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.


Hard Fall, Hard Praying

The Lord has called us to be His disciples, to put out into the deep waters of this world, and fish for men.

Terrifying and bewildering as it may be for us to be summoned for duty by the good God Himself, we cannot say, ‘depart from me, Lord.’ Or, rather, we can say it—but He won’t do it.

So we must engage everything that comes our way as Christians, as servants of Christ. He guides our ship; He’s the captain. He will not take us out any further from shore than we can handle—even if, to us, it may seem like He has guided us out into the remote and uncharted expanses of the ocean.

mccarrickThis Sunday is our Lady’s birthday, which is when the wild ride of the fall flurry of activity usually begins. From all appearances, our nation, the United States, is in for a difficult, a taxing—potentially a very painful fall.

The fax machines and the internet connections at the US Bishops’ Conference have been running hot. We priests have orders to preach on immigration reform this Sunday. We are for immigration reform. The bishop who ordained me, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, published an inspiring short essay on Sunday in the Washington Post, outlining our Catholic vision for immigration reform. (More to come on that, in this Sunday’s sermon.)

But on Sunday we will also read the parable about the king preparing for war, and how he must prudently study the situation before marching to arms.

The Pope and the American Bishops have asked all of us faithful Catholics to pray for peace in Syria. We are against a US military strike. We pray that it will not occur. I will lead a rosary for peace on Saturday. Maybe all of us could recite the rosary at 5:30 pm, no matter where we are-—and we will all be united spiritually—and with our Holy Father, too, who will pray in St. Peter’s Square on Saturday evening for peace in Syria.

Like I said, I think this weekend is just the beginning of the hard praying we will need to do this fall–for our nation, for our leaders. From where I am sitting, I see a perfect storm brewing over Washington.

(May it please God that my spiritual meteorology is wrong here. May it please Him that the fall of 2013 doesn’t wind up feeling like the fall of 2001 and the fall of 1963, all rolled into one. But I am afraid that this fall will wind up feeling like that.)

Let’s pray: May the Holy Spirit of wisdom and truth enlighten and guide all those who hold reins of power.

…The good news is: The Beast is back in town! (Kinda.)

Michael Morse Orioles 2

Michael Morse Orioles

Two Closures

Usually one might not think too much about the Washington Post closing its New York bureau.


On Saturday, April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II was taking his last breaths in this world.

I was watching the t.v. coverage with my brother in his office–at the New York bureau of the Washington Post.

It was Easter vacation time.

I got tired of watching t.v. I walked over to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to pray and console people. Very soon the Pope died.

It was an afternoon I will never forget. May our beloved late Holy Father rest in peace.

…Here’s a question. Why aren’t the Georgetown Hoyas playing in the Old Spice Classic this year? (Feel free to comment, whether you know the answer or not.)

…Happy Thanksgiving!

Imagine My Amazement

postI have no choice but to admit that in the past two days, I have witnessed not one, but two miracles of liberal journalism.

Don’t know if you heard how a professor at Harvard was arrested in his own house. He claims to be the victim of police racism.

The first thing that occurred to me when I read the conflicting accounts of what happened: Wasn’t the police officer probably trying to secure the house after having received a burglary report? Why would Dr. Gates refuse to comply with the officer’s request that he step outside? Isn’t it reasonable to think that the officer asked Dr. Gates to step outside for his own safety, in the event that there was an intruder in the house?

Dr. GatesImagine my amazement when I read something in the Washington Post to the effect that the officer may in fact NOT be a racist goon, and Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was probably acting like a defensive jerk.

Don’t know if you have heard that there will soon be a new justice on the Supreme Court.

Imagine my amazement when I read something in the Washington Post to the effect that Sonia Sotomayor is a woefully uninspiring Supreme-Court nominee.

My brother used to write for the Washington Post. Of course I would always be glad to buy my brother a beer. But other than that, I have never wanted to buy beers for Washington Post writers.

But the Omnipresent Specter is full of surprises.

Status Update

spped bumpPreacher’s Status: Overwhelmed.

…Here is Reason #1,865 why it is impossible to take the Washington Post seriously.  A quote from one of today’s editorials:

…The United States…is dealing with the omnipresent specter of another terrorist attack…

Omnipresent specter?

Would the word “threat” not suffice? Or even the phrase “constant threat?” Who hired someone from the Ministry of Truth to copy edit the Washington Post?

The truth is that there is only one Omnipresent Specter, and He does not appreciate blasphemy.

lbj mvpHe will indeed terrorize the proud. But He will exult the humble.

He will reward those who treat the language with reverence. But the cheap word-mongers He will crush.

…On the other hand, this pro-life essay by Alveda King, niece of M.L.K., Jr., is worth reading…

…You know that I love LeBron as much as anybody. My dream in life is to be the LeBron James of priests.

LeBron got dunked on recently. No big deal. It was a silly summer-league game.

He got dunked on by a college player. No biggie. College players are awful good.

He got dunked on by a college player who was wearing Nike LeBrons at the time.

Then Nike confiscated the videotapes. Here is the dunker:

Roger Grand Slam + Outlook Answered

roger trophyFederer beat Robin Soderling in less than two hours. Now Roger has won all four Grand Slam tournaments.

At one point during the NBC broadcast, Ted Robinson asked John McEnroe to comment: “Federer and Tiger Woods have struck up a friendship. This would be Federer’s fourteenth major title. Woods has won fourteen majors…”

lewis 2McEnroe: “Let’s not bring golf into this.”

…Meanwhile, Orlando’s Rashard Lewis is sporting a Moses beard for the NBA Finals.

The Game 1 blow-out was a hiccup. Game 2 went to overtime. Very tough loss for the Magic.

…This morning I read an essay in favor of legal abortion.

Here is the reasoning, as I would summarize it: It is unfair to condemn a pregnant woman for being pregnant. The anti-abortion position involves judging the woman for sin. Therefore, the generous-hearted thing to do is to offer abortion as a way out of a shameful situation.

speed bumpThis would make sense, if…

1. The pro-life position really were a matter of hypocritical moralizing against the mother, and if

2. There were no innocent third party involved in an abortion.


1. The pro-life position is NOT based on a moral judgment of the mother.

A woman can become pregnant by commiting a sin, or without commiting a sin. Whether or not the mother committed a sin when she became pregnant is a separate matter, and that matter really is private. It is the one part of the whole thing that really is “between a woman and her priest/minister/etc.”

2. There IS an innocent third party involved in an abortion (who gets killed).

Fornication is wrong, sure enough. Shouldn’t happen.

But I am not against abortion because fornication is wrong. I think abortion should be illegal because it involves killing an innocent human being.

3,000 Suscipiamurs, Plus Gluttony and Sloth


Wonders never cease! This morning there is an essay supporting the Pope in the Washington Post! On the other hand, the Baylor-Maryland women’s basketball matchup we hoped for is not going to happen.

…There are a few prayers of the Holy Mass which the priest prays silently. After the gifts are prepared on the altar, the priest bows and prays:

In spiritu humilitatis et in animo contrito suscipiamur ad te Domine, et sic fiat sacrificium nostrum in conspectu tuo hodie ut placeat tibi Domine Deus.

(“In an humble spirit, and a contrite heart, may we be received by Thee, O Lord, and may our sacrifice be so offered up in Thy sight this day that it may please Thee, O Lord God.”)

This morning I bowed and said this prayer for the 3,000th time. May God be praised. Here is the homily I gave, the last in my Deadly-Sins series…

Continue reading “3,000 Suscipiamurs, Plus Gluttony and Sloth”