LGBTQ Magazine

Footnote to Previous Post: To Understand Why Nothing Has Substantially Changed in the Catholic Church, See NYT Article Re: McCarrick Today

Posted on the 16 July 2018 by William Lindsey @wdlindsy
He Preyed on Men Who Wanted to Be Priests. Then He Became a Cardinal. & Told Women that Birth Control was a Sin -- there fixed it.— Patti Miller (@patti_miller) July 16, 2018
As a footnote to what I posted yesterday, I'd like to draw your attention to Laurie Goodstein and Sharon Otterman's report in the New York Times this morning entitled "He Preyed on Men Who Wanted to Be Priests. Then He Became a Cardinal." I ended my posting yesterday by noting that, even as a Jesuit community appears — so it seems to me — to have been shielding a priest who raped a five-year-old girl and then went on to molest her repeatedly over years, it turned away at least one candidate for the priesthood (I know this from the person to whom this happened) because he had had sexual contact with other men, and, during the years when I was doing undergraduate studies at the university connected to this community, two of my teachers were precipitously fired, with rumors circulating all around the campus that they were fired for being gay.
I ended my posting yesterday by stating,
Maybe I've been shoved too far outside the doors of the church to see the wonderful changes now going on inside it. I'm rather of a mind to think that not much has really changed, at any substantial level — since the institution remains as decisively in the grip of men as it ever has been. And I don't see most of them willing to stop playing the homophobic, heterosexist, misogynistic games. To the contrary….

Now this morning Goodstein and Otterman report on how many people have known for years — to the very top of the Vatican — the full score about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and his repeated molestation of seminarians. But despite what was known about McCarrick — to the very top of the Vatican — he was made a cardinal and has wielded enormous power in the Catholic church in the U.S. 
Here are some passages in Goodstein and Otterman's report that leap out at me:
The priest [i.e., a priest who wrote Bishop Edward T. Hughes of Metuchen in 1994 to report that  McCarrick had inappropriately touched him and other seminarians in the 1980s] had a disturbing confession, the documents show. He told Bishop Hughes that he was coming forward because he believed the sexual and emotional abuse he endured from Archbishop McCarrick, as well as several other priests, had left him so traumatized that it triggered him to touch two 15-year-old boys inappropriately. The Metuchen diocese sent the priest to therapy, and then transferred him to another diocese. But Archbishop McCarrick’s stature remained intact; he was even given the honor of hosting John Paul II on a visit to Newark in 1995 and leading a large public Mass there for the pope…. 
In 2000, Pope John Paul II promoted Archbishop McCarrick to lead the Archdiocese of Washington D.C., one of the most prestigious posts in the Catholic Church in America. He was elevated to cardinal three months later…. 
Mr. Thavis [i.e., John Thavis, author of Vatican Diaries] pointed out that John Paul II also disregarded multiple warnings about a different, more notorious sexual predator, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ and another renowned church fund-raiser.  
In 2002, when the turmoil in the church over the child sex abuse scandal was at a peak, Cardinal McCarrick was among the cardinals summoned by the pope to help manage the crisis.

And yet, prior to McCarrick's appointment as cardinal — by John Paul II — Rev. Boniface Ramsey had informed the papal nuncio of McCarrick's abuse of seminarians, and had sent the Vatican a letter detailing McCarrick's history. So Goodstein and Otterman report. Ramsey says he never got a response to the letter.
John Paul II is now Saint John Paul II, or, as the Catholic right loves to call him, Saint John Paul II THE GREAT! The person who canonized this saint? The current pope. 
(Nor am I in the least persuaded by Mr. Thavis' special pleading on behalf of John Paul II when he claims that Saint John Paul had begun to slip in his administration of the church at the time he made McCarrick a cardinal, due to his Parkinson's disease.)
So I'll repeat myself: 
I'm rather of a mind to think that not much has really changed, at any substantial level — since the institution remains as decisively in the grip of men as it ever has been. And I don't see most of them willing to stop playing the homophobic, heterosexist, misogynistic games. To the contrary….
Excellent reporting by @sharonNYT and @lauriegnyt. It brings us to the next questions: (1) Who knew about this, and why was nothing done before? (2) Had Cardinal McCarrick been just Fr. McCarrick, would he have been in ministry that long after the first complaints came?— Kurt Martens (@DrKurtMartens) July 16, 2018
No. This is not the question this raises. The question this raises is why did everyone, including members of the MSM, defer to the Catholic hierarchy for so long on issues like women's access to contraception when behind closed doors they're one big hot mess when it comes to sex.— Patti Miller (@patti_miller) July 16, 2018

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