Catholic Controversies · Clergy Sex Abuse

Cardinal O’Malley’s statement is not enough

Main stream news sources, perhaps surprisingly, seem to be taking Cardinal O’Malley’s statement about the McCarrick Queer scandals at face value. 

Reuters: “Top Cardinal demands Vatican get tough with bishops on sex abuse.”

The Boston Globe: “Amid new sex abuse scandal, “O’Malley issues warning to church.”

Only at the bottom of the Globe article, do we find this nugget: 

O’Malley also responded to a New York City priest who, the Post reported, said he wrote a letter to O’Malley in 2015, citing “a form of sexual abuse/harassment/intimidation or maybe simply high-jinks as practiced by Theodore Cardinal McCarrick with his seminarians and perhaps other young men” in New Jersey.

O’Malley’s secretary wrote the priest back, saying O’Malley’s job, as president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, was to evaluate policies and procedures and make recommendations, not to review individual cases, the Post reported.

O’Malley reiterated that position Tuesday.

The Cardinal’s secretary, not the Cardinal himself, wrote back to a person raising a credible concern about clerical misconduct. The response, “not our job.”

And the Boston Globe takes Cardinal O’Malley’s call for “a strong and comprehensive policy” at face value? Maybe we need to enforce the policies we have? Maybe Cardinal’s could show a bit of common sense and compassion?

Meanwhile, Rod Dreher describes the Cardinal’s column as “world-class buck-passing,” in a post called, “Among the Apostolic Bureaucrats.”

If that’s true — if Cardinal O’Malley honestly was not informed by his staff of these grave accusations against a brother cardinal, alleging that he routinely abused seminarians sexually — then he ought to be firing those people, and expressing great remorse at this failure of leadership. That’s not what he did. The fact that his response is to issue a lawyerly denial, and a press release promising that this time, he’s going to get serious — it’s scarcely credible.

Cardinal O’Malley does not get a “pass.” Not from me, or Rod Dreher, or from National Review’s Michael Brendan Doughtery.

Tradition-minded, faithful Catholics: Our failing in the 2002 round of clerical sex abuse scandals was that our natural deference to authority led us to avert our eyes when we should have stayed focused. No more. We need to stay on the job here and see it through to the end.

The Queer-friendly media despise the Church: that is true. But they have reasons of their own for not looking too closely at the McCarrick scandal and all that it implies. They media and their allies in the Church are not likely to keep this in the news, nor to discuss all its relevant aspects.

So we have to.

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