“Uncle Ted” McCarrick: Queen Pin of the Lavender Mafia

September 2018

What can we say? It is now becoming universally apparent that what was once called the “clerical sex-abuse crisis” is actually a much broader and more sordid affair. As if a Catholic priest’s sexually abusing minors weren’t evil enough in and of itself, we came to learn that these abuser priests, when caught, weren’t handed over to law-enforcement officials or disciplined in any meaningful way by their bishops. Instead, bishops transferred abuser priests from parish to parish or diocese to diocese, turning these predators into serial offenders — a scandal of the highest order.

Veteran NOR readers will hardly be surprised to hear that there’s more to the story. Yes, it gets worse. We identified the problem — the root cause of all the clerical sex-abuse scandals — in these pages more than 15 years ago as the “Lavender Mafia.” Believe it or not, that moniker was coined by liberal Chicago priest and popular novelist Fr. Andrew Greeley, an unlikely critic of what he once described as a network of homosexual priests and bishops who promoted one another, supported one another, and covered up one another’s crimes. We’re not talking about homosexual clerics who choose to live chastely; we’re talking about those who actively embrace the homosexual lifestyle. “It is from the ranks of these priests that most (not all, admittedly) of the abuse cases have arisen,” said Catholic apologist Karl Keating (as quoted in our New Oxford Note “Why Won’t Our Bishops Solve the ‘Gay’ Priest Problem?” Jul.-Aug. 2004). “The priestly scandal has not been so much about priests abusing children as about homosexual priests acting out their homosexuality with teenagers and young adults.”

This is an important point — a very important point — to acknowledge when seeking to understand the abuse problems that have plagued the Church in recent decades. It was explored in depth by NOR Associate Editor Michael S. Rose in his book Goodbye, Good Men (2002) and again by Philip F. Lawler in The Faithful Departed (2010). The Lavender Mafia controlled the vocations offices, seminaries, and chanceries of many dioceses, right up to the office of the bishop. (Alas, this is still true in some places.) They functioned as gatekeepers, facilitating a culture of gross sexual immorality and a self-preserving protective network formed around that immorality. Anyone who objected to this mission was ostracized, rejected, or dismissed. Those complicit in the prevailing agenda were given preferential treatment. It’s really as simple as that.

By now, most readers will have heard of the revelations concerning Theodore Cardinal McCarrick. After the now-retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., was named in an abuse complaint this summer, stories about his checkered background flooded news outlets and blogs the world over. We have The New York Times to thank for this. Although far from perfect in its journalistic integrity over the years, the Times did its job on this one. The article that burst the dam (“American Cardinal Accused of Sexually Abusing Minor Is Removed from Ministry,” June 20) reported that an investigation by the Archdiocese of New York uncovered “credible allegations” that McCarrick had “sexually abused a teenager” while serving as an archdiocesan priest and secretary to Terence Cardinal Cooke. According to the report, the abuse started in 1971, when the young man was a 16-year-old student at Cathedral Prep Seminary in Manhattan and planning to become a priest; McCarrick forcibly assaulted him in the cathedral sacristy, in the bathroom, and elsewhere.

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New Oxford Notes: September 2018

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A couple little comments lately have made almost sick to my stomach. One was talking about the recent sexual molestation scandal in the Chicago Public School system being "almost as bad as the Catholic Church". So now we're a touchstone - the ultimate descriptor of this evil. I'm no fan of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but he owned it. A secular leftie seems to have more moral conviction than the whole gaggle of American bishops. Where are the men we're supposed to look up to? There are no doubt decent men in their ranks, but by now we should be seeing open warfare and not a few broken noses. Priests and especially bishops need to grow a pair and completely root this out. There is no place whatsoever in the Catholic Church for practising homosexuals. Amongst the clergy, there should not be a whiff of this derangement.

A comment from the September 9th Washington Post article regarding Deacon James Garcia refusing to participate in any Mass offered by Cardinal Wuerl;

"... somewhere on this planet an innocent child is being raped by a Catholic Priest. Or being groomed for rape by a Catholic priest. Shame on the Laity of the Catholic church for financially supporting the ultimate evil: The Rape Of Children."

He's right. When I see people putting anything into the collection plate now, I can't help but think that they really are part of the problem. Put your regular contribution into a separate bank account and save it for what is sure to be a very needy church in the future. Paying to keep the lights on and churches warm can happen without anything going to Rome.

I'm so sickened by it all, I would like to leave - but I can't. David Warren at DavidWarrenOnline.com is right.

"The Church, from her curial centre in Rome, has been invaded by something unambiguously demonic.

Many are leaving the Church in disgust. They are cowardly fools. By this act they can only intend to surrender the governance of the Church to devils. They abandon Christ on the hill of Calvary. Fools, because they will not find salvation in any other quarter."
Posted by: Rob
September 11, 2018 02:33 PM EDT
Hey Rob,
A word of comfort for you: as given to me by a good preist at Fatima, Portugal: “never forget that in the end God is in charge”.
Just thank God that his grace has allowed you to be repulsed by evil and attracted by good.
Posted by: carlpike
September 12, 2018 04:41 AM EDT
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