Today the USCCB announced that Cardinal McCarrick submitted to the pope his resignation from the College of Cardinals; the pope accepted that resignation and directed that the now ex-cardinal spend his life in prayer and penance in seclusion.
While this news is welcome, it is not altogether unexpected. When the story broke on June 20 that he had been removed from public ministry, I and others speculated that he might well be the designated "fall guy", taking "one for the team" and being handsomely rewarded for it. They were perhaps hoping that after the removal, that the public's admittedly fickle attention would be diverted elsewhere and McCarrick's situation fall off the communal radar. However, the media, both secular and the faithful Catholic outlets did not let it die. In fact, we started to ask questions about the network that kept McCarrick and others in office for decades while these crimes were occurring.
It was probably our interest in a large-scale boycott of all diocesan collections (and the USCCB ones) that really caused them to adopt more intensive damage-control measures - hence today's announcement. They probably fear not only the loss of revenues but the prospect of us probing into their skullduggary and exposing the cancer that they unleashed upon Holy Mother Church.
So now McCarrick is removed. We don't know how voluntary that resignation was, but at this point it doesn't matter. I suspect there will be no real change in his lifestyle. At his age he wasn't engaged in that much public ministry anyway. I believe he'll live in relative comfort. They won't do too much to him because they realize that he may well have dirt on many of them. We certainly must pray that he does repent and make a good confession before it's time for him to stand before God, as we all must.
Let the USCCB and the Vatican understand that while we are pleased at this first step, by no means are we satisfied. We will not be mollified by one prelate's removal, when there is an entire network of evil infesting the Church. We intend to keep probing, and yes, we will exercise our "power of the purse strings". The glare of public attention will not abate, although our donations certainly will.
Certainly we can say that no more will the donations of hard-working faithful Catholics go towards legal settlements occasioned by the debauched romps and orgies of faithless and perverted prelates. Case in point: the diocese of Great Falls - Billings Montana has to cough up $20 million to pay off several victims of perverted clergy. They had the unmitigated gall to go to their parishioners and tell them that 1) each parish would have to fork over 10% of their savings accounts (money from the laity) and 2) each family was expected to "donate" $1,000.00. My hope and prayer is that the Montana laity will tell Bishop Warfel to take his extortion demand and "shove it where the sun don't shine". Warfel's shakedown is nothing short of an outrage.
McCarrick should never have received that red hat. When that bestowal was announced, some went to Rome to advise Pope John Paul II of his crimes. Sadly, the pope ignored them. Those unnamed individuals are now justified. But there is the whole network that helped McCarrick move up the ladder to his former positions of influence. There are the prelates who most likely knew of his crimes. Let's shine the spotlight on them as we both pray our Rosaries and withhold our donations.
Below is a panel discussion that aired last night before news of McCarrick's removal broke this morning. Listen to get a flavor of the outrage that needs to continue to purge our Church of the filth and vermin within her halls.
Cognitive Dissonance: the Francis Effect
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