Long-time readers of this blog know that I started it, and its precessor website, precisely because of the misbehaviors of Cardinal McCarrick. Often have I striven to shine the light on his hobnobbing with pro-aborts (such as John Sweeney and Ted Kennedy), rubbing elbows with dissidents like Sister Carol Keehan, turning a blind eye toward the fetal tissue research at Georgetown, and his enthusing about Islam. In light of the recent revelations about McCarrick, you might recall that I said nothing about the allegations of homosexual conduct that even then were swirling about the rumor mill. Why, you might ask?
The reason is quite simple. At the time the allegations were merely rumors. Until several weeks ago, there was no credible allegation that passed legal muster. Until several weeks ago, none of his victims stepped forth into the public to levy charges against him. Now more victims are stepping out of the shadows. But while the victims remained in the shadows, the rumors of homosexual crimes were precisely that - rumors, and unsubstantiated ones at that. I will put nothing on this blog that hasn't been substantiated with facts.
I was a bit troubled to see this piece from Church Militant yesterday, basically taking Catholic League President Bill Donohue to task for knowing but doing nothing. They did quote Donohue's statement. A very relevant piece of it is: "Everyone heard rumors about what was going on down in Sea Girt, on the New Jersey shore. I couldn't verify anything. Who am I? You hear rumors. A lot of rumors are untrue. These rumors turned out to be true." The CM article, towards the end, states that Donohue's "well-placed friends could have verified it for him". Perhaps, but what if Donohue asked and they didn't? How are they so all-fired certain that Donohue didn't try?
None of us would have known a thing had that allegation not been proven credible, with the accusor going public. None of us would dare shine the spotlight on this matter - not so much for fear of legal ramifications but because as Catholics we cannot go about rumor-mongering. I didn't give vent to the rumors for that reason. Donohue, for all his faults (yes, his praise of Wuerl's self-policing idea is, at best, laughable), should not be excoriated for his previous silence. If he tries to defend either Wuerl or McCarrick now that facts are coming forth, then I'd agree he might suffer from myopia - just as those who refuse to hold the pope accountable for his ever-increasing threats to the faith (ahem!).
On the Facebook wall of one of the CM staff, I and another blogger pointed out the pointlessness of accusing Donohue of anything, given that no one had come forth with hard data until the past two months. She tried to contradict us by saying that the site bishopaccountability.org reported on it, as well as Richard Sipe and Rob Drehr. Here''s what I saw on bishopaccountability. You'll have to scroll quite a bit to get to McCarrick. Notice how all the sources are within the past two months?
Regarding Richard Sipe, I see on the site traditioninaction an "open letter" that he wrote to Pope Benedict XVI detailing his concerns about McCarrick's antics. Well, he might indeed have supplied the details to Pope Benedict, but unless we were made privy to them, how on earth were we supposed to act? Without access to facts, we had no choice but to consider the allegations as rumors.
In that discussion I opined that the adult victims who remained silent shared some of the responsibility for allowing McCarrick to continue his rampage unimpeded. I still do. Silence is one of the nine ways that one can cooperate with sin. To those men: you have a moral duty to come forward and report your incidents to the public. While McCarrick himself may be out of circulation, perhaps your story will encourge victims of other pervert clergy to come forward so that those errant priests will be prevented from harming others in the future.
We need to be praying our rosaries for the Church and her ministers.