Hollywood's Cardinal Must Go
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 7 /Christian Newswire/ -- Roger Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles has spent three-quarters of a billion dollars in payouts to victims of sex crimes, many of which he stands accused of tolerating. Dr. Dennis Jarrard, former head of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, says, "Cardinal Mahony must go" before Pope Benedict XVI arrives in the United States in April.
Jarrard submits the following for publication and is available for comment:
Hollywood's Cardinal Must Go
By Dennis Jarrard
When Sen. Larry Craig was arrested in an airport restroom, I marveled at how easy it was to bust someone for lewd conduct simply by interpreting the movements of his hands and feet. Yet I knew that his reputation was ruined and that he'd be convicted, no matter how ambiguous the evidence.
This arrest got me thinking back, oddly enough, to when I was Chairman of Roger Cardinal Mahony's now-defunct Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. What does Sen. Craig's arrest have to do with Cardinal Mahony and pornography? Plenty.
His Archdiocese includes the Los Angeles area, which is the world capital of pornography. Every year, Southland pornographers pour out billions of dollars worth of DVDs, videos, magazines and other items filled with this mental poison. Ads, catalogs and more than one million Internet sites then spew these products at millions of children and adults throughout his Archdiocese and at billions more around the world.
This pornography hard-wires inflammatory images of rapes, perversions, sexual tortures and other sociopathic acts into countless minds. It has a huge influence on our sex-crime and sex-disease statistics.
More than 900,000 women were raped in the last decade (police say pornography use is all but universal among rapists, often just before the crime). Last year, some 19 million Americans got VD, including 8 to 10 million of our teenagers, who are major consumers of pornography. Twenty-five percent of our teens contract VD before they get their high school diplomas. (Less than one percent did so in 1950, when the authorities enforced our obscenity laws.) One of every five children over 12 now tests positive for genital herpes.
A pornography "star" who wrote an autobiography found pre-teen girls flocking to her book signings; she was a positive role model, they told her. Newsweek reports a 70 percent increase in teens from middle- to upper-class homes choosing to become prostitutes, just to make extra money.
What's astonishing is that it's easy to prosecute a U.S. senator, but almost impossible to get an obscenity conviction against the people who flood the world with images that trigger rapes and fan the flames of VD, AIDS and prostitution. What a mockery of justice.
The leader in the fight against this illegal industry should be the head of the largest church in Los Angeles . But that won't happen as long as the discredited Roger Mahony stays in office. His repeated shielding of clerical sex criminals makes it impossible for him to preach against sexual evils. And he can hardly be a moral leader after spending three-quarters of a billion dollars to whitewash his own wrongdoing and keep his job.
Under Pope John Paul II, Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, sent me a letter that encouraged the Archdiocese to fight pornography and said we should reinstate the Hollywood decency code (as updated in 1956) to clean up movies, videos and TV shows. Mahony ignored the letter.
For the good of children and society, Mahony must step down and let Pope Benedict XVI appoint a strong archbishop who's not mired in a sexual mess of his own making--an archbishop who'll influence politicians, prosecutors and judges to do their duty.
I pray that when the Pontiff makes his first visit as Pope to the United States in April, a new and much different archbishop of Los Angeles will be in place to welcome him. Millions who love their children and their country would give joyful thanks to God.
Dr. Dennis Jarrard has taught in the University of California and California State College and University systems, and served as an advisor to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' Commission on Obscenity and Pornography.