Who by this time could not have anticipated this?

Fifteen years before the clergy sex abuse scandal came to light, Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and a top advisor discussed ways to conceal the molestation of children from law enforcement, according to internal Catholic church records released Monday.

The archdiocese’s failure to purge pedophile clergy and reluctance to cooperate with law enforcement has previously been known. But the memos written in 1986 and 1987 by Mahony and Msgr. Thomas J. Curry, then the archdiocese’s chief advisor on sex abuse cases, offer the strongest evidence yet of a concerted effort by officials in the nation’s largest Catholic diocese to shield abusers from police.

Of course, the now Cardinal Mahony didn’t let a little obstruction of justice in regard to pedophilia get in the way of his making important moral pronouncements about stuff he feels more outrageous than child abuse — providing birth control to consenting adults.

Roger Mahony, has taken a hard line against Obama: “I cannot imagine a more a direct, head-on attack against the freedom of conscience. Personally I do not believe there is any fundamental principle that is more important than this, just as the Presidential and Congress election campaigns begin.”

“Freedom of Conscience” is quite a card to play for a guy who protected sexual predators.