Thursday, June 21, 2018

FROM FATHER MARTIN FOX'S BLOG: BONFIRES OF THE VANITIES

This is an excellent commentary by Fr. Martin Fox:

About the Cardinal McCarrick situation: I am angry

Over the past two days, I’ve been digesting the news about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired Archbishop of Washington. What is that news? Well, it’s in two parts:

- The first part was that he has been “credibly” accused of abusing a minor about 50 years ago.
- The second part is that this has occasioned stories about many more allegations of sexual activity on his part with priests and seminarians; meaning that it involved preying on subordinates.

Now, I don’t know if any of this is true. I hope none of it happened; but reading about this has made me sick in my stomach, and angry. Angry at the crimes themselves, if they happened; but even angrier at what seems to have been an “open secret” for many people for so many years.

Given what I’ve been reading, some of which was published at least eight years ago, it seems clear to me that this really was a pretty open “secret.” Which means that all the 
bishops – in Newark, in New York, in Metuchen, New Jersey and in Washington, D.C. – who are now issuing statements of “sadness” and “shock” – surely knew that McCarrick had been accused of misconduct before. We learned yesterday that at least two allegations, involving adults, had resulted in settlements. What else is there?.....

READ THE REST HERE

14 comments:

rcg said...

He is a very thoughful man and works so hard and fruitfully. I think bleak region of “Roo-sheee” Ohio must promote introspection.

TJM said...

I have the greatest respect for Father Fox. Unlike Father Fox, I was aware of McCarrick's predilections because of a supposed false resource, Goodbye to Good Men, according to a fake Catholic priest who posts here. It is stunning that the vetting process for becoming a bishop or cardinal is so pathetic. Jesus promised us the Church would serve until the consummation of the world, but trials like this are hard to take.

Anonymous said...

I just posted this on Fr. Martin’s blog (an awesome priest whose blog I follow):

Just to add a bit of perspective to those of us laity who have over the years been so angry about Church corruption (me first), a personal story: My best friend, a serious prayer warrior, is married to a deacon in her church who is also a licensed family therapist. 20 years ago she discovered him in an affair with an office staffer. After much counseling and promises for reform, their marriage survived. Four years later, in the middle of the night at a hotel where they were staying on a trip to officiate a friend’s marriage, she discovered him deeply immersed in internet pornography. That same night he told her he was in another affair with one of his counseling clients.

Well, that affair ended, but not the late night pornography. He never took the trouble to address the addiction illness and thus it remains “hidden”. Since his clinical practice is private, so are his secrets hidden from public exposure.
The marriage has survived, God only knows how. His wife, my friend, calls it an illness (which, of course it is), and says that if he had cancer or diabetes, she would stay in the sacrament of marriage, so why not with this illness?

Perhaps some wisdom is buried there, I don’t know. But I couldn’t have done it, just as I can’t tolerate McCarrick’s wrongdoing. EXPOSE THE SIN AND GET HELP!

Anonymous said...

From the same Anon:
TJM, just to clarify, the actual title of Michael Rose’s book is “GOODBYE, GOOD MEN”. There is no “to” in the title.

TJM said...

Anonmyous, Yes you are correct. I haven't read that book in years so my recollection of the title was faulty. The stories were shocking. I suspect things have improved dramatically since then (except in the Vatican)

Anonymous said...

Yes, transparency, EXCEPT IN THE VATICAN, is much more prevalent on this issue (but not on other issues like finances unfortunately).
And even the liberal National Chismatic Reporter has an article today:
https://www.ncronline.org/news/accountability/distinctly-catholic/mccarrick-verdict-latest-marker-road-conversion

Anonymous said...


Now, I don’t know if any of this is true. I hope none of it happened;....I am confused as to why Father Fox questions if any of these other incidents are true? Would the dioceses of Metuchen and Newark have made payouts if those making accusations were not credible. If that is the case, I'll get in line.

Charles G said...

Remember when Cardinal McCarrick chillingly talked about how Bergoglio would "reform" the Church in five years? He was one of the Bergoglian mafia...

Fr Martin Fox said...

Fr. McDonald:

Thanks for the link, and the kind words!

TJM:

Thank you, too, for the kind words.

About Goodbye Good Men: I've been critical of the book as well, which I read in its entirety. Here's what the problem is, and is not.

The problem is not, not, NOT that it's all false. I presume that a lot of the book is true. Maybe most. Maybe all. (And I had forgotten that McCarrick was in there; or maybe I didn't actually read the whole thing; it was almost 20 years ago.)

No, the problem with Mr. Rose's book is that he didn't take the care that he needed to do to gather his information and to verify it. That is to say, IF he did investigate, and ask probing questions, and then only include in his book what he had double-checked and verified, he never told us the readers.

The book appears to be no more than a collection of any sort of allegations made against any cleric or institution, without verification or challenge. Many of the stories were from seminarians, for example, complaining about how they were kicked out of their seminary because they were too orthodox.

Well, in my own seminary days, I knew guys who were asked to leave the seminary. Had they sought out Mr. Rose, and told him they, too, were kicked out because they were too orthodox, I'm guessing he'd have believed it and printed. Just one problem: the guys I'm talking about almost certainly needed to be asked to leave. But of course, what will they tell a receptive author, writing a book? People have axes to grind, and surely Mr. Rose can understand that.

And, speaking of my own seminary, Mr. Rose hit the place. Some of the criticism was deserved, but some missed the mark. That tracks with my criticism, which is not that his work was "false," but that it was way too sloppy.

The result is that while probably lots of it was true, I can't be sure it's all true, or even how much of it is. That's a serious problem.

Finally, in case it wasn't entirely clear in my comments on my own blog: my reaction about McCarrick wasn't that I'd never heard anything bad about him. Rather, my shock and dismay is that there was so much, and it appears to be fairly well developed. In other words, it wasn't just some evanescent rumor.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Anonymous says, quoting me:

"Now, I don’t know if any of this is true. I hope none of it happened";....I am confused as to why Father Fox questions if any of these other incidents are true? Would the dioceses of Metuchen and Newark have made payouts if those making accusations were not credible. If that is the case, I'll get in line.

The reason I said what I said is exactly the case. I -- Martin Fox -- do not have direct and certain knowledge that what is being claimed by others, and reported by still others, is true and accurate. I don't have the full story. I am not saying that I couldn't have greater knowledge at some time in the future. If more information were public, then I might feel more certain. And perhaps you do have sufficient information to reach a conclusion. Almost certainly, others do have that knowledge. Cardinal McCarrick knows, and the people who have been named as involved, know. But I do not, and I reserve judgment, especially as there is no necessity for me to reach a conclusion today and right now.

Settlement payouts do not establish the truth of an accusation. They don't make the accusation less credible, but they don't prove it. It should be obvious that people have a motive to pay money to quiet even false accusations, particularly in a climate when a false accusation is terribly damaging.

rcg said...

The feelings that are being expressed by the clergy on this particular revelation are mostly focused on the other bishops and ‘Rome’ rather than on the Cardinal sins. I mean this with all Charity when say that now they know how it feels. From the politician to the fellow pew sitter, to see public and inveterate defiance of Church teaching, and possibly even crimes, ignored while granting full communion and even authority is soul crushing. It has been a heavy cross and shame to bear. But rather than use this as a chance to attack the clergy I would prefer, and recommend, that we see this as confirmation of our common cause.

What reason for this blind eye by so many bishops has been given? It was so widespread and habitual that there must have been some common thought guiding them. It seems almost impossible that not one bishop or priest didn’t throttle someone they found doing this.

Henry said...

What I find most sickening about this matter is the fact that apparently Card. McCarrick has been suspended only because of credible allegations of abuse of a minor a half century ago. (Rhetorically speaking, who cares now, 50 years later?)

But not for his more recent and much more disturbing homosexual activity with adult seminarians and priests under his authority. Homosexual activity that for some time has been well-known to higher Church authorities and has long been documented on the public record in multiple court settlements, as quoted in nauseating detail by Rod Dreher (here).

For all I know, clerical sexual abuse of minors has been eliminated since it surfaced so publically within the past couple of decades. But Catholic belief and practice cannot be restored until the still active networks of homosexual priests and bishops are rooted out.

In my view, their homosexual activity is less damaging in and of itself than their destructive effects on faith and liturgy. If, as I believe, homosexuality and liturgical abuse and attacks on Catholic doctrine go hand in hand.

Henry said...

"But not for his more recent and much more disturbing homosexual activity with adult seminarians and priests under his authority. Homosexual activity that for some time has been well-known to higher Church authorities and has long been documented on the public record in multiple court settlements"

In case anyone does not understand that it is Card. McCarrick's guilt--not merely the fact of settlements having been made--that has been documented in unsealed court records, go read Dreher's column. This is public information. I don't see that any more is needed. Who could stand to read any more?

I myself am more disgusted with homosexualist Church authorities who claim insufficient information to act decisively, than with the homosexual perpetrators themselves.

TJM said...

Henry,

I share your concerns. If McCarrick had been playing footsie with Mrs. O'Toole he would have been drummed out. I assume that if I were an active homosexual while a priest, I would probably play fast and free with everthing, maybe out of bitterness, who knows? I think St. John XXIII was correct in his desire to exclude them from the seminaries.