As a Catholic who dearly loves Christ and His Church, it pains me to think about the current scandal in The Church must less put these words down on paper. However, my soul rejoices in hope of the truth being revealed and the Church being purified of the rot that has infiltrated at the highest levels.
Over the last few weeks the Church has been hit with what some have called a nuclear bomb. First came the revelation of Ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s sexual abuse of power over those in his charge and molesting teenage boys, then the Pennsylvania Grand Jury opened old wounds and revealed current Cardinals and bishops mishandling of the sex abuse scandal that originally broke in Boston 16 years ago and now the Testimony of Archbishop Viganò’s allegations of sexual corruption and abuse of power against dozens of members of the Church hierarchy including the pope.
The day the news broke disclosing the crimes of Ex-Cardinal McCarrick my first reaction was, “It can’t be so!? A prince of the Church.” My family and I had met the Cardinal, attended Mass he had celebrated and shared a meal with him in the not so distant past. I was in a state of disbelief and shock. I had found that he was charming, charismatic and presented himself as a holy man.
I called a trusted priest friend who, because of his time in Rome, would know more than what was being disclosed in the media. His response was immediate, “It’s true. He is a monster. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Just wait.” Then the avalanche began.
Of course, as much of the news media has reported, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the USA began circling the wagons and claiming ignorance. Then the Pennsylvania grand jury report hits and widened the open wound in the heart of Church. I could only picture the many wounds of Christ as I prayed and reflected on the irreparable harm done to the children, teenagers, families, seminarians, young priests, faithful Catholics and the thousands of hard working holy priests.
The latest bomb is the public testimony of Archbishop Viganò.
Amidst all the allegations, ad hominem attacks and obfuscations much of what is true and not true is getting lost. As the lay faithful, from a point of justice, we must have the truth.
“What is against truth cannot be just.” St Augustine
What do we know to be facts:
- Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, former first Counsellor of the Nunciature in Washington and Chargé d’Affaires ad interim after the unexpected death of Nuncio Sambi in Baltimore, has stated in reference to the Viganò Testimony, “It is true.”
- Pope Francis has stated he will not say ‘one word’ related to the Viganò Testimony.
- All but a few of the 1,000s of horrific attacks on teenagers and children perpetrated by priests in Pennsylvania took place before 2002. The vast majority took place between 1970 and the 1990’s. Most did not result in prosecution or charges.
- Cardinal Weurl, then the Archbishop of Pittsburgh, moved accused priests from parish to parish, as was the common practice among bishops at the time.
- Ex-Cardinal McCarrick had “sanctions” placed against him by Pope Benedict XVI. This has been reportedly verified by the National Catholic Register. 2014 Washington Post and National Catholic Reporter articles corroborated this claim indicating that Ex-Cardinal McCarrick had been “put out to pasture” by Pope Benedict XVI.
- Ex-Cardinal McCarrick primarily ignored the above mentioned sanctions or they had not been enforced by the Curia.
- Ex-Cardinal McCarrick, as mentioned in the 2014 Washington Post article and claimed by Archbishop Viganò was returned to service by Pope Francis.
- Pope Francis demoted and removed from public ministry Ex-Cardinal McCarrick after the scandal broke in July 2018.
- Ex-Cardinal McCarrick had a long history of abusing seminarians and young priests under his power.
- Cardinal Wuerl allowed Ex-Cardinal McCarrick to reside in a seminary, placing the seminarians and young priests at risk.
- Cardinal O’Malley initially claimed no knowledge of Ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual sexual misconduct and abuse of power until a letter surfaced that was given to his office in 2015.
- Cardinal O’Malley withdrew from the World Meeting of Families to address the “toxic” culture of homosexual misconduct and potential abuse of seminarians at Boston Seminary.
- Cardinal O’Malley, to his credit, apologized for not addressing the McCarrick Scandal.
- Cardinal Farrel, long time protégée and former housemate of Ex-Cardinal McCarrick claims no knowledge of Ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s decades long sexual misconduct and abuse of power.
- It has come to light that many openly joked about Ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s misuse of power. When he visited the seminaries it was commonly said, ‘Hide the handsome ones from him.’
- Cardinal Tobin’s diocese paid two substantial claims as a result of Ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s behavior and did not act on that behavior nor move to have his faculties restricted.
- Cardinal Tobin made a subsequent claim to not hearing about a homosexual sub-Culture in the seminaries under his charge in-spite of paying the above mentioned claim related to homosexual abuse of priests and seminarians.
- Six priests have come forward in Cardinal Tobin’s diocese disclosing a homosexual subculture.
- Following the report of the six priests Cardinal Tobin barred any priest in his diocese from speaking to the media.
- Cardinal Tobin attended St Alphonsus Seminary in New York while Ex-Cardinal McCarrick was secretary to Cardinal Cooke in New York City.
- Cardinal Weurl has asserted he was not informed of the widely known sexual misconduct of Ex-Cardinal McCarrick.
- Cardinal Weurl cancelled a meeting between Ex-Cardinal McCarrick and potential seminarians.
- On Jan.31st, 2013 Archbishop Gomez removed Cardinal Roger Mahony from public ministry because of his role in the sex abuse cover-up. On Jan.13th, 2018 Pope Francis appointed Mahony as his special envoy at the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the diocese of Scranton.
- Pope Benedict XVI personally handed extensive files on the sex abuse scandal, issues of active homosexuality and the Vatican Bank Scandal over to Pope Francis.
A Pattern of Behavior?
As the lay faithful, we must recognize a pattern of cover-up, disregard for and/or the misuse of power that exists in the Church hierarchy and among many of the bishops.
Quoting Pope Paul VI – “The Smoke of Satan is entered the Church.”
Where there is smoke there is fire, a raging fire.
Below is a short list of recent events:
- The bishops in the United States exempted themselves from the rules applied in the 2002 Dallas Charter protecting minors from abuse.
- Ex-Cardinal McCarrick was a key player in the drafting of the 2002 Dallas Charter.
- Pope Francis first accused the victims of calumny over their accusations of Bishop Barros covering up sex abuse. Pope Francis delayed action and subsequently accepted Bishop Barros’ resignation June 2018.
- Cardinal Danneels, who was embroiled in a child abuse cover-up, was appointed by Pope Francis as a special appointee to the Family Synod.
- The entire Conference of Bishops in Chile have handed in their resignation over child abuse and a sexual misuse of power coverup.
- Cardinal Errazuriz, who has admittedly refused to hear accusations of child abuse, is member of Pope Francis’ “Council of Cardinal Advisors.”
- Cardinal Andrello, appointed by Pope Francis in 2014, has been accused of sexual abuse cover-up. Cardinal Andrello has subsequently submitted his resignation to Pope Francis. As of this writing, Pope Francis has not accepted the resignation.
- Under the charge of Cardinal Maradiaga, the seminaries in Honduras have lodged a written appeal to the Pope. Cardinal Maradiaga is under fire for appearing to disregard a wealth of evidence of homosexual misconduct by Bishop Pineda.
- Cardinals Danneels, Ex-Cardinal McCarrick and Cardinal Maradiaga campaigned for Pope Francis on eve of the Conclave, phoning up various cardinals from the Honduran embassy in Rome. Despite their pasts, all 3 prelates have since been appointed special advisors to Pope Francis and/or have been rehabilitated by him.
- Cardinal Cupich is now quoted, in reference to Pope Francis, the McCarrick and abuse scandals, “The Pope has a bigger agenda. He’s got to get on with other things—talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the Church. We’re not going to go down a rabbit hole on this.”
- Cardinal Sadano has been accused of covering up the abuse scandal that embroiled Fr. Macial of the Founder of the Legionaries of Christ as well as the investigation into Cardinal Groër. (Now deceased.)
- Fr. James Martin, SJ, an open dissenter on the Church’s teaching on same-sex attraction was appointed by Pope Francis as Consultor for Vatican Communication.
- Bishop McElroy received a letter during 2016 from psychotherapist and clerical sex abuse expert Richard Sipe discussing the sexual misconduct and abuse of power of retired Ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s and did not act on it.
Much more can be written here that indicates a pattern of behavior that would cause any person with critical thinking to pause and ask, “What has happened to the leadership of Christ’s Church?”
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church is in urgent need of cleansing. Thanks be to God, He has given us the opportunity to see the truth and act upon it. In this alone, we must find joy and consolation.
The approved apparition of Our Lady of Akita foretold this debacle on October 13, 1973 stating,
The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops.” Our Lady at Akita, Japan.
What do we do next?
As a member of the Church Militant, our role is not a passive role. We must take an active role in moving forward and building the kingdom of God.
- First, do not abandon the Church. The Church has many holy priests that bring us the sacraments each day. Jesus is truly present in the tabernacles across the entire world. Abandon the Church and we abandon Christ.
- Avoid “hysteria” and disrespect for the papal office.
- Participate in the sacraments of The Eucharist and Reconciliation.
- Charitably, write your bishop a personal letter asking that he demand an investigation and reform. Al Kresta at Ave Maria Radio has given some good tips on writing your bishop. Follow this link.
- Follow the lead of St. Catherine of Sienna, Doctor of the Church, and strive to become a saint. The Church needs great saints to reform the hierarchy and its foundation in truth.
- Pray like you never have before.
- Fast on Friday’s and Wednesday’s for the Church, the victims and the many holy priests.
- Pray that Pope Francis releases all documents related to this scandal and adheres to his own zero tolerance policy.
- Act with charity, especially toward the victims, our many holy priests, bishops and religious.
In closing a quote attributed to St. Catherine Sienna, Doctor of the Church, is most appropriate for our consideration and mediation.
“We’ve had enough exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues – I see the world is rotten because of silence.” – St. Catherine of Sienna
JMJ, pray for us!
God is good,