McCarrick-Report Fable vs. Streetside Press-Conference Preachers

Aesop sculpture
The fabulist Aesop

Before the virus engulfed Italy a fortnight ago, the Archdiocese of Washington, Inc. expected the imminent release of the Vatican’s “McCarrick Report.”

Let me explain.

Aesop, the ancient Greek fable teller, spun a yarn about something dubbed “The McCarrick Report.” He told the tale way back before anyone on earth ever heard of coronavirus.

Amazing as it is, many journalists who butter their bread with ecclesiastical money still actually believe the fable.

In the story, the Vatican has a “huge document” that will someday “cast light” on: How a serial destroyer of young lives succeeded in deceiving an entire generation of trusting Catholic people. While popes, Cardinals, and bishops all swallowed it down their gullets without saying anything.

Aesop concludes the fable with this: The McCarrick report will show Pope Francis’ true “commitment” to “transparency and accountability.” The report will also contain the chemical formula for the cure of COVID-19. And the exact geographic co-ordinates where the Ark of the Covenant lies buried in Ethiopia.

A Vatican Cardinal will appear at a press conference with Jim Morrison, James Dean, and Jimmy Hoffa to release the report to the public. Then the opening soccer match of the 2020 Olympic Games will proceed in St. Peter’s Square, followed by all the canceled NCAA basketball games.

…From Mr. Bates’ mailbag, dear reader:

(written 1/25/2020)

On Her pilgrimage, the Church has also experienced the discrepancy existing between the message She proclaims and the human weakness of those to whom the Gospel has been entrusted. Only by taking the way of penance and renewal, the narrow way of the cross, can the People of God extend Christ’s reign. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 853)

Over two months ago, we noted the speech of His Eminence Sean Card. O’Malley to the American bishops assembled in Baltimore for their annual meeting there. The Cardinal assured everyone that the long-promised Vatican report about Theodore McCarrick would soon see the light of day.

A month later, Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing, Michigan, spoke similarly:

The report has not seen the light of day.

Reasonable people gave up long ago. The Vatican produce a document that cast real light on the McCarrick Cover-up? The soul-destroying mess that has now lasted for an entire generation?

One of our heroes, “Nathan”–anonymous McCarrick victim, who wrote to us at the one-year anniversary of the Vatican’s original promise of a report–he urged patience. Nathan said, Wait for the report. It will come. They have a huge amount of information to synthesize. Honest brokers are at work.

I could not bring myself to believe this, even back in October. Now, three months later:  Two prelates, long implicated in the McCarrick cover-up, just became Dean and Vice-dean of the College of Cardinals.

This makes me conclude: Only Stockholm-Syndrome sufferers can continue to indulge in fantasies about a “McCarrick Report” coming from Rome. The Vatican does not have the capacity for self-reflection which could produce a credible McCarrick Report. At least not right now.

But hope is by no means lost. The mafia of obtuse narcissists steers the Barque of Peter towards the iceberg, but sex-abuse survivors nonetheless try to save the Church.

What has happened over the last couple months is this:

1. New Jersey, New York, and California temporarily removed statutes of limitations for sex-abuse claims. The bishops of Mexico publicly called for their government to do the same.

2. Theodore McCarrick abused Mr. John Bellocchio of New Jersey in 1995. This past November and December, Mr. Bellocchio filed two lawsuits, using his own name, and publicly announcing his intentions. In New Jersey, he sued the Archdiocese of Newark.

In federal court, he sued the Holy See.

Mr. Bellocchio’s eloquence deserves the widest possible audience. His words in these press conferences inspire me like a great sermon. Does our Church have a future? With people like John Bellocchio leading Her–yes.

Also, as you can see in the second video above, Ms. Siobhan O’Connor came to support Bellocchio, along with Mr. Michael Whelan of Buffalo. O’Connor had some eloquent things to say, too, which you can hear by clicking this link.

In his lawsuit filed in federal court in New York, Bellocchio highlights this fact: The Holy See signed the United Nations Charter for the Rights of Children in 1989. The U.N. has repeatedly cited the Vatican for serious violations of the treaty, over the course of the past couple decades. Mr. Paul Moses published an article outlining this in Commonweal magazine last summer.

Non-Catholic-media journalists also seem to care about the integrity of the Church more than our bishops do. Thank God someone does.

We learned right after Christmas that the Washington Post had uncovered information about large sums of money that McCarrick had given to other churchmen over the years, out of a fund intended to help the poor. This included a $200,000 gift to Pope Benedict XVI, shortly after Benedict became pope.

Let’s remember the situation then:

Cardinal Ratzinger knew about McCarrick’s predations, but Pope John Paul II refused to believe the accusers.

Spring, 2005. McCarrick sat as Archbishop of Washington. John Paul II dies. Ratzinger becomes pope. McCarrick sends the new pope $200,000.

Looks a lot like a hush-money bribe, doesn’t it, dear reader?

James Faluszczak and Paul Barr Buffalo
James Faluszczak, left, and attorney Paul Barr, right

Another agent of renewal for Holy Church is Mr. James Falusczak. He spoke out last month to try to deal with the web of cronyism and half-truths that rules in the ecclesiastical province of New York.

On December 10, Falusczak spoke in Brooklyn about the dishonesty of Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and former Brooklyn priest, now Albany Bishop and Buffalo administrator, Edward Scharfenberger. Click THIS LINK to listen to some excellent preaching of the Gospel.

Brooklyn Bishop DiMarzio stands accused of sexual abuse, but he nonetheless remains firmly in office. He had to cancel a scheduled visit to a Catholic school, because parents objected. Parents objected to the sitting bishop visiting a Catholic school. The National Catholic Reporter yesterday published an editorial pointing out the cronyism of Timothy Cardinal Dolan and Bishop DiMarzio.

Faluszczak spoke in Buffalo on Dec. 13 about Scharfenberger’s dishonesty regarding the Vatican investigation of Buffalo. Click THIS LINK to listen some more more excellent preaching.

They’re preaching healing. Yet, how do we heal when we don’t have a full accounting, when we don’t have a full report?

Amen, brother.

…If the good Lord Jesus could, by His grace, convert the persecutor Saul into the Apostle Paul, He can save us now, too. The Truth can, and will, renew His Church.

Even if the truth about the misgovernment of the Church can only shine out in secular courtrooms right now.