On 24 July, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap, issued a statement, published on the Archdiocese of Boston website, on the “Uncle Ted” McCarrick case.
Many observers have been anxiously awaiting as much given that O’Malley serves as President of Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
The statement is being applauded in many circles, largely thanks to the following:
These cases and others require more than apologies … Transparent and consistent protocols are needed to provide justice for the victims and to adequately respond to the legitimate indignation of the community. The Church needs a strong and comprehensive policy to address bishops’ violations of the vows of celibacy in cases of the criminal abuse of minors and in cases involving adults.
My experience in several dioceses and my work with the members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors have brought me to this conclusion.
OK, let’s talk about Cardinal O’Malley’s experience, shall we?
He has been at the helm of the aforementioned Pontifical Commission since its inception in March of 2014 – a full four years before McCarrick’s suspension.
According to well-documented reports, however, any number of allegations of sexual abuse (homosexual abuse, that is) on the part of Uncle Ted had been submitted to Rome over the course of many years.
Where did all of these reports of McCarrick’s homo-shenanigans go? Is it possible that this information never made its way to Cardinal Seán, as he likes to be called? (How very humble!)
Consider O’Malley’s brother in the College of Cardinals, Joseph “Nighty Night” Tobin, who revealed that the Archdiocese of Newark that he has led since 2016 was forced to pay out settlements in cases of sexual abuse involving McCarrick and three adults.
Is it possible that Tobin never whispered as much as a peep to O’Malley (or even bothered to send him a Tweet) that might put Uncle Ted on the Pontifical Commission’s radar?
At this, let’s talk about Fr. Boniface Ramsey, O.P. As reported in the July 22nd edition of the Washington Post:
Ramsey said he called the Vatican’s U.S. representative, [Papal Nuncio, Archbishop] Gabriel Montalvo, in the fall of 2000 and told him what he’d heard about McCarrick, who had just been named to the post of D.C. archbishop. Montalvo strongly encouraged Ramsey to put everything in writing, Ramsey said. Ramsey later told Montalvo that he was afraid McCarrick would find out. “He told me: ‘Send the letter! What do you think we are — fools? Send the letter.’ So I sent the letter. I never got a response.”
Montalvo died in 2006.
In March 2015, Ramsey said he ran into McCarrick at the funeral of Cardinal Edward Egan of New York City and became upset that the cardinal was still out and about, he said. He wrote a letter a few months later to Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, one of Francis’s key advisers on preventing clerical abuse, saying the issue was about “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” when McCarrick was in New Jersey.
Within a few days, Ramsey received a note back from the Rev. Robert Kickham, O’Malley’s secretary. O’Malley, Kickham clarified, as president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, is responsible for “evaluating child protection policies and procedures . . . and to offer recommendations to improve” those policies. Commission members don’t review individual cases that fall under local authorities, he wrote. “Please know of our appreciation for your care and concern for the good of the Church and the people of God.”
Ramsey provided copies of his letter to O’Malley and Kickham’s response to The Post. O’Malley and his spokesman declined to comment.
In his statement of July 24, Cardinal O’Malley broke his silence on the matter, stating:
Recent media reports also have referenced a letter sent to me from Rev. Boniface Ramsey, O.P. in June of 2015, which I did not personally receive. In keeping with the practice for matters concerning the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, at the staff level the letter was reviewed and determined that the matters presented did not fall under the purview of the Commission or the Archdiocese of Boston, which was shared with Fr. Ramsey in reply.
So, are we to believe that Fr. Robert Kickham simply took it upon himself to keep Fr. Ramsey’s letter and its contents to himself?
This afternoon, on behalf of The Catholic Inquisitor, I reached out to Mr. Michael Kieloch, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Boston, for further information. I specifically asked the following:
Is Fr. Kickham willing, or planning, to publicly confirm that he chose, of his own volition, not to forward Fr. Ramsey’s 2015 letter (re: Cardinal McCarrick) to Cardinal O’Malley as addressed? Is he likewise willing or planning to state publicly that he never even mentioned it to His Eminence? Lastly, where is the actual letter presently, and to whom, if anyone, was it or a copy ever forwarded?
In return, I received the following response from Mr. Terrence Donilon, Secretary for Communications & Public Affairs for the Archdiocese, stating:
Mike Kieloch forwarded your email to me from this afternoon. I would refer you to the Cardinal’s statement…
In other words, the answer is no – Fr. Kickham will silently allow himself to take the fall for failing to alert Cardinal O’Malley about the serious allegations that were leveled against Cardinal McCarrick by another priest.
If you believe for even a moment that Cardinal O’Malley was genuinely ignorant about the homo-predatory tendencies of Uncle Ted McCarrick until very recently, and what’s more that he is, as he claimed in his July 24th statement, “deeply troubled by these reports that have traumatized many Catholics and members of the wider community,” may God help you overcome your naiveté.
Even so, it seems that Cardinal O’Malley is widely considered by many to somehow be above the fray in such matters.
With this in mind, I also reached out for comment to Randy Engel, whose research into the clerical sex abuse scandal is unparalleled, as is her keen sense for related lies and cover-ups. She replied:
The prelate (O’Malley) is a washout on the clerical sex abuse issue. It is impossible that he didn’t know about McCarrick. O’Malley has headed the Vatican’s Sex Abuse of Minors Commission for years. The Commission has done nada, zilch, zero to clean out the Church’s homo stables. Until the McCarrick mess, O’Malley showed no interest at cracking down on the abuse of seminarians by their bishops.
The man has a great public relations staff. That’s the best that can be said for him.
All of this having been said, I agree wholeheartedly with Cardinal O’Malley’s contention that the Church needs a strong and comprehensive policy to address bishops who either engage in sexual abuse or fail to properly address it.
If such a policy should ever be put in place, providing it be worth a wooden nickel, Cardinal Seán may very well find himself banished to a remote location and perhaps even bunkmates with one Uncle Ted McCarrick.
May it please God to let us live to see the day.
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