Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick laicized by Pope Francis

  Then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick attends a reception for new cardinals in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Nov. 20, 2010. Among the new cardinals was Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, successor to Cardinal McCarrick as archbishop of Washington. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis has recognized the dismissal from the clerical state, also known as laicization, of Theodore McCarrick, 88, the former cardinal and emeritus archbishop of Washington. This was imposed on him by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at its plenary meeting on Feb. 13.

The sentence is definitive and cannot be appealed. The Vatican announced this today, in a statement from the C.D.F. that explained that a judgment was first given on Jan. 11 by the “congresso” or executive body of the C.D.F. It issued a decree finding McCarrick “guilty of the following delicts while a cleric: solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power” and “imposed on him the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state.” The Vatican said this decree was then communicated to the former cardinal and he appealed against that verdict and his recourse was then heard by the C.D.F. congregation in plenary session on Feb. 13. The congregation is composed of more than 20 cardinals, archbishops and bishops, and its verdict is final.

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Pope Francis recognized “the definitive nature of this decision,” which was communicated to McCarrick on Feb. 15.

McCarrick is the first former cardinal to have been lacicized for the sexual abuse of minors.

The C.D.F. is the supreme tribunal in matters relating to the abuse of minors by clerics. It reached its verdict after carrying out its own investigation following a first investigation conducted by the archdiocese of New York early last year, which concluded that the allegation that McCarrick had abused a minor while serving as a priest in the archdiocese in the 1970s “was credible.” The subsequent investigation conducted by the C.D.F. obtained evidence of other cases of abuse. A source told America that because the evidence was so overwhelmingly great against McCarrick, the C.D.F. opted for the speedier, administrative process. This led to a judgment at the executive level of the C.D.F. in mid-January, after which McCarrick was given the possibility for appeal. The definitive verdict came at the plenary session of the congregation on Feb. 13, and there is no possibility of an appeal against this judgment, not even by the pope.

While this sentence was widely expected given that he was accused of the abuse of at least one minor, another possibility McCarrick could have been sentenced to was a life of prayer and penance as happened in the case of Marcial Maciel, the Mexican-born founder of the Legionaries of Christ. The dismissal of McCarrick from the clerical state will stand as a landmark decision that demonstrates the determination of Pope Francis that any priest or prelate, of whatever rank or status in the church, who abuses minors will be dismissed from the clerical state.

McCarrick is the first former cardinal to have been laicized for the sexual abuse of minors. Indeed, it seems that one would have to go back centuries in church history, perhaps to the time of the Council of Trent, to find a similar case whereby a man who was once a cardinal was dismissed from the clerical state.

The decision brings to an end the pastoral ministry and career of a man who was once the most influential and respected Catholic prelate in the United States.

The decision brings to an end the pastoral ministry and career of a man who was once the most influential and respected Catholic prelate in the United States. His fall from grace, which dealt a terrible blow to the U.S. church and came after decades of rumors about his misconduct with seminarians, began with the formal allegation of abusing a minor that led to an investigation, approved by Pope Francis. The investigation was conducted by the review board of the Archdiocese of New York and it determined that the allegation that he had sexually abused a 16-year-old altar boy at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the early 1970s while serving as a priest in New York “was credible and substantiated.”

Pope Francis first suspended him from the ministry on June 20, and that same day Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark disclosed that there had been accusations against McCarrick while he served in New Jersey, of sexual misconduct with three adults. Two of these had resulted in confidential financial settlements with the victims who were subjected to the abuse when they were adult seminarians. New allegations of abuse have emerged since then, including one by a New Jersey man whose father was the cardinal’s best friend since high school, who charged that McCarrick abused him for years from the age of 13.

Then on July 28, 2018, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had suspended McCarrick “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.” At the same time, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the College of Cardinals.

There appears to be no precedent, and certainly none in modern times, for the renunciation of his title by a cardinal because of his involvement in sexual abuse. Informed sources believe the former archbishop of Washington was previously asked to hand in his resignation as a cardinal when allegations were first revealed publicly. McCarrick protested his innocence then, claiming that he had “absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse,” but said that “in obedience I accept the decision of The Holy See, that I no longer exercise any public ministry.” Subsequently, he left Washington D.C. and took up residence at a friary in Kansas, where he received notice today of his dismissal from the clerical state.

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F C
4 months 4 weeks ago

This is heartbreaking news. My thoughts and prayers are with those involved.

Michael Myers
4 months 4 weeks ago

The only thing heartbreaking is how long it took for McCarrick to be held accountable.

Michael Myers
4 months 4 weeks ago

The only thing heartbreaking is how long it took for McCarrick to be held accountable.

Tim O'Leary
4 months 4 weeks ago

Michael - there was clearly hiding of McCarrick's misdeeds for over 30 years by other clergy who knew of his proclivities and beach house. But, from the time the abuse of a minor surfaced in June 2018, this has been very fast. Note that the secular police have known about the allegation of abuse of a minor since the NY Archdiocese revealed their investigation in June and yet that have done NOTHING? What is the point of telling the police about a "credible and substantiated" abuse of a minor if they do nothing - no police investigation has surfaced, no indictments. Same with the Western PA Grand Jury - all huff and puff and no one gets arrested! think about that next time somebody suggests the police will do the most efficient job.

Suzanne Tamiesie
4 months 3 weeks ago

I do not know the particulars of McCarricks’ abuse but the usual reason that sex abusers are not charged is because by the time those who were abused come forward the statute of limitations has long since passed.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 4 weeks ago

It is about time. Next move needs to be excommunication so this guy never tries to lead in any way again and so we have no reason to support him financially. He is not even owning his wrong now. No repentance from this guy!

We have horribly sat back and watched our church hierarchy excommunicate women who have been ordained priests and bishops by legitimate Catholic bishops, and who for no reason Christ would ever support, have been exiled away from our church, for doing nothing wrong but seeking to realize their legitimate call to ordained priesthood while being female. No doubt this ex cardinal pedophile supports those sinful hate filled excommunication decisions against these women priests and bishops.

Time to demand real action and justice and change for both women and children in our church.

Time to bring back the abused who did nothing wrong and excommunicate the abusers who have been destroying our church for decades.

Facts

Celibacy and homosexuality have not been evidenced to lead to pedophilia.

However, sexism has been proven to directly lead to pedophilia and was a strong factor leading to and covering up pedophilia in our church's abuse crisis.

Married men have higher rates of sexually abusing minors than unmarried men.

Women sexually abuse children at not even a quarter of the rate all men do.

The answer to our problem is clear but only if the laity and nuns and brothers and priests care more about a healthy church, with healthy kids and women, more than they care about keeping sexism and patriarchy in place.

Neither Jesus or the original twelve ever stated that our church should be led by patriarchy nor did they forbid women taking up all the same ministries as men with exact same sacramental powers.

The gospels, the various letters by the original twelve apostles in the bible, and The Book of Acts are the basis for that prior paragraph's statement.

Tim O'Leary
4 months 4 weeks ago

Nora - you are right that men have a much stronger sexual urge across the board and deviant men abuse much more than deviant women (see the recent Baptist sex abuse scandal). But, you're missing the whole point when it comes to the priesthood. It is infallible teaching that only men can be priests. So, if some bishop attempted to ordain a woman, it would be a forgery. She could try to celebrate Mass but the bread and wine would still be bread and wine at the end of the event, just like in the protestant churches. When it comes to getting the bread of life, even a bad priest is better than a fake priestess.

Dominic Deus
4 months 4 weeks ago

Dominic Deus here,

Tim, this is no time to invoke the dubious doctrine of infallibility. Let's not allow ourselves to be sidetracked from the truth of sexual assault and predation. That's the issue.

Regarding "infallible teaching" I urge you to read the historical record of the Church and evaluate the various claims of infallibility in the light of a critical historical approach.

Dogmatic truth, a mainstay of many religions, is a statement of fundamental belief closely tied to faith, It is not at all the same thing as a declaration of infallibility by obviously fallible men, not only evidently so by their human nature but ridiculously so by their self-imposed isolation from things feminine--both spiritual and intellectual. "Infallible teachings" are teachings of desperation, proclaimed when exploration of the reality of God's creation reveals falsehood or worse. The reality is that, in the light of God's grace in the 21st century, the retreat to infallibility is an act of fear, not courage. We, the people of the Church, need have no fear in rejecting it as silliness.

Further, brother Tim, I would ask you to re-read your own writing. Your slander against the good men and women of Protestant faiths is obnoxious and has the taint of judgementalism. It has long been taught by our Catholic Church that they are neither damned nor in error on their own cannon or dogmatic teaching. They are children of God and as worthy of salvation as any of us.

The Eucharist is what we believe it to be based our faith. If we are truly enlightened and can believe that which is not apparent by reason, then it is up to us to say why and the petty criticism of the faith of others should be offensive to us, much like panicked declarations of infallibility.

Dominic

J Jones
4 months 3 weeks ago

Dominic, well-stated.

Tim O'Leary
4 months 3 weeks ago

Dominic - It is Nora who proposed a heterodox solution to the sex abuse crisis. I was responding to her. But, your understanding of doctrine is similarly heterodox, and intolerant as well. It is certainly not slander to say the physical bread and wine stay as physical bread and wine after the protestant ceremony - that is the statement of belief of many protestant churches! Furthermore, the Catholic Church teaches the doctrine of infallibility, of popes and councils with popes. That doctrine underpins their other doctrinal statements across the board. You may dissent from the doctrine of infallibility but please note that is your own personal opinion, and is contrary to what the Catholic Church teaches. Pope BXVI confirmed the infallibility of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis when, as CDF head, he said: "This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2)." https://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfrespo.htm

Bev Ceccanti
4 months 3 weeks ago

Nora Bolcon: What good is a pretend priest? It's the Eucharist, NOT the Bible, that is the crux of the Faith. You keep missing this. Ordination comes from God, not from the facilitating Bishop . Women can preach all they want and a bishop could pretend to confer authority of Ordination but it wouldn't happen because the cooperation of God is needed. . Women will never be able to change the bread and wine into the actual physical Presence of God. Protestants don't have the physical Presence and never will.. Protestant ministers who convert to Catholicism do so because of the Real Presence. The difference is INFINITE. You seem to keep missing the .point of the Catholic Church (which is why I doubt your Catholicity)..

Tim O'Leary
4 months 3 weeks ago

Bev, well-stated.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 3 weeks ago

That is complete nonsense. I would tell you Jesus demanded all Christians treat each other the same as they wish to be treated which means all bishops and Pope's must treat women called to priesthood the same way they want to be treated by ordaining them or by not excluding them based on sex. Women are equally and legitimately called to P priesthood same as men and Jesus never claimed otherwise.

So perhaps the question you should consider Bev is maybe Jesus is more concerned with your falsified anti-gospel faith.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 3 weeks ago

Nope Tim
You are the one in complete error. The ban against women priests was never declared ex cathedra and so was never declared infallible by any Pope. Neither has there ever been any evidence through out our church's history indicating any such ban would be held infallible by all bishops of the church at the same time for a long period of time which is the only other way a doctrine can legitimately be considered infallible. Only a vote of all bishops could prove such agreement and never has any such vote been taken in history. It is also unlikely that in any age in the past, and definitely not now, could any unanimous vote be gained by all bishops banning women from ordination at any level, without coercion from the Pope. Forced agreement is not valid agreement so again no grounds for infallibility can be met. Add to this, that the gospels have us ordered, by Christ, himself, to treat all the same, means no Pope could rightly declare such a ban infallible since the gospel commandments of Christ are already considered to be of the highest kind of infallible dogma. Since you can't treat women differently than men without directly acting against the commandment to treat and love all the same. This ban is not now nor can it ever be legitimately infallible.

Dogmas and traditions which are not infallible are therefore thoroughly fallible and allowable to change. There is no such thing as kinda perfect. We have changed other doctrines like this one in our history because they were wrong and harmful and now we must change this one because it is now and has always been sinful and hate based.

Sin is never righteous and sexism like racism is always hate and always sin.

Neither Jesus nor the original Apostles would have supported this ban against women priests as they supported and praised the women presbyters and leaders in the early church. They were interested in spreading the gospel not playing up to arrogant men's vanity. Peter never claimed to be a part of any priesthood outside the royal priesthood which he claimed all believers were equally a part. All men and women.

What we have done to the priesthood is the fraud where no one cares about whom God has called to lead. It is just an exclusive gay men's club dressed up to look sacred meanwhile trampling everything that is sacred in this church.

Men do not have stronger sexual desires than women. Men have just had power longer and have gotten away with not controlling their sexual wants.

Phillip Stone
4 months 3 weeks ago

Your "facts" are fiction and cause is irrelevant.
Homosexual practice is perverted and perverting. like alcohol addictions, the state and behaviour progressively deteriorated.
He is a case in point - he misused the sacrament of reconciliation to solicit, he broke the sixth commandment with adults and minors and he abuse power - do you think he started out ready to do all that?

Women are not eligible for ordination to the presbyterial state.
Full stop.
End of story.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 3 weeks ago

Sorry that you don't like evidence and facts. Most irrational people do not care for truth. However, outside of fantasy land facts matter.
The facts are sexism has been proven to lead to pedophilia but celibacy and homosexuality has not. Being married and male does not make a person less likely to sexually abuse children and teens but being female does make you less likely. Due to our church's prolific clergy abuse of minors there is ample evidence and it is easy to find. So my answer once again to you Phillip is this, not liking facts, truth, and evidence does not make those things less real or incorrect.

If you value our children, you will leave your fantasy land and face the evidence and truth. Our patriarchal leadership was not initiated by Jesus or the original Apostles but by a Roman Emperor three hundred years after Christ and his sexism was always then and now, hate and sin, and what Christ referred to as a bad tree. Just like Christ proclaimed, a bad tree only brings forth bad fruit. Sexism brings forth the filth of child abuse, poverty, rape, murder, slavery and many other bad fruits, on a global scale. If we keep patriarchy in place, then we deserve the bad fruits which that hate-filled choice earns us. Jesus did not pick patriarchy for his church. Imperfect men chose patriarchy.

Paul Mclaughlin
4 months 4 weeks ago

JP2 clearly was blinded by those who gave the Church money. I am boot saying he personally benefitted, but if you gave the Church lots of money it bought access, influence and power. But, it also meant if you were the victim of these men, you were ignored or dismissed.

At some point in time, I hope the Church will revisit his sainthood and “defrock” him.

During his tenure JP2 repeatedly ignored what was unfolding. He refused to meet with the abused. He refused to remove priests, despite the evidence. He protected Law and others. He may have been naive, but that only goes so far because at the end of the day there was hard evidence mounting faster than snow on Mt. Washington.

Finally, some people want to point the finger at Francis. While I wishe he would act more quickly on establishing new norms to reduce clericalism and clerical state, the mess he inherited requires a thoughtful, not reactive response - but the clock is ticking.

Tim O'Leary
4 months 4 weeks ago

Paul - you are blinded by presumption and false witness on Saint JP II. What about the miracles? There has never been any evidence that Pope JP II truly believed a person was a pederast and did nothing. Yes, Maciel may have fooled him, just as Mr. McCarrick, Don Mercedes, Monsignors Ricca, Charamsa & Capozzi, Bishops Barros & Zanchetta & Cardinal Godfried Danneels fooled Pope Francis. Foolishness does not stop one from being a saint. So, keep your hopes up.

Paul Mclaughlin
4 months 4 weeks ago

I am not blinded by anything. Who appointed the men you listed?

A quick story a religious order in the US learned a priest who abused a young man. The priest was immediately pulled from the church and kept at the central office of the community. He admitted guilt. For over four years they repeatedly tried to have the priest defrocked. They could not get JP2 to act. After four years they had to buy him out - give him money to submit his request to leave the Community as recommended by a Canon lawyer. As part of the agreement, they had to destroy the records. He finally left and the community and diocease were left holding the bag when litigation arrived.

JP2 only acted when he was almost on his death bed when Ratz finally twisted all four appendages to sign the current rules.

Tim O'Leary
4 months 3 weeks ago

Paul - once again, you base your hateful slander on innuendo and gossip. This could all be explained by a holy man failing to see the magnitude of the sins of others or the value of laicization as an effective punishment (most are voluntary, even today). Pope JP II's obvious holiness, his personal life, the miracles after his death all support this view. But, even saints can gravely sin and still be saints after contrition. Similarly with Pope Francis. While someone with your temperament could slander Pope Francis for willfully and knowingly promoting a plethora of perverts, and reducing sanctions against abusers of minors (link below), I put it down to his naïvety and gullibility, as part of his re-emphasis on mercy and second chances. He gave all these people jobs after knowing they were homosexuals. This has backfired. I think he gets that now. For the record, Pope Benedict XVI did the most on this, from defrocking 800 priests.
https://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/02/27/pope-reduces-sanctions-against-some-paedophile-priests/

Lisa M
4 months 3 weeks ago

Tim- Yes, yes and yes.

Lisa M
4 months 4 weeks ago

Paul- I agree with your assessment of Pope Francis' response, but to throw JP2 under the bus, as a Monday morning quarterback is unfair. As someone close to an abuse victim, I can look back and ask myself, as can others, how could we have missed it, especially with so much at stake. The manipulation is at a level I have never encountered before, and as a Catholic taught to respect all life, that included respecting people who were slightly odd, or off. Any thoughts of odd behaviour being possibly sexual, especially when denied by the victim, made us feel guilty for even suggesting such a thing. Good people don't have evil, sick minds, and evil, sick people know that, and apparently get great pleasure out of playing us. I have no doubt JP2 faced many, and was fooled. It is only now, quite possibly through the grace of God, that the extent of this evil activity is being exposed. Let us pray along with Pope Francis for solutions.

Paul Mclaughlin
4 months 3 weeks ago

When JP2 refused to meet with victims and moved Law, I was not Monday morning quarterbacking

Suzanne Tamiesie
4 months 3 weeks ago

I am unaware that JPII took action against any abusers. Surely they all couldn’t have fooled him.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 3 weeks ago

I hear you Paul! It is amazing the lengths people will go to hide from the truth. JPII moved Law so he wouldn't testify as to how JPII orchestrated how to deal with the abuse crisis in every country pretty much the same way. He moved Law to hide him and protect himself and Law both

Paul Mclaughlin
4 months 3 weeks ago

When JP2 refused to meet with victims and moved Law, I was not Monday morning quarterbacking

Tatiana Durbak
4 months 3 weeks ago

Good people know when something bad is happening -- maybe not immediately, but in time.
Although I want to believe that the sexual abuse of children by clergy in the US has decreased markedly, I do know that it was rampant for quite a while.
Many people with positions of responsibility in the institutional Church knew this was going on. Those in the hierarchy certainly knew. It would be impossible for them not to know. And they all knew that the abuse was wrong. This is why priests were sent on retreats, to treatment centers, and moved to other parishes/jurisdictions.
Those who rose through the ranks (monsignors, bishops, cardinals) and who got plum assignments did so, in part, because of demonstrated loyalty to the institution. Maintaining silence and denying the facts of the abuse was part of the demonstrations of loyalty. No one is "throwing JP under the bus"; he did that to himself.

Paul Mclaughlin
4 months 3 weeks ago

There is no doubt sexual abuse is less than it was, but the real problem is the abuse of power and the lack of oversight. Once a Bishop, they have very broad and unchecked powers. The same is true for local pastors. The Church Councils and Finance Committees are appointed by the pastor or bishop. In most cases I have experienced these people form an echo chamber for the clerical leaders. Furthermore, they are only advisory. The keys to the kingdom are still held by the Bishop and pastor. This sets the entire system up for more and different problems. The diminishment of the sexual abuse crisis will produce another abuse of something else.

The Laity needs to get some courage and not defer to “Father” and to “Excellency” . They should be respected, but their status is no higher than the folks in the cheap seats. I don’t expected, nor did I ever have anyone call me “Mr.” when I was the CEO. This seemingly small gesture changes the dynamic. I also didn’t feel compelled to wear a dark suit and tie to every meeting. This small gesture changes the dynamic. My goal was to have a robust conversation. Sure, at times, I had to bring the conversation to an end and make the call, but no one ever felt stepped on or walked away feeling they were just a serf.

Until there is real collegiality and less clericalism, the sexual abuse crisis will morph into another crisis.

Tim O'Leary
4 months 3 weeks ago

For the record. Pope Benedict XVI did the most on this, from defrocking 800 priests, 400 in 2 years alone (link below). Pope Francis relaxed this as part of his re-emphasis on mercy and second chances. He even reduced some penalties for priests (link below) and promoted known homosexuals (several notorious names listed above - for some reason I cannot find stories of recalcitrant heterosexual priests doing this - is the media covering up or is this a uniquely homosexual issue?). They no doubt told him they had changed and he believe it, only to have this blow up in his face months/years later. He has been burned and knows better now.
https://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/02/27/pope-reduces-sanctions-against-some-paedophile-priests/
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/17/pope-benedict-defrocked-400-priests-child-abuse

Paul Mclaughlin
4 months 3 weeks ago

There is no doubt sexual abuse is less than it was, but the real problem is the abuse of power and the lack of oversight. Once a Bishop, they have very broad and unchecked powers. The same is true for local pastors. The Church Councils and Finance Committees are appointed by the pastor or bishop. In most cases I have experienced these people form an echo chamber for the clerical leaders. Furthermore, they are only advisory. The keys to the kingdom are still held by the Bishop and pastor. This sets the entire system up for more and different problems. The diminishment of the sexual abuse crisis will produce another abuse of something else.

The Laity needs to get some courage and not defer to “Father” and to “Excellency” . They should be respected, but their status is no higher than the folks in the cheap seats. I don’t expected, nor did I ever have anyone call me “Mr.” when I was the CEO. This seemingly small gesture changes the dynamic. I also didn’t feel compelled to wear a dark suit and tie to every meeting. This small gesture changes the dynamic. My goal was to have a robust conversation. Sure, at times, I had to bring the conversation to an end and make the call, but no one ever felt stepped on or walked away feeling they were just a serf.

Until there is real collegiality and less clericalism, the sexual abuse crisis will morph into another crisis.

Paul Mclaughlin
4 months 3 weeks ago

Sorry, I stupidly keep entering the save button on my iPad and the post appears twice. DUH

Tim O'Leary
4 months 3 weeks ago

it's easy to fix, if you really want to. Just go back in and remove the text in the comment, replace with "duplicate"

Dcn Cliff Britton
4 months 4 weeks ago

The first of many bishops and cardinals, I hope. Their removal cannot happen fast enough. Then perhaps healing in the pews can begin.

Danny Collins
4 months 4 weeks ago

Dcn Cliff Britton, I wish your hopes would be fulfilled, but they won't. The Pope just appointed longtime friend, room-mate and confidant of McCarrick, Cardinal Farrell, to lead the next papal conclave. Until the networks of priests who aided and abetted the rise of morally bankrupt sex abusers to positions of great power are exposed and eliminated, there will be no justice for victims of sexual abuse. Of course, don't expect America Magazine to push for this. Both Fr. Martin and the board of America have admitted to knowing about McCarrick's abuse, but instead of exposing him, they honored him. They are part of the corrupt networks who care more about power and the praise of men than holiness and the approval of God.

Lisa M
4 months 4 weeks ago

Danny- We can't find people guilty by association. Let us hope and pray that ALL those who turned their backs be exposed so our Church be free of this evil. Here is the statement from James Grein, an incredibly strong man who is both a survivor and a Catholic who, incredibly has managed to maintain his faith. Let us pray for all those victims that have lost their faith because of sexual abuse. They have, and continue to suffer so!
https://noakerlaw.com/02-16-2019-statement-of-james-grein/

Dcn Cliff Britton
4 months 4 weeks ago

Danny... I only read America (online version) to remind me how far off course liberal theology is taking people. Its hard to read some of the material. But then I read the Washington Post for the same reason. God bless you and help you to bring His Light into the world. dCliff

Ricardo Hunter
4 months 4 weeks ago

God is great and we do the best Health Care

Ricardo Hunter
4 months 4 weeks ago

God is great and we do the best Health Care

mary ann Steppke
4 months 4 weeks ago

I am 76 years young .I have been in the Catholic church for 76 years .I was educated by the Benedictines and Jesuits .I am having a crisis of faith in the Catholic church because of what I am reading everyday about the sin of the church.It sickens me my heart is stressed. I find it difficult to pray for these horrid priests ,bishops, and cardinals .and God onlyknows who else. I think that this sin of homosexuals in the church was always there but never corrected nor was it thought as a sin. The church needs to deal with homosexuality and sexual abuse NOW. What would happen if the church stated .no homosexuals will be allowed in the priesthood ? What impact would that have? Would it possibly mean female priests ?

sheila gray
4 months 4 weeks ago

Please stop repeating the lie that all sex abuse by priests is caused by homosexuality... Oh, that it were true. Then we could just ban all the gays, or better yet, burn us at the stake. How ignorant and evil your prejudices are... For some reason you, and many other faithful Catholics, want to believe, need to believe, that homosexuality is the problem. If anything, male sexuality itself is the problem. But then there is the issue which has not even begun to be addressed: sexual abuse by nuns. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Catholic children around the world have been severely abused for generations by nuns. Can you handle the Truth? Let’s get it all out now. Nuns were abusers, too. Deal with it. Then maybe we can begin to heal from it.

Tim O'Leary
4 months 4 weeks ago

Sheila - while you're at it, don't forget that the vast majority of sex abusers are lay people and the recent revelation of the Baptists and others show the pervasiveness of the problem (links below) in our culture and abroad. I believe you blogged previously that you are SSA and were abused by a non-repentant nun, so I understand your defensiveness. No one is saying all sex abuse by priests is caused by homosexuality. But, you should face the fact that 80% of the abuse is same-sex abuse (link below). No doubt most SSA men and women in the clergy are faithful to their vows and have remained celibate. They will be rewarded even more by our Lord and Savior for their successful struggle.

Baptists https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-sexual-abuse-spreads-as-leaders-13588038.php
Lutherans https://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-nws-evangelical-lutheran-synod-sexual-misconduct-20180622-story.html
Secular colleges https://www.justice.gov/archives/ovw/blog/national-campus-safety-awareness-month-changing-institutional-response-change-statistics (US DOJ: 1 out of every 4 female undergraduates will be victim to some form of sexual assault before graduation). https://www.justice.gov/archives/ovw/blog/national-campus-safety-awareness-month-changing-institutional-response-change-statistics
The 80% figure comes from the John Jay Report https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Jay_Report

Phillip Stone
4 months 3 weeks ago

You condemn yourself, Mary. Your admission, having "... crisis of faith in the Catholic church ..." says it all.

There is this huge body of persons, the saints in heaven and the true believers on earth, whose faith is in Jesus Christ, risen Lord. Are you finding Him guilty of the abominations committed by people claiming to be true followers of His?
While you are still alive, you are one of the people who might be considered part of the ecclesia, the fellowship of believers, who consist of sinners, sinners all, a sinner yourself. Down the centuries this word has been changed to church and used to describe buildings, the institution, the administrators of the institution and its origin forgotten.

As the young might say, TAKE THE RED PILL. Thank God it only took 76 years for you to wake up, while you are still living.

Tatiana Durbak
4 months 3 weeks ago

Sexual abuse is a sin of power and arrogance. It has nothing whatsoever to do with sexual orientation. Arrogant people who abuse power exist among straight people and LGBT people. It is the arrogance that leads them to abuse their power. In the secular world, more and more institutions have and continue to take steps to deal with such arrogance and abuse of power. The Church, for all of its vaunting of humility and insistence on being in possession of God's Truth, chooses to permit the arrogance of power to have free reign. That is what needs to change. Until all of the hierarchs who enabled the abuse by denying it and by protecting the abusers acknowledge their responsibility for the malfeasance and accept some real for of punishment, nothing will change. Until all of those who enabled the abuse with their silence step forward and acknowledge their roles in this, nothing will change. Until prests and hierarchs become servants of the people of God, instead of being their superiors, nothing will change.

Bill Mazzella
4 months 3 weeks ago

More than thirty years ago Fr Andrew Greeley was shouting from the rooftops about sexual abuse coverup in the clergy. Only public opinion and the law brought us to the public awareness. Catholic hierarchy and many laity including all the Catholic publications was absent.

Bev Ceccanti
4 months 3 weeks ago

Mary: you should know by your education the Sacraments survive regardless of the state of the priest's, bishop,s or Pope's souls. And don't worry. There will always be saints in the Catholic Church. Look for them.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 3 weeks ago

Having women priests and bishops would lower abuse rates because sexism and gender exclusion have been directly proven to lead to the sexual abuse of minors in our church. However, homosexuality is not connected to child sexual abuse. Straight married men have a slightly higher rate of sexually abusing children.

Our patriarchal form of leadership makes room for abuse to happen far more easily, along with it being a sexist and immoral form of leadership that Christ would not support.

Tim O'Leary
4 months 4 weeks ago

This is a good step. Now, there needs to be a thorough investigation of the network of clergy who knew and protected McCarrick on his rise up the hierarchy. The investigation may not reveal any criminal activity but there were certainly violations of canon law. There is a need for confession, contrition and possibly resignation of those who knew and were in a position to act and didn't. Even worse would be those who knew and for political or doctrinal reasons willfully covered it up.

ed lucie
4 months 4 weeks ago

He should be prosecuted and locked up
He should be prosecuted and locked up

Lisa M
4 months 4 weeks ago

delete

Crystal Watson
4 months 4 weeks ago

Why so long coming? The church is ok with priests screwing around until it becomes public in the press. It's about the church, *not* about homosexuality - one of the Democratic candidates running for president in 2020, Pete Buttigeig, is openly gay, married, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a Rhodes Scholar, and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He's great and I would happy to vote for him.

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