A leading Catholic lawyer and commentator has slammed the Pope for publicly shaming Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony over clerical child abuse whilst treating Irish Cardinal Sean Brady in an entirely different matter.

Harvard educated Jerry Slevin has aired his views in a hard hitting article published on the popular website ChristianCatholicism.com.

He claims that Cardinal Mahony could be criminally prosecuted after he was ‘publicly shamed’ by Pope Benedict XVI and removed from public life last week.

And he demands to know how the LA Cardinal has been treated so differently to his Irish counterpart.

Slevin writes; “The Pope’s pawn, Archbishop Gomez, publicly referred to Mahony’s child abuse cover-up conduct as evil.

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“This unprecedented and selective public papal condemnation, in my view as an experienced retired lawyer, significantly increases the risk for Mahony that he will yet still be criminally prosecuted, possibly for obstruction of justice or perjury.

“Prosecutors now have a papal blessing to go after Mahony. Yet the Pope has also just permitted Ireland’s voting Cardinal Brady to exit gracefully, without papal condemnation.

“Brady was reportedly involved in priest abuse cover-ups at least as evil as Mahony. Why the different treatment for two Cardinals?”

Slevin added: “The likeliest explanation is current papal election politics.

“Conservative Cardinals in the Vatican clique, including American ones like Burke, Law, Stafford and Rigali, and their right-wing U.S. Republican contributors, have for years targeted Mahony, often an ally of U.S. Democratic political leaders, as an obstacle to the Vatican clique’s efforts to maintain Vatican domination of the Catholic Church worldwide, through groups like Opus Dei that Gomez and convicted criminal Bishop Finn are members of.

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“Brady, on the other hand, supports domination by the Vatican clique, as evidenced by his acquiescence in the current unchallenged attack on one of Brady’s most popular priests, Fr. Tony Flannery, by the Pope’s new German Inquisitor.

“Flannery’s brother is a top ally to Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who has strongly opposed papal domination in Ireland.

“The signal is clear. The Vatican is prepared, it appears, to use selectively the criminal prosecution risks inherent in the worldwide abuse scandal to intimidate voting Cardinals who oppose the current Vatican clique’s candidate to be next Pope.

“Since most Cardinals likely have been involved in some cover-up activity, this election blackmail is a significant threat. It also is a compelling reason for Cardinals to call now for a worldwide conference as explained at: http://wp.me/P2YEZ3-gW.”

In his article, Slevin argues strongly that the issue of child abuse should not become part of any power struggle within the Church hierarchy.

He added: “Children in the USA cannot be used as leverage in a papal election. The Pope and local political leaders and prosecutors have repeatedly failed to curtail effectively priest sexual abuse of children.

“The President has the clout needed to curtail this abuse and he must now step-up and use it. A petition has been opened for signatures asking President Obama to set up a national investigation commission into the sexual abuse of children by priests, rabbis, ministers and other religious leaders.

“Already many have begun to sign it, including abuse survivors and their supporters. Please take 30 seconds to sign it no matter where in the world you live. This is a worldwide epidemic. Just click on the below link at Change.org.

“Believing parents and innocent children have too often been betrayed by religious leaders they trusted too much.

“The obscene revelations of child sexual abuse from Boston, Philly, Milwaukee, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, Manchester, Salt Lake City and many other U.S. cities confirm this cancer cannot be curtailed effectively by local political leaders and prosecutors.

“They seem frequently incapable and/or unwilling to apply or amend a hodgepot of inconsistent laws, often outdated and inadequate, to powerful religious organizations.”

Slevin’s full article can be read at ChristianCatholicism.com.