Tag Archives: Catholic

When Everything Goes Awry

Until recently this blog was all about my life as a dad in a Catholic household with a beautiful wife and two young kids (and an ill-tempered terrier).  As the need arises, and as my life wends on the path of inexorability, I also write about other things such as politics and the current crisis in the Church as they are places intersected by the life I lead.  In these instances it seems, rather, that God has steered the life I attempt to live into the paths of several oncoming trains that either inhabit that world (to my chagrin) or that I encountered (and that I disembarked) decades ago.

Confused?  Yeah, me too.  Stick with me.

Basically, tonight I just want to write about my life tonight.  It’s not glamorous but it’s mine and I kind of like it.  And to those of you who have started following because of the other recent topics I ask that you read this too and let me know if you like it.  And I thank you for your patronage.

Many of you know that I currently work full-time as a medical courier.  It’s what I’m doing at the moment.  After leaving the seminary I had a brief career as a television producer.  Then I entered the world of teaching and thought that would be my life.  I didn’t choose teaching, rather it chose me as they say.  After fighting it for a couple of years I gave up and realized that I 1) was good at it and 2) liked it.  A lot.  It was always about the kids.  They were wonderful and I was blessed to be part of their lives.  Then I moved into school administration.  Unfortunately right out of the gate I encountered a toxic work environment and, never having quit a job in my life, resigned that position.  God, in His providence, provided a job for me where I never had even a day-long gap in my employment.

I enjoy doing this but I know it’s not long-term.  And the devil (he’s real, you know) gets to me every now and then.  He’s constantly reminding me of my insecurities.  I look around and see all my friends successful, happy, and making lots of money.  Me?  Well one out of three ain’t bad.  See, the devil knows I want success and who couldn’t be happy being able to say he earns a good salary?  I have to keep reminding myself that I chose this career path by my actions and that God will again provide a path.  Right now I can’t decide if I should return to teaching, go after administration again, or try to make a go with a job in writing or marketing.  When I think about it I have a solid skillset.  I just haven’t had to look for work outside of a classroom in so long that I don’t know quite what I’m doing.  It’s humbling to admit that but I can do it.  I’d love to know that I could find something easily and walk into a job making at least what I was making as a teaching (which, believe it or not, wasn’t that bad).  Time will tell if I end up a mental case or land that job.  Prayers are always appreciated.

But here’s what happened in my current job tonight…

I typically work on-call from 4PM until midnight.  This makes it hard to spend time with the kids but I make every sacrifice I can.  It also makes it hard to visit much with my wife but I try.  It does afford me plenty of time to pray – the rosary and/or a series of Memorare’s and litany of the saints are a common theme in my car.  Actually the past few months have been quiet in this field.  Today, however, the DFW area was slammed with torrential rains.  When your job involves tendering and recovering sensitive medical parcels from a major airport, rain can spell disaster.  Lightning threats close the “ramp” which means nothing moves and you get stuck waiting in the cargo facility for hours.  Packages get left by the airline crews in puddles requiring repackaging and more dry ice which means extra travel and time.

Around 9PM tonight I got a call that a package needed to be recovered, opened, and photographed.  There was a question about how much dry ice was on hand.  This meant waiting for a termination letter to be faxed to the cargo office.  And that took over an hour.  To give you an idea how the weather affected everyone’s day, at one point in my night at cargo one of the workers slammed down his phone and shouted “Dammit, they lost that dog we were looking for!”  They ship animals, you know, and the animals take priority over just about anything else.  Then he added “It’s a service dog!”

Think about that.

They lost a service dog.

I immediately doubled over in laughter along with the other five people in the building.  Losing a service dog means that said service dog had to have been forcibly separated from his master who, presumably, needed his assistance to board the plane.  Also, service animals are allowed by law to fly in the cabin, not the hold.  Somebody screwed up big time.  And how did the passenger deplane?  Perhaps some other passenger lent him a therapy peacock to guide the way.

The other thing that really shot my night to hell was the realization that I would not be able to work out tonight.  As mentioned, most nights have been slow lately.  I’ve taken to scheduling my time at the gym around 9PM.  I work out with a buddy of mine.  Weightlifting has really become a passion of mine and I’m making incredibly progress.  I benched 190 the other night and not just a max rep but three sets of 6-8.  I’m impressed even if no one else is.  It’s become such a thing for me that I get pissed when my gym time gets scuttled.

As I was moping to myself about not lifting I glanced down at the scale where packages get weighed and got an idea.

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That’s right, there, right on the side of the scale were two 30 lb. weights used to calibrate the scale.  Didn’t take me long before I was using them as kettlebells.  A few sets completed and I jumped in whole hog.  By the time I was on the floor doing sets of push-ups the cargo manager instructed me to stop because it was late and I was making them feel “lazy” and “gross”.  OK, so not a complete workout but anything is better than nothing.  Good thing I didn’t bust out the jumprope.  And I guess that’s something I can be thankful for during this time of uncertainty; and that is that I’ve finally gotten myself in the kind of shape I’ve always wanted to be in.  It’s taken time but I’m pleased with my results.  And I’m happy to be enjoying good health right now.  So, praised be to God, right?

As I drove home from the airport at 11:30 thinking of all these things and wondering what the next step for me will be I remembered to say a few more prayers.  Can’t hurt, right?  And I ask each of you reading this to say one or two for me as well.  In the meantime I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing – being a dad in a Catholic household with a beautiful wife, two young kids, and an ill-tempered terrier.  And I will be loving it all.

*I’ve got a few more McCarrick/seminary stories left to post.  Stay tuned and as always…

Pray for the Church.

And please continue to read and to share my blog.  I don’t get paid to write but it is gratifying to know that people think enough of my work to recommend it to a friend.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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).

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.

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.

holy ghost

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.