In his goodness, Benedict XVI has deigned to shower an unprecedented monsoon of papal honors on the archdiocese of Los Angeles. Being from Philadelphia -- where making Purple Rain every third year is a crucial element of our ecclesiastical stock in trade -- I have never seen an honors list the size of what LA just got. It is, simply put, HUGE, and if it's not a sign of the Holy See's confidence in Mahony, I don't know what is.
At the Cardinal's behest, seventeen monsignors have either been created or promoted, which is fairly typical by mega-diocese standards. But where it gets amazing is that over 200 laypeople have been given a Vatican gong of some sort, with a stunning 150 alone being given the Benemerenti medal, the entry-level lay award. As a tribute tax must be paid to the Holy See in gratitude for its conferral of each honor, this list will be a fiscal boon in Rome.
And some dare presume that Papa Bear is frowning upon the nation's largest diocese.... Well, that Rome has heard the Rog loud and clear on this one sure takes some wind out of that argument's sails, no? (Hence no comment from the Mahony-haters.)
In the judgment of the Holy See, it seems, there's a lot in Los Angeles Catholicism worth honoring.... Yet another signal to the anti-Mahony crowd to get up to speed and back to communion.