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US prelate McCarrick resigns from College of Cardinals

In this Sept. 23, 2015, file photo, Pope Francis reaches out to hug Cardinal Archbishop emeritus Theodore McCarrick after the Midday Prayer of the Divine with more than 300 U.S. bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington. (Jonathan Newton /The Washington Post via AP)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has accepted U.S. prelate Theodore McCarrick’s offer to resign from the College of Cardinals after allegations of sexual abuse, including one involving an 11-year-old boy, and ordered him to conduct a “life of prayer and penance” in a home to be designated by the pontiff until a church trial is held, the Vatican said Saturday (July 28).

Francis acted swiftly after receiving McCarrick’s letter of resignation Friday evening, after recent weeks have brought a spate of allegations that the 88-year-old prelate in the course of his distinguished clerical career had sexually abused both boys and adult seminarians. The revelations posed a test of the pontiff’s recently declared resolve to battle what he called a “culture of cover-up” of similar abuse in the Catholic Church’s hierarchy.

McCarrick had been removed from public ministry since June 20, pending a full investigation into allegations he fondled a teenager over 40 years ago in New York City. A man, who was 11 at the time of the first alleged instance of abuse, says a sexually abusive relationship continued for two more decades. McCarrick has denied the initial allegation.

The prelate rose steadily up the U.S. church’s ranks, from auxiliary bishop in New York City, to bishop in Metuchen, N.J., to archbishop of Newark, N.J., and then to archbishop of Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital, the city where the papal ambassador to the United States is based.

While most of the scandals involving pedophile clergy have involved rank-and-file priests, some cases involved bishops, and there are a few involving cardinals, including a current case in Australia of one of Pope Francis’ closest advisers, Cardinal George Pell, who now faces a criminal trial in his homeland.

In the case of Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, accused by former seminarians in 2013 of sexual misconduct, Francis only accepted his resignation after the Vatican’s top abuse prosecutor conducted a full investigation, two years after the first revelations came out.

But the Holy See’s announcement about McCarrick said that Francis was taking action by isolating McCarrick and ordering penance even before “accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.” In addition, Francis “ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry,” indicating the pope was approving the measure already in effect since last month.

A Catholic University canon law expert, Kurt Martens, noted that this was the first time an order of penance and prayer had been issued before a church trial could take place.

Since McCarrick is over 80, he was already no longer eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a pope. But being a “prince of the church,” as cardinals are sometimes called, is a top honor of the church, and those elevated to that rank are called upon to advise the pope.

Bishops have been implicated in the sexual abuse scandals that have stained the Catholic Church’s reputation worldwide for decades now, but often for their roles in covering up for pedophile priests by shuffling them from parish to parish and keeping the faithful in the dark about the allegations about clergy whose pastoral duties often bring them into contact with minors.

Earlier this month, an Australia bishop became the most senior Roman Catholic cleric to be convicted of covering up child sex abuse. Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson was sentenced to 12 months in detention by an Australian court in a landmark case welcomed by some abuse survivors as a strong warning to institutions that fail to protect children.

(Nicole Winfield contributed to this report.)

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Frances D'Emilio

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  • I’m sure his sumptuous Vatican City apartment is already being prepared by some house nun where he will conduct his life of “prayer and penance.” And there he will stay, shielded from the law, until the end of his days, just like Cardinal Law. Justice accomplished!

  • “While most of the scandals involving pedophile clergy have involved rank-and-file priests, some cases involved bishops, and there are a few involving cardinals,……..”

    While a greater number of rank-and-file priests certainly accounts for the much of the numerical difference, one would wager there are quite a few more scandals involving higher ranks within the Catholic church that are still effectively covered up. Especially if the victims are deceased.

  • Apparently “shielded from the law” is meaningless since the allegations go back decades, no criminal investigation is underway, no witnesses have preferred charges, and so on.

    Would a lynching work for you?

  • I am not sure what it means that McCarrick “resigns from the college of cardinals.” Does he still keep his cardinal title and hat? Is this any different from the way O’Brien was treated – I think he is still a cardinal just not participating in “cardinal” activities.

    One of the problems with how bishops and cardinals are treated when they have abused/misused/failed to use their positions is that they keep their titles. I think this idea is a holdover from the times when those with great power (kings and princes) were considered holding their positions by some sort of “divine right” and the expectation was they would hold those positions for a lifetime. That is certainly how the Catholic Church thinks of the “ontological change” that occurs when a person is ordained a priest.

    If Pope Francis and the powers-that-be want the positions of bishop and cardinal to be respected, they need to consider that when they do nothing when one of their fellows in power abuses that power, they all suffer a loss in trust and respect from those they want to lead, or assume they lead, on the journey of faith. There really is a step too far. The failure can be forgiven BUT some types of failure are so egregious perpetrator should not keep the powerful position that he misused, or abused, or was unable to fulfill.

    This is what bishops and cardinal – and even popes – don’t seem to understand: It is not enough that McCarrick and Law from the U.S., O’Brien of Scotland, Finn of Kansas City- St. Joseph, John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul Minn., Apuron of Guam – and others before them – are removed from the assignment but keep their titles. Law even got a lot of cushy assignments. Do they feel sorry for them? Do they want/need them for other jobs that only a bishop/cardinal can do?

    Just what is a step too far that someone named a bishop or cardinal shows he doesn’t have what it takes for that title?

  • If the Vatican were actually serious about cleansing the Church of the abuse scandal and cover-up, it would put Marie Collins and Fr. Tom Doyle in charge of an investigation with full independent powers and a full budget. We can count on this happening about three days after hell freezes over.
    Right now, the Vatican strategy is to delay and obfuscate until all the people involved die off. Unfortunately from the Vatican’s point of view, McCarrick didn’t die soon enough.

  • Thomas Doyle has been banned from practicing canon law in dioceses across the USA for failure to deliver after being paid in advance.

    He lives in a luxurious home in a Virginia suburb of Washington, DC.

    Among his accomplishments, he:

    freely acknowledged that he has “nothing to do with the Catholic Church,” he has “nothing to do with the clerical life,” he is “not associated with the Church in any way,” he operates on his own, and his beliefs are “about as far away from the Vatican as you can get”;

    dismissed Catholic thought as “childish, unrealistic beliefs” and “magical thinking”;

    was been formally reprimanded as a military chaplain after he was arrested for drunk driving;

    was been removed as a military chaplain because he contradicted his archbishop regarding the Mass;

    sought an endorsement from the “Holy Orthodox Catholic Church,” unrelated to Rome, as a way to keep his military job, salary, and benefits.

    falsely claimed to a worldwide audience that a 1962 Vatican document was “an explicit written policy to cover up child sexual abuse by the clergy” (read the truth here); and

    denied the historicity and doctrine of the Real Presence of the Eucharist by referring to it merely as a “symbol”.

    Try again.

    http://www.themediareport.com/hot-topics/rev-thomas-p-doyle-o-p/

  • No, he does not “still keep his cardinal title and hat”.

    Cardinal is a position, not an order.

    Bishops remain bishops because ordination to the episcopate is an order. It is indelible.

    That is what the Catholic Church refers to as an “ontological change”.

    You might want to crank down on learning about the Catholic Church’s teachings on orders:

    http://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/master/trent/tsacr-o.htm

    http://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/master/baltimore/bsacr-u.htm

    http://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/master/pius/psacr-o.htm

    http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c3a6.htm

    before engaging in further critique.

  • Now would be a good time to relegate the alternative term “prince of the church” to the ash heap of unfortunate history.

  • “The Media Report” is the right-wing propagandist channel of David Pierre, who thinks the clergy sex abuse issue is a conspiracy of fake news by the left. Much of the information you quoted above are lies.

    Regarding clergy sex abuse in the Church.. The most important thing about Tom Doyle is that, unlike Catholic clergy, David Pierre and sycophants like you, he GETS IT.

  • I thought homosexual predators were not your cup of tea. But he’s a Catholic cleric, so he has done no wrong. Right?

  • I can understand your distaste for links.

    Those pesky facts just keep mucking you up, eh?

  • Well, you’re right. Nobody’s going to give Collins etc, any sweeping, investigative, accountability powers. Not even Pope Francis will give any real “clean-up” power. “But why not?” you and I ask. Unfortunately, that’s the part where everybody squirms.

    (1) As McCarrick’s own decades-long case shows, the issue of homosexuality is very deeply intertwined with the priest scandal. There’s TWO big crises now, not just one. Lotta closed-door stuff (in fact, Ben posted about one such seminarian mess.) Catholics now know there will be MAJOR bleeding and in-fighting all over the media, if anybody gets successful at uncovering the whole thing.

    (2) “Fatigue Factor” has also set in. Local laypeople & clergy, honestly don’t want to hack their way through THIS Amazon jungle. They just want to do some normal weekly spiritual nourishment, and participate in the usual church-calendar gigs. The End.

  • Because he already explained why dumping an avalanche of links onto people is rude, that’s why.

  • It is not rude.

    First, it was NOT dumped on you.

    Second, it was important information on why a bishop remains a bishop.

    Third, you’re in no position to complain about dumping avalanches:

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/religionnews/a_new_book_for_progressive_christian_families_aims_to_fill_a_kid_lit_gap/

    “It is said that history is …” – 193 words

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/religionnews/the_catholic_church_needs_a_way_to_deal_with_bad_bishops/

    – 219 words, 24 of them yours, and a link

    and so and so on.

    You have a real issue with facts, especially when they pull the wings off your spiels.

  • That does nicely summarize the bulk of your posts.

    If you didn’t have an anti-Catholic script, we’d hear from you four times a year.

  • I get that the Church believes in “ontological change.” But what they need is some ritual that removes the “ontological change” when the actions of the “ontological changed” person shows that he really doesn’t have some special mark from God or the mark he does has doesn’t make him someone who should be a leader or a teacher of the one they say they honor. You know, like something to remove a spiritual tattoo.

    Maybe, like the belief in slavery, an Earth centric universe, usury, the evils of democracy and religious liberty, and that priests could marry, it is time for a change. Our priests have a special calling – but they don’t have some spiritual tattoo applied by God or a bishop when they get ordained.

  • Apparently you don’t “get” what the Church calls an “ontological change” or you wouldn’t be suggesting a ritual “that removes the ‘ontological change’”.

    Rather clearly you did not read a single item in the list I provided.

    “Ontological” means relating to the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being, ontology.

    An ontological change is the sort of change which occurs when bread and wine are consecrated and become the Body and Blood.

    Despicable actions of an “ontologically changed” person do not show that he really doesn’t have some special mark from God.

    They show that he has failed. We all have the capacity to fail.

    Judas Iscariot was as much an Apostle as the others, and he failed.

    Maybe it is time for you to learn something about the Catholic faith as it really is, not as you imagine it to be, or the folks at the National Catholic Reporter wishes it were.

  • “R.A. Bob” wrote, “That is what the Catholic Church refers to as an ‘ontological change’.”

    The problem, as noted by Joseph Komonchak, perhaps the leading Catholic ecclesiologist in the USA, is the *ontology of sacred orders* has never been defined by the Church of Rome. What does it mean? The so-called “indelible mark” is metaphor and has never been defined by the Church, either. In his work, Professor Komonchak has suggested these matters are properly open to inter-disciplinary discussion among theologians, philosophers, and sociologists.

    A related point, albeit from medieval history, is many bishops at the Council of Trent did not regard their “priestly” powers/orders as any higher than that of the men they themselves had ordained to the “priesthood”. Even Thomas Aquinas apparently held to this viewpoint. The key issue here is *intent* involving episcopal ordination. At this point, so-called “validity of orders” enters the picture in light of, inter alia, Leo XIII’s “Apostolicae Curae” promulgated in 1896 wherein he pronounced Anglican Orders as “absolutely null and utterly void”. If Catholic doctrine or practice requires a “validily ordained” bishop to “validly ordain” a man to the episcopate, history gives a time period when such requirement — in light of “intent” as I understand it — was not met. The popular if erroneous understanding of “apostolic succession”, the so-called “passing the baton theory” — goes out the proverbial window — or down the tubes. Leo’s pronouncement was presented back in the 1950s and ’60s as an “infallible” teaching. Conservative canon lawyer Edward N. Peters (b. 1957) shares this understanding of the nature of “Apostolicae Curae’s” weight of authority.

    There would certainly appear to be plenty of “wiggle room” for the Church of Rome to impose quite strong disciplinary (and doctrinal?) action against an errant bishop or cardinal.

  • “plenty of ‘wiggle room’ ”
    Perhaps the “ontological change” is that the ordained get a lot of wiggle room and the laity get no wiggle room at all.

  • Or, more likely, you don’t know an “ontological change” from your anal sphincter.

  • At the request of another poster, I’ve taken you off “blocked” long enough to post a correction.

    Joseph Komonchak is an elderly priest, NOT “perhaps the leading Catholic ecclesiologist in the USA”.

    Here is the Council of Trent on orders:

    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Canons_and_Decrees_of_the_Council_of_Trent/Session_XXIII/Sacrament_of_Orders

    “Canon iv. If any one shall say, that, by sacred ordination the Holy Ghost is not given; and that the bishops do therefore vainly say, Receive ye the Holy Ghost; or, that a character is not thereby imprinted; or, that he who has once been a priest, can again become a layman; let him be anathema. “

    Now that we’re done with that, we can use “the *ontology of sacred orders* has never been defined by the Church of Rome” as the toilet paper that it is.

    As an ex-Catholic with an axe to grind from whatever happened when you were an HR guy in government service I am sure you disagree, but who the h-ll the cares besides you?

    Of course the Council also enumerated the sacraments as seven in number.

    As to the existence of orders, even such mundane and general purpose sources as Wikipedia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episcopal_polity

    note that:

    “All orthodox Christians were in churches with an episcopal government, that is, one Church under local bishops and regional Patriarchs. Writing between ca. 85 and 110, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Patriarch of Antioch, was the earliest of the Church fathers to define the importance of episcopal government. Assuming Ignatius’ view was the Apostolic teaching and practice, the line of succession was unbroken and passed through the four ancient Patriarchal sees (those local churches known to be founded by apostles), Rome, Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria. Rome was the leading Patriarchate of the ancient four by virtue of its founding by Saints Peter and Paul and their martyrdom there, not to mention being the political center of the Roman empire at the time. Other organizations (e.g. the Assyrian Church of the East), though aloof from the political wranglings of imperial Christianity, nevertheless also practiced episcopal polity.“

    So, unless the Holy Spirit has descended on Louisville, Kentucky, and given you some sort of new revelation, I think we can safely disregard your errors and misinterpretations regarding the sacrament of Orders.

  • Goodness gracious, BobBob, that is a lot of hostility. Better ask your caretaker for your comfort blankee, bless you precious little heart.

  • One should expect a certain briefness and curtness when – again – it is pointed out that you’ve posted your 500th plus completely ignorant disparaging comment on something about which you know nothing.

    Obviously you “get off” doing it, and even more obviously you love cutting poses when you get a response.

    Clearly you miss the comments that were closed at National Catholic Reporter where you did not stand out in such basrelief as a gainsaying buffoon.

    Alwayspuzzled?

    No.

    Determined to remain ignorant.

  • Good news.

    Now, let’s begin asking real questions…who knew what when.

    Let’s beging with his gal pal friends…perhaps McCarrick’s room mate of 6 years…now Cardinal Farrell, one of Maciel’s boys.

  • The Vatican wants to use McCarrick as a fire break….then make a noisy new commitee, outside consultant, policy, etc .

    But let’s start asking who knew what when, of Farrell (his room mate of 6 years, a Legionaire priest), Wuerl, Tobin, there are 2 or 3 other flaking others.

  • “The Vatican wants to use McCarrick as a fire break.”

    That seems exactly right.

    Just curious. Do you think they might also be using McCarrick as a trial run, in case Ladaria is implicated next year in France, and they have to do serious damage control?

  • Good question…what’s the issue with Ladaria?

    I think the Vatican simply delays doing anything and then when pressed waits a bit more and then throws clerics under the bus, only after they’re effectively dead already.

    The Vatican doesn’t like the way this one is tending…toward Farrell, Weurl, Tobin, either close friends of McCarrick, or beneficiaries of his favors.

    What happens is young seminarians get pressured, compromised and then to they’re tools of the mafia.

  • WHAM! BLAM! Nasty, typically Christian poster Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca takes yet another nasty swipe at a poster.

    Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca, you suck.

  • WHAM! BLAM! Nasty, typically Christian poster Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca takes yet another nasty swipe at a poster.

    Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca, you suck, and you are a co​ward.

  • Says BobbyJackJose Arzen Carioca. Too funny. BobbyJackJose, you should change your name to AS$HOLE because that is what you are.

  • To accomplish what, exactly?

    McCarrick will die. Rembert Weakland was disgraced. Bernardin was never publicly revealed.

    Going forward if the Church keeps the seminaries clear of individuals with “proclivities” – as Lincoln, Nebraska, did – the problems are behind.

  • There is no problem with Luis Ladaria Ferrer.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Ladaria_Ferrer

    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/commentary-archbishop-ladaria-and-the-transgender-movement-93218

    https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2018/05/30/vaticans-doctrine-czar-says-all-male-priesthood-is-definitive/

    His no-nonsense approach to LBGT issues, the ordination of women, and other issues near and dear to the hearts of the National Catholic Reporter/Commonweal/America crowd lead those folks into wishful thinking and active calumny.

  • Stand by for the pundits to malke a “really big deal” out of the Vatican accepting McCarrick’s resignation.

    He simply should have been removed by the Vatican, demoted, and alos laicized, and then imprisoned by the Vatican.

    Next..Farrell? Who knew about McCarrick and when?

  • If they could only get rid of all those homosexual bullies (to quote an esteemed contributor to discussions here), the priesthood could be set to rights, couldn’t it?

    Oh, wait:

    Revelations that a prominent U.S. cardinal sexually abused and harassed his adult seminarians have exposed an egregious abuse of power that has shocked Catholics on both sides of the Atlantic. But the Vatican has long been aware of its heterosexual equivalent — the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops — and done little to stop it, an Associated Press analysis has found.

    An examination by the AP shows that cases of abused nuns have emerged in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia, demonstrating that the problem is global and pervasive, thanks to the sisters’ second-class status in the church and their ingrained subservience to the men who run it. https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2018/07/28/opened-great-wound-inside-nuns-report-abuse-priests/0RyPjOBkzoyViu2d6t7hCN/story.html

    Never mind (and those priests abusing nuns and fathering children: they’re just homosexual bullies, anyway, right?).

  • Well, stop bringing up stuff about heterosexuals. Only the same-sex-attracted bullies, abusers, and so forth really matter.

    Besides…

    Lookeee over there! gay squirrels! gay Squirrels! Pay no attention to that man behind the cassock. gay squirrels!

  • If setting the priesthood “to rights” means “never having another cleric break his vows”, the answer is “no”.

    Jesus selected and ordained Twelve, and one was overtaken by Evil.

    The AP has “examined” nothing. The Associated Press is a news agency.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Associated_Press

    Your unattributed quotation is simply an AP Op Ed

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/after-decades-of-silence-nuns-talk-about-abuse-by-priests/2018/07/27/fed48e50-91ef-11e8-ae59-01880eac5f1d_story.html?utm_term=.c67ffd90298a

    by Nicole Winfield and Rodney Muhumuza.

    Nicole Winfield would report the Pope lives in a pyramid if that was the script she was handed. Some of her articles have been absolute howlers. Of course she is entitled to make a living, but she is no guru or expert.

    Rodney Muhumuza is a recent AP addition reporting from Uganda.

    https://muckrack.com/rodney-muhumuza

    If he has an expertise in abuse or anything else I am unable to find it.

    The primary issue with ordaining homosexuals is that the seminary places them in a near occasion of sin, and makes it difficult if ordained to relate correctly to both men and women.

    http://www.sdb.org/en/formation/documenti-base/424-church/1306-the-gift-of-the-priestly-vocation-2016

    “c) Persons with Homosexual Tendencies”

    “199. In relation to persons with homosexual tendencies who seek admission to Seminary, or discover such a situation in the course of formation, consistent with her own Magisterium’, ‘the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture ‘. Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.’”

    Although not every homosexual suffers from psychosexual immaturity, the incidence in that population is higher than in the general population.

    A much larger percentage than the general population suffered childhoods with significant paternal difficulties, particularly abuse, which impacts relationships in adulthood. This is reflected in a higher incidence of certain negative behaviors in the LBGT community than in the population at large.

    https://www.hrc.org/resources/sexual-assault-and-the-lgbt-community

    https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29994648

    So, homosexuals are unsuitable for ordination, as any candidates with inherent psychological impairments that might impact their ministry negatively.

    Theodore Edgar McCarrick and Rembert George Weakland should not be repeated.

  • Although not every homosexual suffers from psychosexual immaturity, the incidence in that population is higher than in the general population.
    ____________________

    And what is your excuse?

  • Thank you, Joseph, for that background and information. There is an interesting historical viewpoint given in an another article in Iglesia Descalza, an interview by Jesus Basante of Religion Digital with Jose Maria Castillo, a South American theologian once condemned but now publically appreciated by Pope Francis. The title of the article is: “Jose Maria Castillo: Why are women not allowed to be priests like men?” Don’t let the title fool you. It is far more about the Catholic Church, the formation of the Church, and the idea that the Church has marginalized the Gospel. He argues that “the Gospel is plain and simply not a religion…It’s a life project.” He talks about the early formation of the formal church structure and thinking, primarily under Paul, and the development of the church after it became the official religion of the Roman Empire – and the effect that had in how it thought about the purpose of Jesus, the church, the practice of faith, the role of faith in public life.

    It seems to me that too often the Catholic Church is all about the Catholic Church and not about Jesus. The article is here: http://iglesiadescalza.blogspot.com/2018/07/jose-maria-castillo-why-are-women-not.html . It is also reprinted and discussed on Catholica here: https://www.catholica.com.au/forum/index.php?mode=thread&id=215021#p215021

    He recalls an incident when he was a young priest visiting in Rome, during a time when “… the Pope was still using the gestatorial chair, the tiara and all that apparatus of bugles, incense, vestments …”
    His parents came to visit him and attended an event in the Vatican.
    Castillo says: I remember that my mother (she was a good woman, but we’re from a village and a simple family) who had no special culture, went pale. I asked her: “Mom, is something wrong with you?”

    “I’m sinning.”

    “Mom, please, we’re in St. Peter’s. You don’t sin here; you come here to pray or join the Church.”

    And my mother said to me: “It’s that I remember that the only thing the Lord got up on was a little donkey. And look how that man is coming!”

  • One more thought on that Castillo interview/article. He makes an important point when he brings up the issue of women priests.

    “…the woman problem: why are women not allowed to be able to be priests the same as men are? Here there’s a more basic issue: Why is a sociological, cultural and historical phenomenon so frequently confused with a theological fact?”

    I suppose one of the things I keep stumbling over is the same question: “Why is a sociological, cultural and historical phenomenon so frequently confused with a theological fact?” I can’t say that with the certainty that Castillo says it. My question is more along the lines of: How do we know that sociological, cultural and historical phenomenon are not confused with a theological fact?

    Thanks again for a helpful comment.

  • Apparently the notion that Christ founded a church, that it teaches with authority, and that it can distinguish sociological, cultural and historical phenomenon from theological fact goes right past you.

    Given that, no definition, no pronouncement, nothing will ever suffice to bring your musings to a conclusion.

  • It’s such a laugh that certain true-believers here think that homosexual men can be identified when entering seminary. Q: “Are you same-sex attracted?” A: “Why, no, Father.” In the Catholic Church. the closet is the eighth sacrament. No one gets booted from the seminary unless they talk openly about it. Meanwhile, half of seminary administrators are homosexual, and many of them are sexually active. I know this for a fact, because I spent seven years in the seminary.

  • Many years ago, a friend of mine, who is Irish Catholic, entered the seminary,Hoping to escape from his sexuality. He arrived at the seminary and was shocked to find that was far more sex going on inside of it then be could’ve imagined. He lasted about six months, decided to come out of the closet, and was immensely happy there after.

  • Psychosexual immaturity is— wait for it— an integral part of the oedipus complex which the Great Mouth of the Great God Bob is constantly deriding as being nonsense. From a paper I wrote on the subject a few years ago…

    Everyone knows about Freud’s Oedipus complex, in which a child’s identification with the same-sex parent and the successful resolution of the child’s desire for sexual relations with the opposite-sex parent is a key psychological experience that is necessary for the development of a mature sexuality and personality. It’s all very complicated, mostly because of its high psychoanalytic psychobabble content, and is of course predicated on Freud’s extensive experience with hysterical Jewish women in an emphatically anti-Semitic, sexually repressive era fixated on gender and sex. But like many religious ideas, it has some value as a metaphor, and in Agathon’s sense of the word, it’s entertaining.

    Unfortunately, Oedipus has been the vehicle for psychoanalysis to claim that gay people are pathologically immature by definition because they allegedly haven’t jumped through the appropriate hoops of jiggery-pokery and psychoanalytic argle-bargle– in other words, we aren’t heterosexual. (For a small fee, of course, some psychoanalysts will be happy to straighten out that dilemma, with a spectacular success rate rocketing towards zero). Of course, it didn’t occur to them that perhaps they just didn’t understand the situation, and were in fact putting the cart well before the horse manure.

    One of psychiatry’s (now mostly former) causes for a boy to come out gay was the idea that it it was a weak or absent father and a strong and dominant mother (notice the sexist bias) that were messing with the natural (and highly mythical in all ways) Oedipal primal drama. They made this statement with a certainty that was absolutely supported by a complete lack of evidence, no studies, and a whole lot of assumptions about gay men AND heterosexual men, sex, gender, and sexuality. Because it ignored the existence of bisexuals, a known phenomenon, it was very much like driving said cart with one wheel and no horse, although the cart has plenty of the manure. Like any religious statement, it must be so because they thought it was, and believing it was foundational to everything else that they thought. And since everything else they thought must be true, well, quod est demonstrandum.

  • Many years ago a friend of yours, an Irish ex-Catholic, entered the seminary mistakenly hoping to escape from his sexuality. It is actually a requirement that seminarians have a healthy normal sexuality.

    He arrived at the seminary and was shocked to find one of the reasons for not accepting homosexuals was that it represented a serious occasion of sin for homosexuals.

    He failed to report what he discovered to the Catholic authorities and decided to switch teams and was immensely happy there after.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a7/SisterInnocentaParis2007.jpg/255px-SisterInnocentaParis2007.jpg

  • I think the institution has become an idol in itself for authoritarians and those conservative laity and clerics alike who kowtow to them. Based on my reading, authoritarianism is ultimately rooted in FEAR. Thank you for the references.

  • My experience was very similar, except I stuck with it (way too) much longer. At the time, I think most of us there were aware or became aware that there were more than a few sexual liaisons occurring, between students, and between students and staff/administration. There were also straight seminarians who were hooking up with local women. But it was never openly discussed. It could be privately discussed with trusted individuals, though. I recall an event where a handful of guys got busted for going out to a local gay bar on a Saturday night, and every one of them literally disappeared from the seminary overnight. Not sure how they got themselves outed. It was beyond me how all the action occurring discretely was never dealt with, but a few guys going out to a bar (whee they probably didn’t have sex) was the ultimate transgression. A very insidious, dysfunctional culture. That’s the closet.

  • I’m scratching my head trying to digest that BobBob just took time out of his homophobic rampage to defend McCarrick. Wow. Something’s very wrong with this picture.

  • A culture that obsesses about sex and control. what could possibly be wrong with that? /s

  • “It is actually a requirement that seminarians have a healthy normal sexuality.”
    _____________________________

    Repression and imposed celibacy are not representative of healthy normal sexuality. Neither is it a healthy normal expression of sexuality for folks to obsess so much about homosexuality. That makes one quite suspect, you know. Besides, there is no way for seminary administrators to accurately assess others in this manner. They’re desperate enough as it is to have ANY candidates.

  • It is the closet, exactly. It’s why I have no issue with outing, especially of homophobes.
    Going to a bar=public exposure. Bad.
    A quick BJ in the broom closet= no one knows. So good.
    As my mother used to believe, a sin isn’t a sin if no one knows about it.

  • I’m not surprised that you would downplay the impact of Komonchak’s work on ecclesiology. If ever there was an American theologian who has stood solidly in the middle of discourse on church, that person is Joseph Komonchak. He is not a radical; he is not a reactionary. He is a moderate who draws the best from both sides of intra-church discussion and debate.

    Thank you for quoting Trent’s canon IV from the council’s 23rd session. And thank you thereby for supporting what I asserted earlier, namely, that the Church has never defined the meaning of the ontology of sacred orders and the indelible mark imprinted on the soul. Even I could have quoted canon IV, which — let me be very clear for your benefit — does not define the meaning of these two concepts. Seriously, you don’t demonstrate any substantive knowledge of these two ideas/doctrines. Looks like I just won another of your catseye marbles!

    You claim, “As an ex-Catholic with an axe to grind from whatever happened when you were an HR guy in government service I am sure you disagree, but who the h-ll the cares besides you?”

    You are so wrong-o, mon ami! I remain Catholic, just not “Roman”. Furthermore, I was still a practicing Roman Catholic while employed in civil service and did not formally leave the Church of Rome till more than 7 years after my retirement. Please, “R.A. Bob”, get your facts straight. My work in HR for Uncle Sam had nothing — nada, zero, zilch, zoogy — to do with my departure from the Church. Goodness gracious, sir, get a grip — not for my sake, but for yours! Another of your catseyes is mine.

    Re: the Catholic sacraments being 7 in number, I’ve never disputed this fact. I’m not even against these 7 sacraments. I mean, Really! I see no need to take a third marble for this correction.

    You write, “As to the existence of orders…blah, blah, blah.” I’ve never disputed the existence of Catholic ministerial orders. In fact, I’ve never suggested, much less asserted, getting rid of them. I haven’t even suggested, much less asserted, getting rid of Catholic ministerial ordination. I’ve no problem with the three traditional orders of deacon, presbyter, and bishop, nor do I have any problem with Catholic ministerial ordination. I support it all. As much as I like Wikipedia, your quote does not address what I wrote earlier. Sorry, mon ami, I must get another cateseye marble from you.

    The Holy Spirit goes where it will.

    Three catseye marbles — not bad if I say so myself :o)

  • The fact that you and CanisPulchrae are still at it tells us what culture obsesses about sex and control.

    And you both seem to like it.

  • “R.A. Bob”, are you still with me?

    You write, “Apparently you don’t ‘get’ what the Church calls an ‘ontological change’…blah, blah, blah.”

    You don’t, either, mon ami. You’re entitled to your parochial catechetical opinion, but papal/conciliar theology is silent on the matter.

  • What surprise is that? If someone like McCarrick can be ordained, and make it all the way to the College of Cardinals, then anyone can. Your fantasies about the priesthood are just that.

  • “Still at it”?? Still at *what*, exactly? I kissed a guy and I liked it. I’m happily married for well over 30 years. You and Tommy Aquinas, on the other hand, start spitting with rage (and I believe self-loathing) every time the subject arises. And quite often YOU are the one who brings it up.

  • The Church has a form of AIDS, wrought by the immoral light stepping clerics.

  • I assume there is zero point in providing the Gospel texts.

    Oh well, one did hope that as you neared the end of your life you’d grow at least a bit saner and less annoying.

  • There are no “Gospel texts” that demonstrate Jesus founding a church. On the other hand, we have a writing from Paul demonstrating the importance of the Resurrection in his and others’ preaching:

    “But if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty [too] is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all” (1 Cor 15:12-19).

    No Resurrection, no churches. And forget the only two references to “church” in all four canonical gospels. Matthew 16:18 and 18:17 are interpolations, i.e., material added later to the original oral or subsequent written narrative. Furthermore, there is no evidence the Apostles served as heads/bishops of local churches, much less ordained anyone to serve in this capacity. Jesus commissioned the Apostles to go forth, preach, and baptize (Mark 16:15-16). Their ministry was unique in that they personally witnessed Jesus’ earthly ministry and were commissioned by him, not by anyone else.

  • And those “links” are based on too many assumptions. Only lately have I concluded that Rome has been grasping at straws to somehow try to prove the so-called “validity” of its sacred orders. Jesus, of course, ordained no one, never claimed any kind of priesthood. The earliest liturgical presiders were unordained and served in this capacity by virtue of their community leadership. Ministerial ordination and language about “priesthood” would come decades later. Scripture outside the Gospel indicates that Jesus’ followers regarded him as a “prophet”, not as any kind of “priest”. HEBREWS with its typology is the one text in the New Testament that says Jesus is a “priest”, nay, a “high priest”!!! Apparently the writer of HEBREWS knew Jesus better than did Jesus himself :o) Typology proves nothing.

  • Holy Crapola!!!

    Demonstrates the need for seminaries to be shut down and for aspirants to the presbyterate to study in coed schools.

  • “R.A. Bob” writes, “The primary issue with ordaining homosexuals is that the seminary places them in a near occasion of sin, and makes it difficult if ordained to relate correctly to both men and women.”

    Joe J. responds, “The primary issue with ordaining heterosexuals is that the seminary, if at all possible, isolates them from women, and makes it difficult if ordained to stay out of the clutches of women looking for presumably good men to marry.”

    For “straight” guys, if the seminary is a hot house, the parish must at times be a carnal hell :o)

  • Ladaria and several others, including the Archbishop of Lyon, have been criminally charged in France, accusing of knowing about a priest’s past sexual abuses and not reporting it. The trial is set for 2019.

  • A defender of the Catholic Church attacking someone for living in a luxurious home? Oh that’s rich.

  • I defend facts, not the Catholic Church.

    Thomas Doyle is an ambulance-chasing and incompetent canon lawyer who makes his living assisting the likes of Jeffrey Anderson in civil suits and otherwise pontificating as though he actually knows what he’s talking about.

    I call’em like I see’em.

  • No, Ladaira has NOT been “criminally charged”.

    Fr. Bernard Preynat is going on trial in Lyons.

    As a side show La Parole Liberee, a French association along the lines of SNAP, is suing Cardinal Gerhard Muller and
    Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, respectively prefect and secretary of
    the Vatican’s Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, for failing to
    act.

    https://www.ncronline.org/news/accountability/french-cardinal-under-fire-dealings-priest-charged-abuse

  • If, as you suggest, the cardinal title can be removed at the drop of a hat (literally?), then why wasn’t this done to Law?

  • Because, despite the loud shouting from the usual suspects, he committed no criminal act nor any offense under Canon Law.

    Stupid or bad judgment are not punishable offenses.

  • Neat. Clean them out. I hope it keeps tumbling upward, rolls up and takes out a pope infected with Modernism.

  • Notice the drama and “firebreak” they’re trying to create in this article.

    as if legitimate questions about Farrell and Wuerl and Tobin and Cupich DON’T exist..and as if those questions themselves are now an attack on Francis.

    No..it’s very legitimate and rational to investigate what Farrell knew about McCarricks’ character and behavior observed in the SIX YEARS OF LIVING IN THE SAME APARTMENT AS MCCARRICK..AND IT’S ALSO LEGITIMATE TO ASK about what Wuerl and Tobin knew..and what role all of them had in supporting the light stepping Cupich.

  • Yes, you defend the Catholic Church, there’s nothing wrong with that. But what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander. Doyle’s residence doesn’t seem relevant in light of the luxury in which so many bishops live.
    Additionally, while military chaplain endorsements come and go, DUI convictions usually remain on your record. Not sure what happened to Doyle’s arrest, as neither “The Media Report” nor your synopsis gives details, but “ontologically transformed” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco did plead guilty to reckless driving after his DUI arrest, which took place a few days before his installation. He was sentenced to three years’ probation, attendance at a DMV first-arrest intervention program, and a MADD victim-impact lecture. In his defense, the SFPD described him as a pleasant drunk. So I can’t see how Doyle’s mere arrest is all that relevant. And in Cordileone’s case, you never know: maybe his probation officer came for a visit and became interested in Catholicism.

  • Ladaria is an orthodox, conservative cleric and is now in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s internal affairs bureau. Not sure you’d really want him out.

  • Thank you for the url to the homepage of Crux.

    Very useful.

    When I have a spare half hour I’ll see what I can find, but before posting my comment I already spent a fair amount of time and the facts appear to be (shockingly enough) as reported in the ncronline.org url.

  • Thanks, Joseph. It still amazes me that so much of God’s power in the world is assumed to be controlled and delivered into the world only in the hands of ordained priests.

    And that is my concern with the box that the Church has placed Jesus and God into. The writer of that piece you referenced says that there would be huge problems if an ordination turned out to be invalid – “…all the sacraments he celebrated would have been invalid…” . that includes marriage ceremonies, confessions he heard, etc.

    And that is my real problem with the whole idea of “ontological change.” What is the symbol of faith becomes a concrete necessity. The priest is important as a symbol but the purpose is to bring a person closer to God. If the person gets closer to God because of the actions of the priest, then the goal is accomplished – sins are forgiven, a marriage should be seen as valid, everyone who received the Eucharist at a Mass celebrated by that priest received our Lord.

    My issue is not really the presence or absence of a spiritual tattoo received at ordination, but the belief that God’s graces can only be delivered by someone with such a presumed tattoo. As if the faith of the person that is brought forth by participating in sacramental rituals matters not at all. As if God could not be present out of the faith of the people recognizing His presence.

    The priest is a symbol. The problem is that the Church has trapped Jesus behind that symbol.

    It isn’t that I don’t want or believe that the priests are important. It is just that I think we have distorted faith in Jesus and the life He calls us to live behind a wall that He did not build.

  • Doyle doesn’t have to be a bishop, that’s the point. Why should the bishops be allowed to live in opulence and not him?
    Thanks for bringing up diplomatic residences. You walk around NYC and see scores of developing nations’ consulates and UN missions housed in East Side brownstones out of the financial reach of the majority of New Yorkers, much less the constituents of these countries. Israel and the United Kingdom, on the other hand, seem to get by with rented office space. Have a luxurious home if you wish, for whatever reason you wish, but so can Doyle.

  • He’s another jesuit tool of a modernist pope. Not sure he’s all that conservative. He self-describes himself as moderately conservative.

  • This tangent about Doyle and bishops is simply silly.

    Doyle appears to be more con man than competent.

    Yes, having spent time in Washington, DC, and Paris I do understand diplomatic residences.

  • …same guys from whom you receive communion and absolution. Obviously, you have insecurities regarding your masculinity.

  • Bob Arnzen describes him as pretty conservative. Yes, he’s a Jesuit, so I get that you’re suspicious. Unlike his CDF predecessor Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), who was described as “God’s Rottweiler,” Ladaria is billed as a “nice guy” and “not an extremist.”

  • Small number of same sex chasers. too many but relatively small. the agenda types want us to think it’s 50%. They lie to themselves and others all the time. They can’t help it…their interior order is defective.

  • Thanks for your feedback. I fully agree. I’m reminded, too, of the supposed distinction that Rome makes between “spiritual communion” and “holy communion”. One writer noted that communion (meaning “to share in common”) is communion even though the Vatican claims that the “holy” form is superior to the “spiritual” form. And don’t even try to persuade self-described “orthodox/traditionalist” Catholics that there is no ultimate difference between the two forms of sharing with Jesus. I mean, God forbid :o)

  • I’ve no problem with asking what someone knew about McCarrick, but the columnist was noting the danger of “guilt by association”. We all deserve answers from people who had regular ongoing contact with the retired D.C. archbishop and with one another.

  • I disagree. We need a healthy presbyterate that sees itself *serving* in the *spirit of Vatican II*.

  • You don’t know that’s it a “small number”. That’s YOUR agenda. And with such a “small number”, you sure get your panrties in a bunch over it.

  • Well, the funny thing is there can be guilt by association. If someone by their association, friendship was in a reasonable position to know things…and didn’t’ they ARE GUILTY of not reporting.

  • Yes, there *can be* guilt by association, but we should await the evidence, do you not agree?

  • Hello, Stranger! Remember me? I hope you’re doing well. Some of the good folks from our old NCR gang have asked me to set up a new site so we can share as in the past. If you’re interested, you can contact me at [email protected] HOpe to hear how you’ve been. – Monica

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