The news out of Pittsburgh last week was nothing new. It’s the same news that’s dominated headlines since 2002 when the Boston Globe started publishing articles about the priest abuse crisis in the Archdiocese of Boston. The stories have not let up since in spite of the Catholic Church’s programs, policies, speeches, and cover-ups.
Yet, the Grand Jury Report concerning six dioceses in Pennsylvania is different. It’s different in scope and depth. The format of the report is similar to the two issued about the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. But the media has focused not so much on the criminal behavior of the priests as it has the criminally negligent behavior of the bishops who supervised these men. In the wake of the McCarrick scandal, reporters are putting the pieces together revealing a nexus of relationships among bishops that fostered criminal child sex abuse. When McCarrick fell the media began looking at his network-those men who were mentored and promoted by McCarrick to the episcopacy. Men like Cardinal Tobin and Cardinal Kevin Farrell. How could they not have known? Were they involved some how? These are the questions that reporters have begun to ask and they’re the right questions.
If those who are supposed to be cleaning up the mess are compromised themselves, what do you think is going to happen?
The Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report is different in one most important aspect-it calls on the carpet the bishops who covered up the abuses in a 70 year period. The present cardinal archbishop of Washington has been the target of withering scrutiny and criticism in the Report. He was, after all, the bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988-2006. The media is not only focusing on his lack of action in dealing with abusive priests while in Pittsburgh. Reporters are beginning to dig into Wuerl’s past and ask questions. Rod Dreher’s post entitled “Uncle Ted’s Family Tradition” is a fascinating if not creepy read about the history and nexus of the bishops’ sexual activity and how these bishops mentor and promote like-minded and similar behaving men to positions of authority. Read the whole thing here.
Dreher cites a book published in 2006, The Rite of Sodomy, that chronicles the gay culture and lifestyle of Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York and the NY-Boston nexus.
Back to Wuerl-in the book, the author writes about Cardinal John Wright who had a notorious reputation as a closeted homosexual who actively preyed on young men and seminarians. Guess who was his private secretary until his death in 1969? Donald Wuerl.
I’m not gay bashing here. I’m bashing hypocrisy. I’m bashing unwanted sexual advances by powerful men who preyed on youngsters who had no power and wanted to get ahead in the church.
At least one US bishop has had the courage to speak out against this situation. Bishop Robert Morlino published a letter concerning the crisis and stated unequivocally, “It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.”
Again, I’m not gay bashing or saying the sex abuse crisis is the fault of homosexuals. I’m saying that the Catholic Church needs to be honest if it’s going to be transparent. I’m saying what we heard this past weekend from our own Bishop Parkes is just corporate speak that does nothing to solve the problem. In fact, for someone like me, a lifelong Catholic, it pisses me off. If Parkes or any other bishop thinks he can publish this kind of bullshit and get away with it, he’s seriously mistaken. The Catholic #MeToo movement has dawned. Thank God!