Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Will the truth about Archbishop McCarrick ever be revealed?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

I was reading an article about what Pope Francis can and can not clarify about the Vigano accusations.  I was reminded of a local case involving a gay priest which brought down the reign of Archbishop Nienstedt and the local curia in the Archdiocese of StP/MPLS.

It appears to me the general stance in the Church these days is that there is nothing wrong with being gay ... and that it is not an impediment to ordination.  (Dispensations freely made.)  I say that because in the case of former priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, the reports of homosexual behavior received by the archdiocese were initially dismissed and posed little or no problem to his promotion as pastor of a local parish.  The same parish he was arrested at for having sexually abused teen boys.  Before this, he was caught cruising in parks, trying to pick up young men in a bookstore, and so on.  He's gay.  He's a gay man who likes young guys.*

After his arrest I recall our former vicar general, Fr. Laird, said something to the effect that diocesan officials simply believed Wehmeyer had a gay problem with chastity.  In other words, officials didn't think he posed a problem for minors.  At least that is the impression I got.  Laird has since left the priesthood.

I mention this because, as an NPR article detailing the history of this case reveals, Church officials can and do know about the sexual misconduct of priests and bishops, but will cover it up if it isn't criminal or doesn't involve minors: 
Top archdiocese leaders knew of Wehmeyer's sexual compulsions for nearly a decade but kept him in ministry and failed to warn parishioners, according to canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger, who resigned in April, and dozens of other interviews and documents. - NPR*
I'm not revisiting this story except to make some parallels on the silence and cover-up surrounding Theodore McCarrick's elevation in the Church.  Informants weren't believed.  If it didn't involve minors, it was apparently okay, and so on.  Look at the history of Archbishop Weakland of Milwaukee - a male lover was apparently not a problem.  There are other situations I could list, but the upshot seems to be, gay is okay - gay is neutral - gay is good.

Yet that goes against Church teaching.  Being SSA is okay though.  Suffering from SSA is even better.  Maybe that's how it was with Wehmeyer - troubled childhood, suffered from SSA, but posed no threat.  McCarrick maybe suffers from SSA, posed no threat to kids, but slept with young priests and seminarians to console himself.
Accounts of McCarrick’s immoral behavior with seminarians and priests, while certainly sinful, may not necessarily have been enough to launch a full-scale canonical prosecution. But in cases where a person is suspected of having done something immoral, or of posing a future risk, a precept is often issued. A precept is essentially an authoritative canonical instruction to do or not do something; it often includes direction on where a cleric must live. - CWR

So we may never know the truth.  The only thing he might have done wrong in the eyes of the finance committee and lawyers is touched a couple of altar boys inappropriately and did something with an 11 year old boy.  Compromising the vocations of seminarians and having a club of gay priests and bishops is not a crime.  Corrupt as hell, but not a crime.  Maybe it is all about money then after all?
“When he would visit Rome, Cardinal McCarrick was well-known for handing out envelopes of money to different bishops and cardinals around the curia to thank them for their work,” a curial cardinal recently told CNA. “Where these ‘honoraria’ came from or what they were for, exactly, was never clear – but many accepted them anyway.” - CWR

Money and power corrupts.  One wouldn't even have to be gay to be involved in a homosexual network, they could be SSA, or just like the money.

Hopefully the Holy Father will clean house and come clean.  Prayers for the Pope.


It isn't a problem of pedophilia when the minors are teen boys or young men.  Two years ago I posted on a local situation which ended in a husband and husband team committing suicide - they liked teen boys and young men - just like McCarrick and company - it was indeed gay - nothing to do with power or control - just sex:
"Mr. Babbitt was a popular teacher.
He liked boys and young men. Teen boys. He and his husband Matthew both liked them. In some ways, Mr. Babbitt, popular teacher, may have kind of groomed some boys? I wonder? One teen told police Mr. Babbitt was his teacher in grade school, then later, he was his mentor. The teen was gay. I'm sure Mr. Babbitt didn't make him gay - but he took a special interest in him because he is gay ...
Here's the story, Mr. Babbitt and Mr. Deyo killed themselves after police found out they were involved in sexual contact with a 16-year-old boy and at least two other boys. They felt they had 'no way out' in the investigation. That's an unfortunate decision on their part. Murder suicide is a tragic end.


  1. I wonder why the double standard ... if I decide to engage in sexual encounters that are considered abnormal, will I too be given a pass and have my sin dissected to see if it fits as to whether it really is a sin as long as minors aren't involved? Oh say, sex with the father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother/sister, my dog?

    Sick ...

    As to cover ups, I just read this on Crux:

    I like Cardinal DiNardo too but now if the accusations are true, he's being accused of cover-up.

  2. This verse of scripture keeps echoing in my mind: "There is none righteous; no, not one." As the sins of the great and small are unveiled, I continue to be driven to prayer for the graces of true contrition,sincere reparation, and time for conversion.

    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

    Dearest Lady, Mother of Priests and Joy of All Who Sorrow, pray for those most in need of Christ's mercy.

    1. Amen, Fr. Frank. Thank you for the much needed reminder in my own struggle with personal conversion.

    2. I have had a problem with DiNardo since the Vigano allegations. He is all for investigating those allegations, but he didn't have one word of support for Pope Francis. DiNardo is head of the US bishops. It is just wrong for someone in his position to show such bias against the Holy Father, especially since there are real doubts now about the veracity of Vigano's allegations against Pope Francis.

      There is something really wrong in the Church here in the States, both with the conservatives and the liberals. I can't speak for the rest of the world, but I believe the US Church is going through a purging and will become very small.

  3. Regardless of what you think of Ab. Vigano it is still the case that the serious charges he makes in his letter need to be addressed. What is the Vatican afraid of? Other than exposing corruption: sexually and financially that may rival the worst times on the human side of the Church since parts of the middle ages. Pope F was elected primarily to reform the Curia and clean up the corruption and instead he has spent 5 years promoting liberal theology- very disappointing. Maybe now he is waking up to the fact that he needs to be an instrument of true reform in the Church. Cd. McCarrick handing out money at the Vatican strikes one as he is the gay godfather chief. Time to clean house. It seems to slowly be happening- see today the investigation of the Vatican of the now former bishop of West Virginia- he was well known as a prissy gay man who happened to be a Bp and who persecuted any priest who tried to teach the orthodox Catholic faith in that diocese. Eventually things are balanced out by the Lord despite us humans. St. John Chrysostom, one of the great reformer bishops of the 4th century, pray for us!

    1. Amen, Padre R. I share your sentiments. The corruption in the Church that is being unearthed now reminds me of the Middle Ages. At least it's being exposed, and the information will be disseminated.

    2. Thanks Fr. I'm praying and hoping the Holy Father will now be an instrument of true reform as you say. Like Pope Benedict said, 'in the end the Lord wins'.

  4. Its going to be a long wait till February

  5. Pope XI to Edmund Walsh SJ:

    "Tell me, Father Walsh, "who have been the worst persecutors of the Church, tell me?" Father Walsh knew the Pope wanted to answer his own question, so he didn't answer. The Pope said, "The Church's worst persecutors have been her own unfaithful bishops, priests and religious." He went on, "Opposition from the outside is terrible; it gives us many martyrs. But the Church's worst enemy is her own traitors."


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