Daily Archives: September 16, 2018

They’re Everywhere: More of the McCarrick Mess

One of the things that has been bothering me this past “Summer of Hell” for the Catholic Church – my Catholic Church – is the utter mischaracterization by many in the mainstream press of the true nature of the problem.  Noted psychotherapist (former priest) Richard Sipe nailed it.  He identified the problem long ago as a problem of homosexual predation – that is, sexual predation on young men, post-puberty, by priests and, very importantly, bishops, of a homosexual nature.  The data is clear.  The sexual crimes and sins being committed are rooted in same-sex attraction.  YES, there are priests who have abused women.  YES, there are abuse victims who are under the age of legal majority.  But the overwhelming majority of victims have been post-pubescent males.  We’re talking about physically mature men being sought out by older men.  I would say let’s take the criminal element off the table but we can’t.  ANYTIME someone abuses another person of any gender should be considered criminal, though the law has not always treated it as such.  But to get to the root of the problem we face now we must have the courage to admit that the victims are mostly the same sex as the predators.  When we admit this we can then see that the there is a pool of potential victims in the seminaries of the Catholic Church.

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The Seven Sacraments. Stained Glass, Cathedral Basilica of St. Dunstan, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

At this moment I could identify to you several priests who are actively engaged in homosexual relationships with other men – priests and laymen.  If the “partners” are over 18 and have consented then there is no crime.  The hierarchy hide behind this. Even if there is a crime they run out the clock on the statute of limitations. This is why the bishops are careful to craft their “response” as dealing with sexual abuse of “young people and vulnerable adults”.  Do they ever consider seminarians “vulnerable”?  Nope.  Look, there’s so much going on here that it’s hard to sort it out.  And yet it always comes back to this.  There has been for at least fifty years a cadre, a cabal, a current of same-sex-attracted men engaging in homosexual acts with other men and doing so from the other side of a Roman collar.  This ought to concern every faithful Catholic.  While the Western world currently holds as a bigot anyone who dares to claim the thousands’ year old belief that homosexuality is an intrinsically disordered condition; the Catholic Church has always held to this belief.  I’m not asking you to believe what I just stated at its core.  But you cannot deny that the Church has always taught this.  Moving on from here we encounter brazen hypocrisy at best.

Sipe, who died literally as this summer was breaking open with its ghoulish revelations of the McCarrick’s and Wuerl’s of the world and their “misdeeds”, believed it.  He knew what the problem was.  His answer, his solution, was not the one I would have proposed.  He thought that things would be better if we just got it out in the open and allowed priests and laymen to be practitioners of a “normalized” homosexuality.  But he never denied that the problem in the Church was rooted in the same homosexuality.

So let’s talk about that school where I worked.  Remember that I’m not using names.  Here’s the story.  From the time I was in college seminary I belonged to the Knights of Columbus.  I had been told by my rector that it was a good thing to belong because they gave financial support to seminarians.  Indeed, over the few years I was active I did receive a few hundred dollars and I was most appreciative.  In my time at this particular council I had the opportunity to bring my dad and several brothers-in-law into the group.  For Dad, just having retired, it was a great social group and he would bring me with him on occasional Friday nights to have a beer at the bar with the guys.  During our conversations the members, who all belonged to the attached parish, talked frequently and in very hostile tones about one of the young priests who had recently been assigned to that parish.  The long and short of it?  This guy was bad news.  They all knew he had abused a few young men. They knew he had been removed from the parish.  They knew that he came from a wealthy family.  And they knew that the whole thing had been hushed up by the archdiocese.

When I say “they knew” I’m using their words.  I had no proof nor did they except what everyone had heard.  Remember how when the McCarrick mess first broke everyone said “we all knew”… but no one would tell.  Enough of that bullshit.

These men were typical in many ways.  When you think of blue collar, Jersey guys you’d think of them.  They were mad as hell when they talked about this priest.  And they were mad as hell that nothing could be done about him.  They spoke as if they knew the victims because they probably did.  They wanted to fight but couldn’t.

After I left the seminary and subsequently left the TV industry I started teaching in a Catholic high school.  Guess who I encountered.  Right there.  Teaching.  As a priest amidst 800 boys between the ages of 14 and 18.  If I told you that the diocesan administrator of schools was of a similar ilk would you be surprised?  We know the archbishop was into dudes.  The head of the schools office, if he wasn’t gay, was a very convincing actor.  And I am NOT trying to imply that every gay man wants to rape teenage boys.  What I am trying to do is draw the picture for you.  These men entered priesthood knowing they were gay, hiding that fact, and, never intending to live their commitment to celibacy, established a network where they would get their jollies and cover for each other.  They protected each other.  They lied.  They committed demonic acts.  They abused everyone in their path who didn’t agree with them and that went for those who favored more traditional liturgical practices as well as those who’s view of marriage and family stopped at mother/father/children.  Are you starting to understand what the term “Lavender Mafia” means now?  And no, lifting the celibacy requirement for Roman priests will not address this problem.  When was the last time that encouraging a gay man to marry a woman changed his orientation?

Look, draw your own conclusions.  I know what I heard.  I remember the things I saw.  And I will no longer pretend it didn’t happen/isn’t happening nor will I remain silent out of fear that people wouldn’t believe.

Pray for the Church.

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By Extension: How Other Areas of Church Governance were Affected by the Evil McCarrick

I feel like a dam that has just burst.  Things I have been holding in the back of my mind for years are suddenly finding themselves in need of being spewed forth.

In the coming days I will be recounting how the evil that was tolerated and even encouraged by Teddy McCarrick extended itself to other areas of the Church.

Do not think, though, that McCarrick was an isolated incident.  The Pennsylvania Grand Jury report showed us the depths of diabolical depravity in but one state, or rather “commonwealth” in deference to my family and friends in the Great Keystone.  PA is one out of 50 states.  Donald Wuerl still clings to power in the “51st”, that is, in the District of Columbia.  I noticed today on Twitter that my hero-reporter George Neumayr is following some kind of lead involving RICO violations…  Go, George, go!  PLEASE, consider donating to help fund his cause.  I have, and it is well worth it.

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Pieta, the Mother and her Son; Holy Ghost Catholic Church, Denver

But let’s return to the Archdiocese of Newark for a moment.  And let’s return to me where I left off.  After I was booted from the seminary I had no earthly idea what I was going to do.  I simply knew that this was, in some peaceful way, God’s will for me.  It was awful and it was terrible the way they did it but somehow I felt that I would be OK.  Unfortunately I also felt extraordinarily lost.  I had majored in Religious Studies in college and was now a few credits short of a Master’s Degree in Systematic Theology.  Not thinking I would ever do anything other than be a Catholic priest, I was at a complete loss as to how to go about finding work.  My parents, God bless them, took me in and supported me until I got on my feet.  For a few months I wasn’t sure when that would be or even how.  Finally I landed a job as a trainee in the newsroom of the local Fox station in New York.  Before I wanted to be a priest I wanted to be a news anchor.  This, despite the minimum wage pay and long hours, was a dream come true for me.  I got to work alongside real New York news anchors who knew my name and liked my work.  I got to show my skills in writing and producing features segments.  I got to forget about the seminary for a little while.

And I continued in that field on and off for the next few years.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw my name in the credits of a TV show.  It was so exciting.  But that’s a completely different story.  We’ll leave that one for the book.

There came a time when I realized, through Mom’s gentle guidance, that I wanted to be a teacher.  I remember her saying one day “Hey, you wanted to be a teacher, right?” and me replying “Lady, I thought I asked you to quit smoking crack.”  Unfazed, she said in return “Good, there’s an opening at a local Catholic high school.”  I figured “why not?” and faxed a resume.  No one was more surprised than I to receive a phone call twenty minutes later requesting an interview the next day.  I was even more surprised when I walked out of that interview with a signed contract.

For the record I taught Theology in Catholic high schools for the news 12 years.  I recently got out (another story for the book).  But boy I’d love to talk about some of the strange goings-on in that large archdiocesan high school.  I’m leaning in close now…  Wanna’ hear?

As I wrap this up, it is after midnight on a Sunday.  I’m still a practicing Roman Catholic.  There’s mass in the morning.  Remember that obligation thing they stopped teaching about for a few decades?  Some of us didn’t.  I will pray for each of you as I offer my intentions before the holy sacrifice.  And then we’re taking Mom to a drive-thru safari in East Texas.  She’s heading home in a few days and we’re a little sad but this promises to be a fun day.

Pray for the Church.