Cardinal McCarrick spent decades misusing children, seminarians, and young priests. It’s worse than awful. Abusing children is not just a horrible sin; it’s also a crime. McCarrick may escape judgment in this life; unless he repents, he will not be so “lucky” in the next. His disgusting life and lifestyle were unknown to a few, but enabled by many who abused their own positions of trust by their silence, allowing McCarrick to abuse his. It really gives us a glimpse how dark, how perverse Sodomites tend to be.
My own Archbishop in Atlanta, Wilton Daniel Gregory was once upon a time (2000-2004) the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archbishop Gregory was also put in charge of investigating sexual abuse by the clergy. Earlier this month, he wrote a letter expressing his surprise at the McCarrick revelations.
It was the kind of stuff you’d expect of a career politician: platitudes, invocation of his own victim status (being hurt/disheartened/sad; basic girl stuff). He also attempted to distance himself from McCarrick (“I never knew or suspected the hidden side of [the] man”) . He was shocked. Shocked I tell you! All those years hobbing and knobbing. Not a clue. Shocking indeed!
Overcoming my indifference, I wrote a Letter to Archbishop Gregory. Frankly, I thought it would be an exercise in futility, which may turn out to be the case.
Mostly I was bothered by how much he talked about himself and his own feelings, that he never used the word “sin” or “homosexual.” Not even once. He seemed oblivious to the fact that this scandal is really a Sodomite problem. I thought oblivious. It might actually be indifferent.
I was also incensed that he had appointed a pro-homosexual priest to be in charge of “ministering to sex abuse victims.” Monsignor Henry Gracz was named as pastor of The Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Atlanta by Archbishop Gregory. In purely theological terms this is called having the fox guard the hen house.
After my letter was mailed I discovered more darkness in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
In 2010, two priests in Atlanta got ratted out by one of the guys they were sharing fecal matter with, one Dale Chappell. They met in a Sodomite bar; didn’t tell Chappelle they were priests; and, were doing their nasty deeds in the church rectory among other places. One of the priests, took the room-temperature challenge and lost, presumably from a disease common to Sodomites.
The other priest, Juan Fernando Areiza, was a priest at St. Andrews Catholic Church in Roswell, Georgia. Archbishop Gregory removed Areiza from his post and sent him to counseling. When asked if Areiza was going to be restored to his priestly duties, Archbishop Gregory’s office responded that it was a possibility, but unlikely.
Perfect. I’d say breaking your vows, committing sacrilege, engaging in gravely disordered sexual activities, desecrating the rectory, frequenting gay bars, and scandalizing the people who you swore to help is definitely worth of the “possible, but unlikely” punishment. Oh, the humanity.
Even before Chappell had his public hissy-fit (because he was fine with sodomy and all, but sodomy with priests is icky and that went against his “religious and moral values”), Archbishop Gregory knew that Areiza had the revolving door thing going on in his basement apartment at the rectory, entertaining a perpetual stream of young men. Gregory knew and did nothing.
Gregory met with the Areiza’s accuser privately and promised “swift and certain” action against the priests (which is remarkably similar to the language Archbishop Gregory promised in his August 9, 2018 letter to the flock he purports to shepherd). “Swift and certain” is apparently archdiocesan code for “I’m telling my lawyers.” Gregory then sicked his super-lawyers on the twice-used Mr. Chappell. Nothing pisses off a sodomite faster than telling on him.
Archbishop Gregory’s public statement gives the impression that it’s all good, because everyone was an adult and gave their consent. Nothing to see here, move along citizens. And, never missing an opportunity to call sin a sin, Archbishop Gregory said – and I quote – “[crickets]”.
Gregory did say that the “Church is saddened and disappointed to learn of these inappropriate actions.” Hey, wait a minute! Those were the same words he used to describe the McCarrick scandal. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting Archbishop Gregory a thesaurus for Christmas.
But getting back to Areiza (you remember, the “possible, but unlikely” priest). On June 6, 2013, Archbishop Gregory announced that Areiza was given his very own parish, St. Francis of Assisi in Blairsville, Georgia. You know, it could be that Gregory just has a zany sense of humor (“Hey, Monsignor, I think I’ll send a sissy to Assisi.” I know, it’s not funny if you have to explain it). Or, it could be something else. Probably something else.
Then, in June of 2018, Gregory announced that Areiza is now assigned as pastor of Saint Pius X Church in Conyers, Georgia. Maybe the new motto for the Archdiocese should be, The Possibilities are Endless. Father Areiza really likes that one: he gets all giggly every time he hears it.
In stark contrast to Archbishop Gregory, stands Robert Morlino, Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin. Bishop Morlino also wrote a pastoral letter in response to the McCarrick scandal. Unlike Gregory, Bishop Morlino did not shrink and did not shirk:
There must be no room left, no refuge for sin — either within our own lives, or within the lives of our communities. To be a refuge for sinners (which we should be), the Church must be a place where sinners can turn to be reconciled. In this I speak of all sin. But to be clear, in the specific situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics. We’re also talking about homosexual propositions and abuses against seminarians and young priests by powerful priests, bishops, and cardinals. We are talking about acts and actions which are not only in violation of the sacred promises made by some, in short, sacrilege, but also are in violation of the natural moral law for all. To call it anything else would be deceitful and would only ignore the problem further.
Gregory’s August 9th letter speaks volumes by what he doesn’t say. He mentions Jesus twice in the opening paragraph and “the People of God” twice, as well . . . but never God Himself. He doesn’t reference sin; doesn’t mention the homosexual behavior that goes to the demonic heart of this scandal. Zero. Nada. Zilch. He cannot fix what he refuses to acknowledge. I’m beginning to get the idea that he might not want to.
Consider Archbishop Gregory’s career – I believe the word choice in Holy Scripture is hireling. For part of the time that McCarrick was misusing young boys and men; Gregory was President of the USCCB; McCarrick and others were referring to each other (and themselves) using women’s names; Gregory didn’t have a clue. His August 9th letter generically calls out bishops who were “mishandling allegations of abuse”; yet he doesn’t name names. Doesn’t he want the sheep to know who the wolves are? As President of the USCCB, he spoke “in [his] own name and the name of the Church”; yet he immunized himself and the other bishops from pastoral duty by declaring it to be a “parish problem.” He offered “assurances” and nothing changed. Now he offers more platitudes and another plan to form – God help us – a commission! By his own admission, his first plan failed. His current proposal is nothing more than a bid for an instant replay. So, you tell me: are these the actions of a Shepherd . . . or a hireling?
Come to find out that hireling might be just a wee bit too generous. You know, the good thing about wolves in sheep’s clothing: They always leave wolf prints.