I am a Moron

McCarrick and Gerety
Theodore McCarrick’s installation as Archbishop of Newark, NJ, 1986. Outgoing Archbishop Peter Gerety stands second from the right. (Photo by D.J. Zendler.)

The late Archbishop Peter Gerety‘s name appears in the draft of my book.

From Chapter 2…

McCarrick successfully sold the myth of his glittering celebrity status not just to his victims but to a wider circle. Newark needed a new Archbishop in 1986; McCarrick became the young pope of New Jersey. His predecessor, Peter Gerety, claimed to have grown old at age 73, even though he went on to live to 104.

Something odd with Gerety leaving office in 1986, to be sure: A bishop resigning at 73, claiming the infirmity of old age. Then he goes on to live to 104.


In an earlier version of the chapter, I had speculated that Gerety was “too liberal” for Pope John Paul II. McCarrick successfully sold himself as a “moderate.” I decided to take that speculation out. Superfluous.


I am a moron.

Why, after all, am I here? In the situation in which I find myself now?

In May of 2006, the Cardinal Archbishop who ordained me resigned suddenly, claiming old age despite his evident vigor. My priest friends and I thought: It’s because he’s too liberal for Pope Benedict.

We were wrong, of course.

We now know why McCarrick “resigned” prematurely in 2006. Namely, so that the Vatican could orchestrate a cover-up of his crimes, a cover-up that would last for the next twelve years.

And the cover-up would remain in effect now, and McCarrick’s victims would still live in agonizing solitude.

(And I guess my priest friends and I would still think McCarrick got ushered out for being “too liberal,” and Donald Wuerl would still be the Archbishop of Washington, and the biggest controversy of Pope Francis’ papacy would still be communion for the divorced and civilly re-married…)

But McCarrick’s victim “Mike” told his story to a New-York lawyer in 2017. The jig was up on the McCarrick cover-up. I blogged the heck out of it, and now I’m facing expulsion from the clerical state for it.


Why o why would I have thought–after all this–that Peter Gerety got ushered out of Newark in 1986 for “being too liberal?” What kind of numbskull am I?

A 49-year-old woman (name withheld) has filed suit in New Jersey. Her sworn affidavit states that Gerety molested her when she was five years old, in 1976–two years into Gerety’s tenure.

[WARNING Not easy to read, taken from a Bergen Record article by Abbott Koloff, who gained access to the affidavit.]

She grew up in Newark near the Cathedral Basilica of Sacred Heart. Her mother “worked long hours as a seamstress” and Gerety allegedly offered to babysit.

One day Gerety took her by the hand to his bedroom. She described the room as being simply furnished, with the prelate’s bed pushed up against a wall and an old Bible on a table.

“Gerety told me to relax and close my eyes and informed me that what he was going to do with me was part of what God required and wanted me to do,” she wrote, adding that the archbishop gave her a warning: “Do not say anything about this because it will hurt your mother. This is our secret.”

She wrote that he walked her back to her home.

The abuse allegedly occurred three or four times, always in the rectory bedroom. She wrote that it stopped after she protested being left with the archbishop and an aunt offered to watch her. She remained silent about the allegations “as I had been instructed” until she was 13, when she told her older sister.

“My older sister cried when I told her and she said she felt guilty because she hadn’t or couldn’t protect me,” she wrote. “However, neither of us ever mentioned the abuse to our mother.”

Dear Reader, I do need help to pay my canon lawyer to fight Bishop Barry Knestout’s unjust actions against me. Click HERE if you can donate something. Thank you.

Lamb Whiter Than Snow

Just a little reminder that tomorrow is St. Agnes Day.

On January 21, at the Basilica of St. Agnes in Rome, two lambs are presented at the sanctuary rail as the choir sings “on her right hand a lamb whiter than snow” (stans a dextris ejus agnus nive candidior).

Pallium--worn by Archbishops

When your name sounds like one of Christ’s titles in Latin, your feast day becomes special.

In the springtime, the lambs will be shorn. The wool will make the pallia of the new Archbishops.

The pallia sit on the tomb of St. Peter from June 28 to June 29, then make their way to the cities of the world.

…P.S. Big Hoyas game against Pitt tonight.

I will miss the whole thing, because I have class. (Argh!)

Natural Evil

Jeremy Hazell

The “Intelligent Design Debate” has been going on a long time:

If the movement of the universe were irrational, and the world rolled on in a random fashion, one would be justified in disbelieving what we say.

But if the world is founded on reason, wisdom, and science, and is filled with orderly beauty, then it must owe its origin and order to none other than the Word of God.

–St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, died A.D. 373.

…We are praying hard for everyone in Haiti. May all who are unaccounted-for be found safe.

Port-au-Prince Cathedral, January 14
We pray for the repose of Archbishop Serge Miot and all the dead.

Many souls certainly went to their deaths without proper preparation; may God be merciful.

We pledge ourselves to help everyone in need.

But before we panic and go reeling off into uncharted spiritual territory–losing perspective on ultimate reality because of the incessant buzzing of the television–let’s remind ourselves of the words of the expert demon to the junior tempter in Screwtape Letter #28:

I sometimes wonder if you young fiends are not kept out on temptation duty too long at a time–if you are not in some danger of becoming infected by the sentiments and values of the humans among whom you work.

They, or course, do tend to regard death as the prime evil, and survival as the greatest good. But that is because we have taught them to do so.

Do not let us be infected by our own propaganda…Whatever you do, keep your patient as safe as you possibly can…

Capuchin Crypt in Rome
The long, dull years of middle-aged prosperity are excellent campaigning weather for us.

…My dear mom regards my desire to live among skeletons as “extreme.”

If you want extreme, check out the crypt-level chapels of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Rome.

…Big Hoya game against Seton Hall this evening.

Chvotkin has the call at 7:00 on AM 980. Jeremy Hazell is a dangerous sharp-shooter. Root hard!

Commonsense Papism


Ego … Archiepiscopus … beato Petro apostolo, Sanctæ, Apostolicæ, Romanæ Ecclesiæ, ac tibi, Summo Pontifici, tuisque legitimis Successoribus semper fidelis ero et oboediens. Ita me Deus omnipotens adiuvet.

“I …, Archbishop of …, swear to be faithful and obedient to St. Peter the Apostle, to the Holy Roman Church, and to you, the Supreme Pontiff, and your lawful successors, so help me God Almighty.”

The new Archbishops who celebrated Mass with the Holy Father today swore their allegiance with these words.

StPeterThe Archbishops’ oath of allegiance is not something strange. It is not something foreign to American sensibilities. It is the most commonsensical statement a person could ever make.

Christians believe things–and we live according to principles–which we could never figure out by ourselves.

Therefore we rely on some source of information that possesses infallible authority. Our faith and morals are based on the testimony of God Himself, delivered to us in writing and by word of mouth.

Now, the authority to give this testimony either resides in me myself, or it resides in someone else.

Some people actually do regard themselves as their own infallible religious authority. But it takes just a little humility and maturity to realize that being your own infallible teacher is a prescription for disaster.

Therefore my infallible teacher must be someone else.

readdumWho is it? Could it be a politician? Could it be the pastor of a megachurch? Shirley MacLaine?

Of all the candidates for infallible teacher, the only really viable one is the Pope. The Pope can claim to hold such an office–the office of infallible teacher and shepherd established by the Son of God when He was on earth.

The Lord Jesus never promised that every Pope would be a saint. Rather, He guaranteed that there would be a spiritual fortress which the enemies of God could never conquer. Within this fortress, the true faith will always survive. The fortress is the Apostolic See of Rome.

Someone might say: Back off! My infallible teacher is the Bible!

Two questions, dear friend:

1. How do you know that the Bible is the Bible (i.e. the compendium of divine teachings committed to writing)? How do you know that the Koran is NOT the Bible? Or Football for Dummies? What authority certifies that your Bible is, in fact, God’s Word?

2. If there is a dispute about what the Bible means, who has the authority to settle the question?



and his successors.

Happy Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, founders of the Church of Rome!

Melancholy Dane, Happy America

father dinoia
Father J. A. DiNoia, O.P.

Some of you beloved readers have traveled with me on pilgrimage to Rome.

If you have, you will remember our visit to the Vatican offices of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

Our host, who once taught me in the seminary, is being promoted to Archbishop! This is good, good news. Really, really good news.

Father DiNoia will be ordained a bishop at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on Saturday, July 11…

…”Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” (Hamlet, Act I, scene 4)

Continue reading “Melancholy Dane, Happy America”

He Says He is Alive, Plus Father Cutié

Discussing St. Paul
Discussing St. Paul
In the autumn of A.D. 60, Portius Festus arrived from Italy to begin his assignment as Roman governor of Judea. He inherited a number of problems. One of them was that St. Paul was languishing in his jail.

King Herod Agrippa II came to the seaport city of Caesarea to greet the new governor. The king’s great-grandfather had built the city to curry favor with the waxing Roman empire.

Festus knew little of Judaism and nothing of Christianity. Nonetheless, in his conversation with Herod Agrippa, the new Roman governor unwittingly distilled the life of St. Paul into one single, perfect sentence.

Continue reading “He Says He is Alive, Plus Father Cutié”