L.A.'s Cardinal Roger Mahony
The Pope's resignation may be the first in over 600 years, but it comes not a moment too soon. Not only has the Church under his reign been plagued by clergy sex abuse scandals and cover-ups - among many others, the Archdiocese of L. A. reached a $660 million settlement in 562 abuse cases whose files were recently released and described by the Archbishop as "brutal and painful reading" - but now it seems they've been stealing from the dead to pay for them. The L.A. Times found that, in 2007, church officials quietly appropriated almost 90% of a $130-million cemetery maintenance fund to cover the settlements - without telling relatives of the dead or other church members, to whom they said they would use investments to cover the cost of their crimes. And now, the still-broke Archdiocese is considering a $200 million fundraiser, because who wouldn't want to give these people money?
"The Catholic Cemetery is second only to the church in its sacred nature. Burial in consecrated ground, among fellow believers, is the final expression of our faith as Catholics and (is) the sacred right, privilege and calling of every Catholic." - from the Archdiocese website.