Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Evil Former Cardinal in the Friary

At the blog OnePeterFive there’s an interesting piece.

It tells us where the former cardinal Uncle Ted McCarrick has landed.

Check out the article here.

In the meantime, can I just say how sick I am of this crap?  Theodore McCarrick has got to be one of the most evil men ever to rise the ranks of the Catholic episcopacy.  We know of his disgusting crimes and the horrifying effects his evil actions have had on the lives of so many men.  He has never publicly apologized for any of it.  The pope orders him to a life of “prayer and penance” and he moves into a mansion in a tony neighborhood of DC with a housekeeping staff.  Real penitential stuff.  The intrepid George Neumayr did the work every journalist should be doing (but isn’t) and tracks him down, demanding answers from the current archbishop, Cardinal Wuerl.  As payment for his efforts, George gets tailed by Wuerl’s hired goons, forbidden from worshipping at the Basilica of the National Shrine, and had his life turned upside down.

Where does McCarrick go?

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 10.34.24 PM

Close, no?

A friary.  But not just any friary, friends.  Archbishop Scuzzbucket (still not defrocked by Rome) finds himself literally on the doorstep of an elementary school!  A big WTF to all who were involved in this brilliant move.

And would anyone have made public mention of Uncle Ted’s whereabouts?  No.  We only get a press release from the Archdiocese of Washington when locals in Kansas reported having seen McCarrick on the grounds of the friary.

Pray for the Church.

And please consider donating to Neumayr’s GoFundMe.  I wish other reporters had his guts.

Advertisements

Vigano Speaks Again!

Archibishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former Apostolic Nuncio to the US, has just released a new testament following his earlier 11 page account that rocked the Catholic world.

Read it here.

A sample:

My decision to reveal those grave facts was for me the most painful and serious decision that I have ever made in my life. I made it after long reflection and prayer, during months of profound suffering and anguish, during a crescendo of continual news of terrible events, with thousands of innocent victims destroyed and the vocations and lives of young priests and religious disturbed. The silence of the pastors who could have provided a remedy and prevented new victims became increasingly indefensible, a devastating crime for the Church. Well aware of the enormous consequences that my testimony could have, because what I was about to reveal involved the successor of Peter himself, I nonetheless chose to speak in order to protect the Church, and I declare with a clear conscience before God that my testimony is true. Christ died for the Church, and Peter, Servus servorum Dei, is the first one called to serve the spouse of Christ.

The man speaks the truth.

I was one of those vocations destroyed.  And since God uses even sorrow and agony to bring about new life I have been blessed with an even more incredible life than I could have imagined in the persons of my wife and children and the thousands of young people to whom I have taught the Catholic faith over the years.

But McCarrick, Wuerl, even and especially Francis have so much to answer for…

The Pipeline: McCarrick’s Conduit to Hell

I took a few days off from writing.  My wife is out of town and I’ve had double-duty with the kids.  And then there’s the fact that I didn’t want to write this.  But I need to.  Keep in mind that everything I have written thus far has been a recollection of my memories and based on what I have heard first-hand.  Again, I am not using names (except McCarrick’s) because it’s not about the individual actors so much as the culture that thrived under McCarrick.  Let’s jump right into it then…

In April of 1996 I had already been accepted into the college seminary.  I was excited to be taking this big step and I knew I had the full support of my very large family.  My dad was about to turn 60 that year so we threw a little get-together at an Irish pub we sometimes frequented.  Given the relative small size of the Archdiocese of Newark and the proximity between where we lived, the seminary, and this restaurant; many who were associated with the seminary will know immediately where it is.

cross

Christ Crucified, Christ in the Tomb St. Mary’s Catholic Church Schulenburg, TX

One of the first things I was told by the vocations director was that I would need to select a spiritual director.  Never having had one before I wasn’t quite sure who to look for.  I chose a priest who had been ordained and assigned to my parish the previous year.  Our family had sort of adopted him in the way that many Catholic families used to do.  He came to our house frequently for dinner.  We chatted him up outside of mass.  We all liked the guy.

He had gone through that mission seminary I wrote about a few posts ago.  If you will recall, that seminary, as others have written, appears to have been part of a “pipeline” used by McCarrick to funnel questionable men into the United States.  No one was ever quite sure what their deal was.  A few years later when I was in the major seminary I witnessed firsthand that the guys from that seminary (who took their classes with us) really didn’t seem interested in becoming priests, certainly not for the archdiocese.  Many of them left the diocese and even the priesthood within a few years of ordination.  We used to joke that they were only in it for the green card.  As others have suggested it now appears that passage to the States was what McCarrick promised them in exchange for favors.  Most came from Columbia, though a few came from other locations around the world.  The priest of whom I speak was from El Paso, TX so I can’t imagine that citizenship was his goal.  Still, if the other reports are true, that seminary was a hotbed of homosexual activity.

My family comes from a Celtic background.  I mention this because two of my brothers have suffered from “the curse of the Irish”.  My oldest brother died almost three years ago at the age of 54 from pancreatic cancer complicated, I am sure, by years of alcohol abuse.  Another brother who is now in his early 50’s has lived a life, shall we say, less exemplary than any of us would have liked.  I state this now firmly.  My brother has been a drunk, a thief, and a notorious liar.  There is no excuse for his behavior over the years.

On the night of the big party we all gathered, including the priest who, at that time, would have been somewhere in his 30’s.  My brother was 29 years-old.  At the end of the night the only people still present were me, two of my sisters, my brother, and the priest.  My brother got up to use the bathroom.  Noticing him stumbling away, my sister picked up her purse and keys and said to me and our other sister “Let’s go.”  If that seems cruel – that we were seemingly abandoning our brother at that moment – keep in mind that years of exposure to AlAnon and experience living with an alcoholic served as our guide.  He got himself into that mess and we didn’t need to be a part of cleaning it up.  After a while, enough is enough.

The priest also got up and excused himself to use the bathroom and that he would drive my brother home.  We left.

The next morning the priest came to pick me up.  We were headed out together to something we had both been invited to and he offered to drive.  He spent the first 15 minutes profusely apologizing to me for his behavior the previous evening.  “Father,” I finally said, “What are you talking about?”  He explained that he had had too much to drink and ‘given bad example’.”  I hadn’t noticed that and assured him that everything was OK.

A few short months later that priest was transferred to another parish and I found a different spiritual director.

Let’s jump forward to a year ago.  A different sister who had had some recent contact with this brother of ours called me on a Saturday morning.  She had spoken with him the night before and was disturbed by some things he had told her.  “He says that Fr. X raped him that night.”  According to him, the priest did indeed drive him home.  My brother had passed out from drinking and woken up to find himself in some way being sodomized by this priest.

If I hadn’t already long since taken the attitude that nothing would shock me I might have dropped the phone.  I flashed back to that night and provided her with all the details I just mentioned above.  Sometimes you just have to make a judgment and determine for yourself, absent hard evidence, that someone is likely telling the truth.  How bad is it, then, when that judgment, that gut feeling, leads you to quickly surmise that a drunk, a thief, and a notorious liar is the one telling the truth?

There were many questions that remained.  My brother said that he told my parents about this shortly after it happened.  So we asked my mom.  And… she confirmed that he had told her.  Unfortunately his past had given her no reason to believe him.  He did not go to the police (as he should have) and never brought it up again.  I also question how a grown man like my brother didn’t take justice into his own hands and beat the shit out of this priest.  But I don’t know what it’s like to be in that position.  I can’t imagine any man wanting to confront that happening to him and when one knows that his drinking would automatically cause people to doubt him…

The sister whom he told this to came to visit a few weeks ago.  We talked about it again, especially in light of the revelations of this past summer.  She spoke to my brother and reconfirmed everything he had said.  Then, she tracked down that priest and called him.  Unsurprisingly he was “unavailable” for almost a week.  Finally she left him a message threatening to show up at the parish.  He called back pretty quickly.  His only response was to say “I never raped your brother” but he did not deny that something untoward took place that night.

Will we ever know the truth of this story?  Who can say.  I can tell you this.  I believe my brother.  He has been a lot of terrible things over the years but something about this one has me in his corner.

Here’s where we left it.  I asked my sister to suggest that he call the State of New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.  Like many states of late, New Jersey has opened an investigation into the Church’s handling of abusive priests (including bishops).  If this man did this to my brother then he did it to others.  Hopefully the AG gets to review his records before they are shredded as I have no doubt a whole lot of shredding is taking place these days.

My advice to anyone reading this: REPORT CRIMES IMMEDIATELY.  If you live in the Garden State call toll-free at (855) 363-6548.  Get rid of the rot.

Pray for the Church.

McCarrick’s “Revelations” about John Paul

Another of the many, many memories that have flooded from the back of my mind to the front in recent days…

This evening I was scrolling through Facebook.  A friend had posted the following musing:

“I refuse to accept the thesis that St. JPII was a malicious actor in the McCarrick mess. We have every indication that he lived a life of holiness totally inconsistent with that, while we also have reason to believe he could easily in those years have had events around him manipulated by those he trusted.”

We haven’t talked much about St. John Paul II’s involvement in the whole McCarrick affair yet.  In fact, I’ve almost been hesitant to do so.  If you’re Catholic, have a pulse, and had that pulse at any time between 1978 and 2005 you’ll probably know why.

John Paul II was a great man.  In his life he taught us volumes, defending the authentic Catholic faith, speaking truth in the midst of those who literally wanted to kill him.  And yet he was the man in charge during a lot of what went on with McCarrick and his ilk.  He even appointed many of the bishops who went on to commit crimes and cover them up.  How do we reconcile these two facts?

seton

Tomb of Elizabeth Ann Seton, First Native-born American Saint; Shrine of Mother Seton; Emmitsburg, MD

My own supposition is as follows.  When Karol Wojtyla ascended the throne of Peter he was willing to trust that the men in charge of the Vatican Curia (like the Congregation for Bishops) were recommending to him decent men to the episcopacy.  This explains the evil and twisted Matthew Clark, Bishop of Rochester, NY, who was appointed in 1979 and terrorized his diocese for several decades.  I’m pretty sure JPII wised up and began reviewing the appointment process a lot closer after that.  Keep in mind, though, that the process of selecting bishops is a complicated thing and any number of men can get their hands on it and steer it in the wrong direction.  The pope is last man to see the selection and then generally approves the selection.

But let’s look at the end of his life.  It was pretty obvious that from the late 1990’s onward John Paul was seriously ill and very much incapacitated.  I have heard (and I heard from seminary sources back in the day) that many things were going on in the Vatican during this time of which John Paul simply was not aware.  I’m willing to accept this for two reasons.  1) John Paul personally was a holy man.  This fact was obvious during his lifetime.  2) Teddy McCarrick spilled the beans on it to me once.

It was 1998 and the archbishop had come to visit the college seminary on one of his many trips.  He had just returned from Rome and wanted to share some news.  He had brought a gift.  Our rector was to be named a Monsignor.  While we all sat around he addressed us and then took some questions.  Someone asked “Archbishop, how is the Holy Father’s health?”

In a nutshell, here is McCarrick’s reply.

“The Holy Father is well but not well.”  He then went on to detail over the next few minutes the pontiff’s condition, describing his Parkinson’s Disease (which had not been officially divulged yet) and the medicines that were “being given the pope”.  He described the pope’s typical day as “being given a certain regimen in the morning so he could be trotted out into the square or on the balcony”  I remember thinking at the time how sad this was and that maybe we shouldn’t be hearing it.  “Then, he has his meetings with whomever has come to see him, still fortified by his first round of meds.  Then after lunch they give him a whole lot more only these medicines basically wipe him out for the rest of the day so he can’t really function.”

The man painted a pathetic portrait of an icon.  I look back.  I know what McCarrick was doing now.  In light of the present I truly believe he was gloating (McCarrick) and relished in the fact that he would be able to get away with anything he wanted.  I think he was signaling to us that he could do anything with impunity.

Dirtbag.

More to come (including the “difficult” post I promised).

Pray for the Church.

McCarrick: Come Clean!

On his blog at The Catholic Thing, Msgr. Gerald Murray of the Archdiocese of New York posted an open letter to Theodore McCarrick.  I urge you to read it here.

A selection:

“Now that you have been exposed, you have retreated into a silence that is only a further instance of your lifelong pattern of deception and deceit.

For the good of your soul and the Church, you must end your cowardly silence and step before the world and tell the truth about your crimes, and about your misuse of your high position.”

Short and to the point.  Teddy McCarrick is a narcissist, though, and will likely never admit guilt publicly.

I swear I wake up every morning these past few months and ask myself if I really did know the man who now threatens to bring the Church to her knees.  It’s like realizing your business associate was Lucifer and you just never saw it.

Demonic.  Diabolical.

More to come.

Pray for the Church.

A Frat House with a Chapel: My Time in the College Seminary

Let’s return for a moment to my time in the college seminary…

I’m going to talk about those three years (I finished early so I could get the hell out) because of who the boss was – Uncle Ted.  When I talked about the fish rotting from the head down; this is another example of that.

The college seminary was located about six blocks off the main campus of Seton Hall University in a building that had once served as the parish hall of an Episcopal church.  There was an expansive front lawn owing to the fact that the church building itself had burned to the ground in the early 1980’s before the Archdiocese acquired the property.  It is my understanding that, prior to that time, the college seminary was in fact merely a discernment “program” where young men who were college students would participate in communal prayer a few times a day but other than that there wasn’t much difference between them and other students.  In fact there was no residency requirement until the later 1980’s.  Many men I know had actually bypassed the college seminary even though they knew they had priestly vocations simply because they wanted to study at a different college or didn’t want the hassle of living in the residence.  After three years there myself I can’t say I blame them.

In years past many men might begin priestly formation at the high school level.  Cathedral Prep in New York was one such example.  We could argue the merits of accepting into formation a young man of 14 but that’s not my point.  Very few high school seminaries exist anywhere in the world these days.  And I’m not convinced that college seminaries should exist either.  Under canon law a seminarian is a man studying theology.  The benefit of a college seminary program is to discern a little more deeply while also completing courses in philosophy.  This way, if upon graduation the man still feels called to priesthood he can transition into a major seminary with ease.  Yet, the men I knew who did not go through college seminary had no problem adjusting to major seminary life.  At best they may have had to do an additional year of studies to cover the philosophy.

My college seminary was rather like a frat house with a chapel.

The first year and a half I was there our rector was actually a very capable administrator.  Between him and the spiritual director (a wonderful man and a truly good priest) they kept the appearance of order and everyone seemed at peace.  There was an incident that stands out involving another seminarian who had used computers in the common area to access and download porn.  That was dealt with.  Otherwise, nothing major comes to mind.

The other year and a half we were given a new rector who really didn’t seem to know how to control the crowd.  There were two guys in particular who literally hated each other.  Unfortunately they had been assigned to room together.  What was really unfortunate was that they were the only two who had to share a room.  Believe it or not there were seventeen guys and sixteen rooms that year.  They were constantly at each other’s throats, even fist-fighting on occasion.  At the end of the year one of the two decided to check out in grand style.  He moved every piece of furniture to the middle of the room, incorporating booby traps (comical in nature, not deadly), and erecting a mock altar at the entrance to the room complete with burning candles and a sign that read “La commedia e finite.”  Fun times.

hbg

Mary Washes Jesus’ Feet, stained glass St. Patrick’s Cathedral Harrisburg, PA

One other bizarre incident that stands out to me happened a few months into my first year.  That year everyone had to share rooms because we were full.  My roommate never spoke more than three words together.  One night I walked into the room around 11, switched on the TV to watch the news, and got into bed.  We had two closets on either side of the bedroom door – the kind with bi-fold panel doors on them.  After the news ended I went to turn off the TV.  The closet door opened.  My roommate stepped out without saying a word, walked past me, and climbed up into his bunk.  He had been in there for 35 minutes at least.  It was perhaps the weirdest thing I have ever witnessed.  On a side note, a few years later I share that story with a classmate in the major seminary who had apparently known this guy.  “Who was your roommate?” he asked.  I told him the name.  “Oh!  That makes perfect sense…  The mad masturbator.”

Do you wonder how any sane man could make it through such a place?  So many didn’t.  My best friend and I met the first day I was there.  We’re both married with beautiful families.  We laugh about those days now but they were pretty harrowing.  Imagine you’re a young guy.  You feel that God has called you to give up everything so that His people have someone to offer sacrifice and forgive their sins.  You know full well how much you’d really enjoy family life and all that entails and yet you’re willing to discern and give this thing a shot.  Then you’re met with lunatics and predators.  After a while you begin to wonder if you’re not the crazy one.  And at the top of the ticket is perhaps the worst criminal in the history of the Catholic Church and you didn’t even know it.

Reading recent published reports recounting the experiences of other men in various seminaries around the country now I certainly feel a connection.  Was there rampant drinking?  Sure, although I didn’t perceive too many guys had a “problem” with it.  There appeared to be at least a handful of gay men.  I didn’t have my eyes open that far back then but looking back I realize that some of them were actually couples.  There were the guys saw it for what it was – a house of discernment.  They had made no commitments and were also discerning other callings.  More than a few of my friends were spotted a local bars with their girlfriends.  Again, I don’t really have a problem with this in the discernment process.  What made me uneasy was the secrecy.  No one was really quite sure what the rules were.  McCarrick would brag about the place that he had “not one seminary but three!”  But it really wasn’t that.  Of course, he also had the mission seminary I mentioned in a recent post.  I really think he kept the place open for the appearance of having another seminary because I only know a small handful of priests who survived that place with a vocation.

One man in particular I’d like to mention, who didn’t survive, was a guy named Steve.  Steve was in his late 30’s.  He was from another diocese.  He was in his last year when I was in my first.  We had a few classes together.  He was a fun guy to talk to; although I must admit I didn’t know him well.  The summer after his graduation I got a call from another friend that Steve had taken his life.  We never talked much about it.  I tried to ask around but no one ever really had an answer.  As near as I could tell he had overdosed on heroin.  We had a mass for his repose sometime that fall.  I don’t know what demons tortured his soul but I still get a chill when I think about it – how it was never spoken of.

Pray for his soul.

Pray for the Church.

PS: I have another story I need to tell and it will probably be the hardest to write for me.  Thanks to all of you who have been reading and sharing.  I do appreciate it.

McCarrick and the Chi-comms

I am still sick from this one.

Teddy McCarrick, AKA “Uncle Ted” was apparently behind the recent actions of the Holy See to “normalize” relations with the People’s Republic of China.

Here’s what it means in a nutshell.  The Vatican will recognize those men as valid bishops who were selected by the PROC/Communist Party.

Great.

stan

Blessed Mother, Christ Child, and Zechariah Church of St. Anne, Kaufman, TX

To say nothing of the underground Catholic Church in China and the sacrifices so many of these good and faithful sons and daughters of the Church have made; we can chalk this up to another of the consequences of Francis being “advised” by the former cardinal and current reprobate McCarrick.

I have a niece who was born in Beijing.  The one-child policy of that evil regime led to her being abandoned.  My sister adopted her.  She has brought love and joy into our lives for these past 20 years and I cannot imagine not having her around.  She learned the Catholic faith in the United States.  McCarrick was archbishop when my sister brought her home to us.

But these are the people we trust to appoint OUR bishops.  And this sort of begs the question; if a government (an officially atheistic communist one at that!) can choose our bishops, why can’t the people of, say, Newark have a say in who should shepherd them?  If a few of my boys on Bloomfield Ave. got together and selected one of our hometown priests and sent the name to Francis; do you think he’d approve?

My niece did NOT crawl out of mainland China for this nonsense.

More betrayal from the political pope and his cronies.

When will it end?

Side note: I started a “shred” diet this morning.  I’ve been working out like a beast the past year or so.  It’s both a hobby of mine (similar to writing) and a health-quest.  After two spinal fusion surgeries, this 40 year-old dad wants to be around and in good shape for his wife and kids for a while.  Maybe I’ll even attempt quitting smoking again.  Some day.  In the meantime, my second meal of the day (out of 6) was a piece of baked tilapia and a bowl of unflavored oatmeal.

Lucky me.

Pray for the Church (and for me).