McCarrick Resigns Edition! (Your Catholic Week in Review)

Your Catholic Week in Review (McCarrick Resigns Edition!)

Michael Hichborn – 7/28/18

NEWS FROM THE VATICAN this morning as Cardinal Emeritus Theodore McCarrick has resigned from the College of Cardinals as of yesterday.  This from Edward Pentin over at the National Catholic Register:

Yesterday evening the Holy Father received the letter in which Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington (U.S.A.), presented his resignation as a member of the College of Cardinals.

Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the cardinalate and has ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, together with the obligation to remain in a house yet to be indicated to him, for a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.

The two paragraphs above represent the entirety of the Vatican press statement.  This news comes on the heels of the resignation en masse of the Chilean Catholic bishops after decades of covering up for homosexual priests preying on young boys and seminarians.

Penitin reminds us that the last cardinal to be stripped of his faculties?  Cardinal Keith Edwards O’Brien, the cardinal emeritus of St. Andrews and Edinburgh.  O’Brien ended up facing no canonical trial and died in March 2017.  Before O’Brien, the last cardinal to resign his office as cardinal was French Jesuit Louis Billot, doing so in protest of the Catholic Church’s condemnation of the far-right and anti-Semitic Action Francaise.

Rorate Caeli has more:

He should have never been admitted to seminary. He should have never been ordained a priest. He should have never been in contact with boys and young men. He should have never been called to be a bishop. He should have never been made Archbishop of the capital of the most powerful nation in the world. He should have never been made a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church. He should have never been allowed inside or anywhere near a Conclave for the election of a new Roman Pontiff.

Theodore McCarrick has been removed, too late, from the College of Cardinals, by a decision of Pope Francis prompted by a “letter of resignation” that McCarrick was certainly “advised” to send before being kicked out. He was also barred from the exercise of any public ministry.

Christopher Alleri with the UK Catholic Herald notes that the scandal goes far beyond McCarrick, but is endemic of a more systemic moral failure from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) themselves:

This failure of the bishops is at once personal, touching each bishop singly, and corporate, touching them all together: they failed as one body – as a college. Some of them knew and did nothing. But those who simply let themselves be fooled are also guilty. And this applies to many cases besides McCarrick’s.

Catholics on every side of every issue in the Church are perfectly aware of the bishops’ corporate responsibility for the abuse crisis, and rightly appalled by their haste to plead ignorance and pretend responsibility only lies with the “few” who did the evil.

We here at the Lepanto Institute have been hammering this fact home for months if not years.  The persistent habit — and it is the definition of a vice and perpetuates such viciousness — of sweeping harm under the rug in the hopes that it goes away while pretending there is no scandal is in and of itself equal parts scandalous and vicious.  It is as if the penitent (in this case, our bishops and their bureaucratic swarms) walk into the confessional, insist nothing wrong happened, and then keep what they stole while calling it virtue.

That is wrong.

The U.S. Catholic bishops have a problem, and covering up the actions of homosexual priests preying on physically mature yet mentally immature and impressionable young men is merely a symptom.  The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has cranked out one enemy of the Church after another, all in the name of proportionate reasoning.  Catholic Relief Services (CRS) time and time again continues to call good what the Magisterium calls evil, all in the name of proportionate reasoning.  The USCCB continues — even after the Long Lent — to protect and cover for homosexual priests and bishops, all in the name of proportionate reasoning.

Ian Fleming, the British author who penned the now famous James Bond 007 novels, had a line for such activity:

“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”

To be clear, the U.S. Catholic bishops are not the enemies of the faithful — the devil and human frailty are our enemies.

This is the reason why we have a Paraclete, why Christ suffered death on the Cross, and why we have a Magisterium to teach and correct the faithful.

McCarrick’s fall from power could never be termed as a fall from grace.  His disgrace is yet another wound on the Body of Christ for whom McCarrick — wearing the red of a prince of the Church — should have been prepared to suffer death to defend.

Instead, McCarrick’s molestation and abuse is merely the tip of an iceberg that has sought to normalize what God has called evil.  Normalizing sodomy and homosexual behavior (Fr. James Martin, SJ), normalizing pederasty (McCarrick), normalizing adultery (Marx), normalizing the distribution of contraceptives at Catholic Relief Services (the decades of bishops leading CRS), normalizing cocaine-fuel homosexual orgies in the Vatican apartments (Coccopalmerio), normalizing Marxist ideas of “social justice” and so forth (Carolyn Woo)…

…all the while, the Catholic faithful are waiting for the bishops to believe what the Magisterium teaches us to believe, to be the fearless defenders of Christ that wisdom and fidelity teaches us to be.  We are starving for the holiness that gives but never counts the cost, that fights but doesn’t heed the wounds, that toils yet never seeks rest, and labors but never seeks reward.

To hide behind prudential judgment as if it could ever advocate infidelity to the Magisterium is cowardice, rank and simple.  The antidote for cowardice is, of course, humility… because it is only through humility and the denial of our own strength that we can ever put on the armor of God and rely on His strength — which is the source of any courage worthy of the name.

McCarrick is but a symptom of the rot that has infected the Catholic Church here in the United States.  Pull it out root and branch, and allow a new vineyard — smaller perhaps, but more faithful and robust — to take root and flourish.

Some quick news about the #CatholicMeToo Movement, inspired in no small part by the #MeToo movement that swept social media some months ago.  Hundreds of Catholic young men have been abused by priests and bishops in positions of power over the course of the last five decades in the United States.  Many have kept their silence, some have spoken out only to be told to stay quiet…

For those who remember reading the book “Goodbye, Good Men!” none of this will come as a surprise.  For those of us whose prayer life led us to consider a vocation but were turned away because of our “rigid fidelity” to Church teaching (or some other nonsense line like this), we too have seen the impact of this cabal of heterodox and at times, rankly homosexual clergy.

For those who are considering going public or know of others who perhaps should, there are a few things I’d ask you to keep in mind:

  1. Make your decision in prayer.  Place your intentions at the foot of the Cross and ask the Blessed Mother for her intercession and guidance.
  2. Make your decision knowing that it will prevent future victims.  You are not alone, and even if the perpetrator is advanced in age today?  His example — much like McCarrick’s example — works to encourage other perpetrators to go after their next victims.
  3. This is not your fault.  Nor are you alone.  God doesn’t promise to protect us from suffering, but He does promise to be with us every step of the way if we let Him.
  4. We are all praying for you.  No matter what you decide to do, the hearts and prayers of millions of Catholics are praying for you in holiness every day.

If you do choose to talk, or even if you simply need to air out your feelings to those who care, Church Militant is offering a hotline to those who are victims of abuse from Catholic clergy.  Confidentiality will be preserved if you so desire it, but the sooner we bring these stories to light?

The faster we can prevent the next perpetrator from stealing the soul of the next victim… that’s the stuff of true heroes and saints, after all.

Some other headlines you may have missed:

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