Tuesday, November 10, 2020

"Pope John Paul II Was Warned about Allegations of Sexual Impropriety by Theodore McCarrick, but Chose to Promote Him": My Response

Some headlines today:

Washington Post: "Vatican’s McCarrick report says Pope John Paul II knew of misconduct allegations nearly two decades before cardinal’s removal"

New York Times: "Vatican Report Places Blame for McCarrick’s Ascent on John Paul II"

CNN: "Vatican admits Pope John Paul II was warned about abusive archbishop Theodore McCarrick, while clearing Francis"

NBC: "Popes knew of allegations against ex-Cardinal McCarrick years ago, report finds"

Wall Street Journal: "Pope John Paul II Was Warned About Theodore McCarrick Sex-Abuse Allegations, Made Him D.C. Archbishop"

National Catholic Reporter: "Vatican's explosive McCarrick report largely places blame on John Paul II," where Joshua McElwee writes,

The Vatican places an abundance of responsibility on Pope John Paul II, who appointed McCarrick as archbishop of Washington in 2000 and made him a cardinal in 2001.

The report reveals that the late pontiff, now a Catholic saint, made those appointments despite being warned in 1999 by then-New York Cardinal John O'Connor that McCarrick had been the subject of anonymous allegations and was known to invite seminarians to sleep in the same bed as him.

And as Michael Sean Winters writes in NCR in an article entitled "What the McCarrick report tells us about the culture of the hierarchy,"

The report makes an assertion that we have heard before, albeit in more guarded language here. "Though there is no direct evidence, it appears likely from the information obtained that John Paul II's past experience in Poland regarding the use of spurious allegations against bishops to degrade the standing of the Church played a role in his willingness to believe McCarrick's denials," the report states.

This theory no longer carries much weight. By the time McCarrick was appointed to Washington, John Paul II had been pope for 22 years. Communism had ceased to control Poland for 11 years. And John O'Connor was not a Communist agent. John Paul's unwillingness to investigate the grave allegations contained in O'Connor's letter, written while the cardinal was already dying from terminal brain cancer, is profoundly damning.

And here's what I have to say about this report

So now it starts coming out: St. John Paul II is responsible for launching McCarrick on his career as a kingmaker among US bishops — and he knew full well who McCarrick was and what McCarrick was doing when he made him archbishop of DC:

The late Pope John Paul II was warned about allegations of sexual impropriety by Theodore McCarrick, but chose to promote him to Archbishop of Washington anyway following McCarrick's own denials and an investigation by American bishops that returned 'inaccurate and incomplete information,' an internal Vatican investigation concluded Tuesday.

Now are they going to be further transparent and admit that St. John Paul II knew full well who and what Marcial Maciel was, as he shielded that bucket of filth for years?

Now that it has been "officially" revealed by the Vatican that St. John Paul II knew McCarrick was sharing a bed with seminarians at the time St. John Paul II made him archbishop of DC and a cardinal, keep in mind what else St. John Paul II and his watchdog Ratzinger were doing.

Even as St. John Paul II elevated McCarrick, he and Ratzinger were viciously attacking LGBTQ human beings, introducing to the catechism an ugly definition of gay folks as "intrinsically disordered," evicting groups seeking outreach to the LGBTQ community from Catholic premises.

This attack on LGBTQ people, which St. John Paul II and Ratzinger began in the 1980s, resulted in a quiet exodus of large numbers of queer people from Catholic parishes, and in the targeting of queer employees of Catholic institutions.

It also went hand in hand with a strategy confected in the highest circles of the church of blaming the abuse situation on gay priests, and targeting gay priests and excluding gay men from the priesthood.  

Even as St. John Paul II elevated McCarrick knowing his history….

Also not to be missed in this story: McCarrick was given every consideration, despite allegations of sexual misbehavior against him. He was consulted, allowed to defend himself, to explain. And then St. John Paul II elevated him to a cardinal's position.

Lay Catholics fired by Catholic institutions are NEVER given such consideration, almost never given a chance to defend themselves against false charges made against them, almost never even told what those charges are.

The 100+ theologians that St. John Paul II and Ratzinger brutally silenced were not ever given a chance to defend themselves, to know who was making charges against them, to know the substances of the charges.  

But — as a cleric, because he is a cleric — McCarrick was given every consideration.  

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