach the difference between "automatic writing" from demons and heavenly locutions/apparitions given to saints. Even the greatest saints can be fooled, and many warned us about it. This paragraph is from an article that distinguishes the two types of messages in a way a lay person like me can understand,
"A Catholic mystic can never be in the same category as a medium – which is essentially what a person becomes when participating in automatic writing. When a saint writes what God inspires him or her to write, the person is always fully aware of what they’re writing and are not allowing themselves to be used as a kind of channel, which is the case with automatic writing." Women of Grace, The Difference Between Automatic Writing and Christian Locutions, S. Brinkmann, May 7, 2012Mahony's statement, "...my hand was being moved by some greater spiritual force...I had not yet narrowed my thinking down to one name; but it was done for me," sounds like the uncontrolled automatic writing described from the article, "When a saint writes what God inspires him or her to write, the person is always fully aware of what they're writing and are not allowing themselves to be used as a kind of channel, which is the case with automatic writing."
Am I saying that the members of the Conclave made the wrong decision? Never! God's Holy Spirit moved through the Conclave and the outcome is His Will! Pope Francis is the Pope for our time, as God wills it!
What I'm saying is, I'm disturbed and confused by Cardinal Mahony's description of his own, personal experience in the Conclave voting. Perhaps his writing style exaggerated how the Holy Spirit guided his vote. Perhaps his choice of words, that his hand was moved by a "force", was just a manner of speaking and not meant for readers like me to take in such a literal way. It could be my slanted view receiving a beautiful, descriptive narrative so negatively.
Further complicating my discomfort with Cardinal Mahony's statement is the fact that his ability to vote in the Conclave was under protest by many because of all the diabolical abuse scandals in the Los Angeles Diocese during the time in which he presided. He was forced to resign on January 31 of this year by Archbishop Jose Gomez in light of the horrors that occurred. See image and text of the official letter below this article.
Also, are the Cardinals supposed to talk this much about what happened in the Conclave? Where is the line over which they should not step?
It is possible for the wrong spirit to work alongside the good. When Jesus was on the cross, evil lurked where good was prevailing. At the last supper, evil took over the heart of Judas at the same time that Jesus instituted the Eucharist. That we are participants in a tumultuous spiritual battle is a fact. Satan uses all his wiles to tear down our faith, our church, and our devotion to what is good, true, and right; to fool even the elect, if that were possible.
Prayer, especially the rosary, will help keep us spiritually armed for this war.
| My brothers and sisters in Christ, |
This week we are releasing the files of priests who sexually abused children while they were serving in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
These files document abuses that happened decades ago. But that does not make them less serious.
I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed.
We need to acknowledge that terrible failure today. We need to pray for everyone who has ever been hurt by members of the Church. And we need to continue to support the long and painful process of healing their wounds and restoring the trust that was broken.
I cannot undo the failings of the past that we find in these pages. Reading these files, reflecting on the wounds that were caused, has been the saddest experience I’ve had since becoming your Archbishop in 2011.
My predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care. Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry has also publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as Vicar for Clergy. I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara.
To every victim of child sexual abuse by a member of our Church: I want to help you in your healing. I am profoundly sorry for these sins against you.
To every Catholic in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I want you to know: We will continue, as we have for many years now, to immediately report every credible allegation of abuse to law enforcement authorities and to remove those credibly accused from ministry. We will continue to work, every day, to make sure that our children are safe and loved and cared for in our parishes, schools and in every ministry in the Archdiocese.
In the weeks ahead, I will address all of these matters in greater detail. Today is a time for prayer and reflection and deep compassion for the victims of child sexual abuse.
I entrust all of us and our children and families to the tender care and protection of our Blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of the Angels.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Archbishop of Los Angeles