Francis laicizes ‘Uncle Ted’…
Former Novus Ordo Cardinal returned to Lay State
This hasn’t happened to the former “Cardinal” Theodore McCarrick since the 1950’s: His official address is now Mister again. Ordained a priest on May 31, 1958, the disgraced sex abuser Theodore McCarrick will remain “a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech” (Ps 109:4); however, the Novus Ordo authorities are no longer allowing him to exercise this priesthood that was indelibly imprinted on his soul on the day of his ordination. For all intents and purposes, therefore, he is a layman again. (His subsequent ordination as bishop in 1977 was invalid.)
Today, Feb. 16, 2019, the Vatican released the following statement:
On 11 January 2019, the Congresso of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at the conclusion of a penal process, issued a decree finding Theodore Edgar McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., guilty of the following delicts while a cleric: solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power. The Congresso imposed on him the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state. On 13 February 2019, the Ordinary Session (Feria IV) of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith considered the recourse he presented against this decision. Having examined the arguments in the recourse, the Ordinary Session confirmed the decree of the Congresso. This decision was notified to Theodore McCarrick on 15 February 2019. The Holy Father has recognized the definitive nature of this decision made in accord with law, rendering it a res iudicata (i.e., admitting of no further recourse).
(Source: Vatican Bollettino of Feb. 16, 2019; italics given.)
Some initial news coverage of this major development can be found in the following links:
- “McCarrick removed from the Priesthood” (Vatican Insider)
- “Theodore McCarrick Dismissed From the Clerical State” (National Catholic Register)
- “Theodore McCarrick, Ex-Cleric” (Whispers in the Loggia)
- “McCarrick abuse trial: A CNA timeline” (Catholic News Agency)
That McCarrick was going to be laicized was pretty much expected, given the overwhelming evidence of his countless crimes against young adults and minors, apparently not even sparing a child as young as 11 years old (case of James Grein). The question is only whether this is a genuine first step to the Vatican II Sect getting serious about punishing and preventing sexual abuse, or whether McCarrick is simply being thrown under the bus for public relations purposes just days ahead of the Vatican abuse summit so that everything else can more or less stay the same while benefiting from the veneer of taking sex abuse seriously from now on.
“Abp.” Carlo Maria Viganó has recently also weighed in again on the whole matter, although it seems that his window of opportunity for having a real impact has closed and his ongoing occasional verbal ambushing from his comfortable safety spot is wearing out and becoming ineffective.
Francis likes to use tough words when it comes to condemning sex abuse, but his actions — aside from the rare high-profile ones like today’s on McCarrick — have told a different story. His shocking intervention on behalf of “Fr.” Mauro Inzoli, for example, his quick coming to the aid of “Bp.” Gustavo Zanchetta, and his professed belief that sins of impurity are “the least serious sins” reveal that Francis’ words often do not match his actions.
Interestingly enough, Francis has been obsessed with vividly denouncing gossip (detraction), especially within religious communities and in the Vatican. Could it be that his constant condemnation of gossip is not so innocent after all? Is he really trying to fight sins of the tongue, or is there a sinister, self-serving motive? His repeated carefree use of perverted vocabulary associated with the sodomite subculture in that regard — details can be read here — suggests that ensuring purity in words and thought is not the man’s primary motive.
Francis’ recent appointment of McCarrick’s former roommate “Cardinal” Kevin Farrell — who, of course, had not the slightest inkling of any of his buddy’s crimes over the years — as the lead figure for upcoming conclaves, also speaks volumes.
By the way, do you remember when Francis joked about McCarrick going to hell?