He spoke with forked tongue. In Dallas. In 2002. When the American Bishops’ Conference supposedly addressed the problem of sex abuse by priests.
If it turns out we are not faithful to what we have all agreed, it will be similar to if we’re not faithful in teaching the faith. This will be a delict that we will be sanctioned for.
Craven hypocrisy. Thundering, preposterous, sickening lies.
We will take this seriously… We will be accountable to do what we promised to do… We must put an end to this.
McCarrick lead the bishops. In their supposedly sincere effort to win back the public’s trust.
Unbeknownst to us at the time, the holy angels looked down upon the spectacle, and they wept. Because the Vatican’s Man of the Hour in 2002, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, himself deserved, at that very moment, to be defrocked and jailed for the rest of his life.
When I wrote about this before, I made a mistake regarding Cardinal McCarrick’s statement last month, when the Pope suspended his public ministry. McCarrick said: “I have no recollection of this reported abuse… I believe in my innocence.”
I interpreted this as an implicit admission of guilt. In my then-naive mind, I could not imagine a grown man, a priest, who could not remember whether or not he fondled the genitalia of an eleventh-grader. So this is the Cardinal’s way of admitting that he did it, I concluded.
But now, with more information available, the Cardinal’s statement makes more sense. It is plausibly sincere. As in:
I myself have watched the sun rise many, many times in my life. Did I ever watch the sun rise from the Virginia side of the Potomac River? Or did I ever watch the sun rise while thinking about 19th-century Italian politics? Can’t say that for sure; can’t remember that exactly. I have no recollection of thinking about Vittorio Emanuele while watching the sun rise. (Though I may have done so.)
It appears that Cardinal McCarrick has fondled many different male genitalia in the course of his life. So maybe he truly and honestly can’t remember that particular time in 1971. The one that got him suspended from ministry, forty-seven years later.
I have no patience for vagueness and rumor mongering. Plenty of writers in the Catholic press have felt free to insinuate that “many bishops must have known about this.” But there’s not a single fact in that sentence. Others assume that more, terrible stories about McCarrick will emerge. Maybe they will; maybe they won’t.
But the simple facts that sit on the table now: McCarrick fondled a teenage seminarian in 1971. He abused a boy he had baptized through his pre-teens, teens, and twenties. He manipulated seminarians into sleeping in the same bed with him. The Church paid out cash settlements in secret to protect McCarrick–at least $180,000 that belonged to holy Church, spent to buy the silence of abused seminarians. These facts suffice.
Yes, I believe in due process, not trial by newspaper article. But can we honestly think that these stories are all untrue?
Does Pope Francis care? About McCarrick’s multiple victims?
Do the bishops of the United States care? And do they recognize that the institution called “the USCCB” has now suffered irreparable damage? McCarrick always called himself “a man of the Conference.” The “Conference” has burnt to ashes now, your Excellencies.
Speak. As individual men, as aggrieved fathers in God. As St. Thomas More put it so eloquently, “Silence gives consent.” The papal and episcopal silence at this point is genuinely sickening.
Wimpy bureaucrat-ese won’t do it. McCarrick’s red robes must burn in a bonfire in St. Peter’s Square. Or no one will ever listen to anything. Any of you say. Ever. Again.