You can’t google him, because he hasn’t given his last name. As far as I can tell, no one has yet collected links to all his statements to reporters. So I want to do that, because he deserves an amanuensis. (Please click Leave a Reply and let me know, if you have other links.)
Nauseating, in the extreme. But also profoundly consoling, as I tried to point out at Holy Mass today. What James has done is: compare McCarrick to Jesus Christ.
By that standard, McCarrick deserves severe chastisement. James’ hunger for justice (see Matthew 5) has changed the silent, suffering victim into the courageous advocate.
Should we doubt anything James says? Back in 2002 I learned: Men do not accuse other men of sexually abusing them, unless it happened. Also, other anonymous witnesses have corroborated some of the circumstantial details of James’ story, as you can read in Rod Dreher’s account of his conversation with James.
Addendum: Sed contra, One careful analyst notes some problems with James’ account. I, too, found James’ reference to Fr. Paul Shanley of Boston a little too perfect. But even if he got that wrong, or gilded the lily there, I still think the basic story rings true. After all, if James had made up the whole thing, and McCarrick stands falsely accused here, then surely the wronged Archbishop would have publicly denied it all by now.
Meanwhile, in the shadow-world of the Catholic and mainstream press…
1. The Pope did a great, unprecedented, bold thing on Saturday, accepting McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals. This altogether-weird interpretation of what happened Saturday is apparently the official position of the USCCB.
Hold on, please:
The Pope accepted McCarrick’s resignation. The Pope did not expel McCarrick from the College of Cardinals. The Pope reacted; he did not act.
2. The Archdiocese of Washington and Cardinal Wuerl made public statements to address the problem.
But hold on, please:
The only immediate practical upshot of any of this is: James is Bishop Burbidge’s problem, not ours. (We know that James lives in the Diocese of Arlington.)
Please, can we focus on the actual facts:
On June 20, the Archdioceses of Washington and New York announced then-Cardinal McCarrick’s suspension from public ministry, because of an accusation leveled by a New York man named Mike. …Since that time, no official in the Church has actually done anything.
On July 19, the New York Times published James’ story. …Everything that has happened since July 19 has happened because James spoke out.
James, and the journalists who have worked with him, have brought about the beginnings of a reckoning with justice. The Church has only reacted to events. And, as far as we know, no Church official has made the slightest effort to contact James.
I for one want to honor James, by name, for giving me hope in the face of excruciating pain. Mike, too: Thank you.