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Pope Francis greets then Cardinal McCarrickJonathan Newton-Pool/Getty Images


July 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – As details and allegations continue to emerge about liberal Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s decades of abusing young boys and men, more questions than answers are surfacing.

How Pope Francis will respond and whether McCarrick will remain in the College of Cardinals or be defrocked (“the expected sanction if McCarrick were a mere priest,” the Associated Press noted) remain to be seen. There are also questions about bishops – including Kevin Farrell, who is now a cardinal and runs the Vatican dicastery in charge of life and family affairs for the Church – who rose to power under McCarrick. And, as was the case during the earlier years of the massive and apparently nowhere-close-to-ending sex abuse scandal, there are many questions about who in Church leadership knew, when they knew, and why they remained silent.

McCarrick’s removal from public ministry this summer coincided with Pope Francis’ acceptance of the resignation of Honduran Auxiliary Bishop Juan José Pineda Fasquelle of Tegucigalpa, who was also accused of sexually abusing seminarians. Pineda is also accused of financial misconduct involving money spent on trips and accommodations for his gay lovers and the misappropriation of a $1 million government grant. Pineda was a close collaborator of one of the pope’s most trusted advisors, Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga, who himself has been accused of a massive financial scandal involving the years-long monthly reception of $40,000 USD from a Catholic university under his control and funneling millions of dollars to foreign corporations that have mysteriously lost part of the deposits.

“Will Francis revoke his title as cardinal?” the AP asked of McCarrick. “And will Francis, who has already denounced a ‘culture of cover-up’ in the church, take the investigation all the way to the top, where it will inevitably lead? McCarrick’s alleged sexual misdeeds with adults were reportedly brought to the Vatican’s attention years ago.”

“The matter is now on the desk of the pope, who has already spent the better part of 2018 dealing with a spiraling child sex abuse, adult gay priest sex and cover-up scandal in Chile that was so vast the entire bishops’ conference offered to resign in May,” the news agency noted.

“Every day, every hour, that Cdl. McCarrick remains a member of the college is a fresh scandal,” tweeted Ed Peters, a top U.S. canon lawyer. “The question of canonical criminal sanctions should also be seriously considered.”

“A chilling culture of silence regarding allegations of sexual misconduct in the Church has been exposed,” canon lawyer Ed Condon wrote at Catholic News Agency. Church leaders’  “expressions of surprise, sorrow, and sympathy for the victims seem almost robotic at this point. Until such time as bishops who ignore misconduct among their peers are held to account for their effective complicity, there seems little hope that the cycle of scandals will be broken.”

Another facet of the McCarrick scandal that has raised questions is the revelation of a letter from Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s secretary to Father Boniface Ramsey, who wrote to the cardinal about McCarrick’s abuses. (Fr. Ramsey had been sounding the alarm within the Church about McCarrick for 30 years “without getting anywhere,” he says.)

In that letter, O’Malley’s secretary Father Robert Kickham responded to Fr. Ramsey’s complaints about McCarrick by saying that as the head of the pope’s new anti-sex abuse commission, O’Malley does not investigate such claims but only evaluates and makes recommendations on “child protection policies and procedures.”

Could the cardinal at least have alerted someone else in the Vatican? (He so far has refused to comment on his communications with Fr. Ramsey.)  

“What are the odds that [Washington, D.C.’s Cardinal Donald] Wuerl knew nothing about all this? What is he thinking now?” asked Julia Duin at Get Religion. “He’ll dodge questions about McCarrick, so the trick is to ask Wuerl about himself. Did he do anything behind the scenes to edge McCarrick out of the picture?”

Journalists should “dust off those sex abuse sources from your Rolodex and email files,” and start asking more questions. She also suggested major newspapers start devoting more time and resources to reporting on the McCarrick scandal and the many parts of Church life it has no doubt reached.

“Compared to the huge coverage by heaps of reporters last year on Judge Roy Moore, I’m not seeing a whole lot of journalistic resources being expended on McCarrick,” wrote Duin. “It doesn’t matter that he’s retired. The story of networks of gay clergy and bishops, the ruined lives of molested children and the involvement of Pope Francis – as well as two popes previous to him – go way beyond one man.”

How the ‘lavender mafia’ controls the Church’s inner workings

In a lengthy piece about the network of homosexual clergy and prelates with whom McCarrick was entangled, Rob Dreher explained how gay priests in positions of power manipulate seminarians and set them up for future blackmail:

The whole theory of the “lavender mafia” in the Catholic hierarchy is that sexually active gay men are in positions of authority in the Church — cardinals, archbishops, bishops, heads of religious orders, seminary rectors — and control which priests and laymen advance within the organization, and which ones are sidelined. They promote each other, keep each other’s secrets, and marginalize threats to their power.

They also, the theory goes, keep each other in line, so to speak. When I was covering this [Catholic Church sex abuse] story full time over a decade ago, the Catholic sociologist Richard Sipe told me that the system works like this. When predatory gay priests run seminaries, they select on a bias for gay candidates (this story, by the way, was well told in Michael Rose’s 2002 book Goodbye, Good Men). Gay seminarians who intend to be celibate, Sipe said, face tremendous pressure to have sex. If they slip up even once, their failure will be noted, and shared, said Sipe back then (I’m talking 2002-03). And they will be made to understand that their lapse is remembered. Later, as a priest, predators within the priesthood have that knowledge to hold over the heads of other gay priests, to keep them silent if they ever have the desire to blow whistles.

When I was covering the scandal in the early 2000s, I spoke to several, unconnected heterosexual men — priests, former priests, seminarians — who said that gay seminary rectors or diocesan officials encouraged them to take female sexual partners, so that they too would be complicit in sexual secret-keeping, and therefore no longer a potential danger. Nothing in a system like that is a greater threat to the corrupt than men who are not corrupt.

Information about fellow priests and bishops’ former sexual trysts can then be used to blackmail them for other purposes – for example, they can then be blackmailed by those with damning information into making public statements about “who can and can’t” receive Holy Communion, or on other topics of moral and theological significance.

Dreher even called to readers’ attention a former priest’s lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Newark (a former McCarrick territory now run by homosexuality-promoting Cardinal Joseph Tobin) for discriminating against him based on his “heterosexuality” and because he complained about the sex abuse and gay subculture persisting in his diocese. The priest said he faced discrimination for being heterosexual because the Church was predominantly run by homosexuals.

‘Boy-rapist Uncle Ted McCarrick’s protegé in the Vatican is overseeing family policy for the global church’

“What needs to be looked into now is how McCarrick’s influence spread through the appointment of bishops who got their starts serving as auxiliaries to him in Newark and Washington,” Dreher suggested. He acknowledged that “being associated with McCarrick does not make these men guilty of anything,” but nevertheless, “their own clerical careers are intimately tied with an archbishop who is now known to have been a sexual abuser of seminarians and priests, and even a rapist of minors.”

“Were these men sexually compromised by McCarrick when they were subject to his authority? What did they know? What, if anything, did they do with that knowledge?” he asked. “I don’t expect them to answer those questions. But I do expect people to ask them.”

Most of the bishops who served under McCarrick when he was Archbishop of Newark and then went on to run other dioceses are deceased or retired, with two exceptions: Paterson Bishop Arthur Serratelli and Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio.

When McCarrick was Archbishop of Washington, three of his auxiliary bishops went on to head dioceses of their own: Archbishop William E. Lori, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, and Bishop Martin David Holley.

Holley is now the Bishop of Memphis. Lori is the Archbishop of Baltimore and was instrumental in leading the U.S. bishops’ religious freedom initiatives as the Obama administration imposed oppressive regulations on Catholic entities.

Pope Francis made Farrell a cardinal in 2016. Now in charge of the Vatican’s life and family dicastery, Farrell has endorsed Jesuit Father James Martin’s pro-LGBT book. He is also in charge of the World Meeting of Families, a huge international Catholic conference that this year will feature Fr. Martin as a speaker and has already featured a lesbian “upset” with Catholic doctrine in a promotional video. The conference is taking place in Ireland, which just voted to legalize abortion as the pope and those around him remained silent.

A booklet promoting the 2018 World Meeting of Families, released by the Irish bishops, contained images of same-sex couples and text promoting the LGBT cause. The bishops deleted those parts after LifeSiteNews reported on it.

Farrell’s coat of arms was also designed to honor McCarrick.

“So, seminarian-abuser and boy-rapist Uncle Ted McCarrick’s protegé in the Vatican is overseeing family policy for the global church, and is the master of this family festival in Dublin intended to celebrate Pope Francis’s teaching on love and family,” observed Dreher. “Think about that. Again, guilt by association is wrong, but you’d have to be a complete idiot not to wonder about what Kevin Farrell knows, and what he had to do — and refrain from doing — to gain the patronage of Uncle Ted.”

The writer noted that Cardinal Tobin, who is said to have been given the Archdiocese of Newark at McCarrick’s “behest,” has also endorsed Fr. Martin’s book.

It also may be relevant to visit once again Tobin’s infamous “nighty-night, baby. I love you,” tweet and ask him if it really was meant to be a private message to his sister.

Dreher concluded by pointing out that fear of appearing “homophobic” seems to have prevented many in the media from reporting on the rampant adult male-on-male sex that underpins so much of the Catholic priesthood and episcopacy in recent decades.

It has now been more than a month since McCarrick was removed from public ministry, and the bombshells about his pederasty continue to drop, with victims retaining legal counsel and coming forward.