A Ghost Speaks

McCarrick Report? Let’s hear from the man himself…

McCarrick sofa

From the Washington Post, April 17, 2002:

McCarrick discussed the [Spotlight] scandal and his recommendations for the church’s response at a luncheon with editors and reporters of The Washington Post. Few other prelates of his rank have spoken so extensively on the issue to the media.

…More than 10 years ago, while he was bishop of Newark, McCarrick said, he was accused of pedophilia “with my own family” in a letter sent to some of his peers in the church hierarchy.

“I immediately did two things,” he said. “I wrote a response and sent it to the nuncio [the pope’s representative in the United States] because I figure everything’s gotta be clear. And then I brought it to my Presbyter Council, the council of priests in the diocese. I said, ‘This is what I got. I want you to know it.’ Because I think light is what kills these things. You gotta put them in light. And then nothing ever happened. He never wrote another letter or anything.”

McCarrick’s spokeswoman, Susan Gibbs, said later that the unsigned letter implied that he had sexually abused his nieces and nephews but it had “no specific allegations, no names, no nothing . . . just rumor.”

After telling this story, the cardinal added, “If there’s any interest with anyone here, I can say I’m 71 years old and I have never had sexual relations with anybody — man, woman or child. And that can go on the record.”

Asked what he thought might be the long-term impact of the scandal on the church, McCarrick predicted that it would “cause a greater openness on the part of all of us, and that has to be good, because the church is supposed to be a family and you can’t have a family if only half the people know what you’re doing. The sunshine should come in.”

Church leaders, he added, “will have to be . . . more open in our financial dealings, more open in our personnel practices, more open in how we train our seminarians . . . I think people are going to look [more closely] now, and they have a right to.”

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick will be among 11 U.S. cardinals going to Rome to meet with Pope John Paul II next week.

I stumbled across this, in my book research. It took me up short.

1. The dishonesty of the man makes you want to spit, then break something, then spit again, then holler like a banshee.

2. The ’02 scandal should “cause a greater openness on the part of all of us. The Church is supposed to be a family, and you can’t have a family if only half the people know what you’re doing.” Church leaders “will have to be more open. People are going to look more closely, and they have a right to.”


3. The Washington Post owes us soul-crushed Catholics an apology, too. For letting themselves get enchanted by the devious imp. The vaunted Post journalists failed abysmally to scrutinize McCarrick’s ’02 prevarications.

When we re-read McCarrick’s patter about what happened in Newark in the early 90’s with the knowledge we have now, something jumps off the page.

He never explicitly denied it. He never explicitly denied what we now know he spent decades doing, to the ruination of many souls.

He denied “having sexual relations” with man, woman, or child. One imagines that this predator defines “sexual relations” in the strictest possible sense. WARNING PG-13 He had his fingers crossed, when it came to: ogling, stroking, fondling, and masturbation.

And it was the abuser himself who called his victims his “nephews.” Excuse me while I barf, dear reader.

“Light is what kills these things.”

Yes it is, you poor devil-twisted soul. Yes, it is.

Please, dear reader, keep praying that my muse will continue to accompany me with gentle kindness in my scribbling. I will share some chapter drafts with you soon.


5 thoughts on “A Ghost Speaks

  1. The reason for the Wash. Post laxness lies in the sentence that starts, “Few other prelates of his rank . . . “ He flattered the reporters by making himself available, just as he did over and over again with various groups, who all ate the flattery up. He not only lied — he himself diabolically set the stage for the telling of his untruths.
    Ann White

  2. Don’t give too much of it away, lest you have no hook to interest the reader to buy the book.


    Sent from my iPhone


  3. The thing that struck my attention the most was how McCarrick apparently defined “sexual relations.” Think you are right on target in that McCarrick referred to this only in the strictest sense…that the other “activities” did not constitute sexual relations. I do not know which is worse….that he knew exactly what he was doing but was willing to use this “reasoning” as a way to absolve himself of any guilt and allow himself to declare his “innocence,”– or that he actually did believe his own insane reasoning and actually believes he is “innocent” of any wrong doing. None of which excuses him as we hear more and more stories of “sex rings” and activities at his beach house. And no amount of his “reasoning” heals the hurt his actions inflicted on so many others in so many ways.
    On a much happier note, looking forward to your writings.

  4. I crack up laughing at your writing! Not that it’s a laughing matter by any stretch of the imagination, but I can just see you acting out those texts you write! Anyway, I probably shouldn’t publish this comment since some might take it the wrong way. Eh, c’est la vie – what’s life without a little risk!

    It certainly is nothing to laugh at. The way predators, even the boy next door who stole the innocence of my own children, can charm the crowds, hold power over the victims to silence them, justify their behaviors through legalism and pretend nothing is wrong is simply scary!

  5. What puzzles me is why he was so confidant that James Grein would not “tell all “ , someday . Did he get caught up in his delusion of being too powerful to fall ?
    Clinton also defined sex legalistically

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