Sunday 24th September 2023

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

“What The Hell Is Going On In The Catholic Church?”

June 25, 2022 Frontpage No Comments


In the fall of 2004, the local news here in Northern Virginia, reported that the pastor of St. John the Apostle in Leesburg had been arrested for the possession of child pornography.
To obtain the details of the charges, I made a routine call to the Commonwealth Attorney’s office in Loudoun County, where Leesburg serves as the county seat. I mentioned that I wrote for a Catholic newspaper, nothing more, a typical over-the-transom request, and left my callback number.
I expected that I’d eventually hear from the county’s press office in a couple of days.
But that didn’t happen. Instead, late that same afternoon, I got a call from the Commonwealth Attorney himself. He was irate. In fact, he was so mad that he had literally pulled over to the side of the road on his way home to call me.
“I’m a Catholic,” he said. “Would you please tell me what the Hell is going on in the Catholic Church?
We talked for 45 minutes. Not about the arrested pastor, but about the scandals, the Faith, and the mess that we were in.
And sure enough, St. John the Apostle was in a mess of its own.
Parishioners told me that the pastor routinely had his “boyfriends” as guests in the rectory on weekends. He would often allow those who were priests to preach the homily at Sunday Mass. He was apparently rather brazen about his loose liturgies, and the people in the pews was profoundly demoralized.
Just like the rest of us.

Pride? Yes. Progress?
Not So Much

This all came to mind as I read the recent letter of USCCB President José Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the USCCB’s June 2002 meeting in Dallas.
In his letter, Archbishop Gomez gushes with pride at the progress that engendered by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that the bishops adopted at that meeting.
“Today, millions of children and adults have been trained to spot the signs of abusive behavior, allegations of sexual abuse are reported to local law enforcement, background checks are the norm, review boards comprised of lay experts meet to assess allegations, and victim assistance coordinators are in place to assist survivors in finding help,” he writes.
That was it. That single slogging sentence says it all.
The Charter has worked, the archbishop beams — although in 2002 the Dallas bishops had immediately voted to exempt themselves from every single one of its stringent requirements.
But hey, so what? The Charter’s processes, procedures, policies, and protocols have been a tremendous success!
Every year, thousands of parish and chancery employees and volunteers across the country spend millions of man-hours checking the boxes on the reams of paper and data forms to prove their compliance.
Has everybody taken Virtus? Gee, I hope so — I’m sure it works really well, although the program’s boss in another state told me that even a practicing homosexual would be welcome to teach the class in my parish.
Has everybody had a background check? Yep, sure have — even though Gov. Frank Keating, head of the USCCB’s first Lay Review Board, pointed out that the checks are meaningless because the abusers had never been reported to the police.
When Keating, a former FBI agent, got too close to Los Angeles Cardinal Mahony’s criminal abuse coverups, Mahony had him vaporized.
He then went on to spend a cool billion of the faithful’s money dodging the law, and the rest of America’s bishops spent a few billion more.
When the facts caught up with Mahony, he moaned that he had merely followed the advice of “experts.”
And he’s still a cardinal, defying his successor’s order to cease public ministry in the archdiocese.

So It’s An “Ongoing
Struggle,” Is It?

When the bishops arrived in Dallas twenty years ago, the Dallas Morning News met them with an explosive exposé revealing that over half of them had covered up for, or even enabled, abusers of minors in their sees.
With the hindsight of twenty years, it’s safe to say that, if the guilty bishops had quietly gone home from Dallas that day and retired, with the criminals among them turning themselves in to law enforcement, the scandals would have ended long ago.
But Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, known today as “Uncle Ted the child abuser,” was in charge. In fact, many of the bishops attending that Dallas meeting owed their jobs to him.
One of them, Bishop Wilton Gregory, was president of the USCCB at the time. In April 2002 he had visited Rome to have a “conversation” with Pope John Paul II about the scandals (years after The Wanderer broke the abuse story, the secular media had finally caught up with it earlier that year, and Gregory was on the hot seat).
“It is an ongoing struggle to make sure that the Catholic priesthood is not dominated by homosexual men,” Gregory told the media during that visit.
Well, there was no way that was going to change in Dallas.
So, instead of retiring in silence or disgrace, the guilty prelates stayed on — not one of them quit.
But wait — the USCCB’s own legal research firm determined that over 80 percent of the sexual abuse of minors by clerics was “homosexual in nature”!
Didn’t the bishops do anything to remedy the domination of the priesthood by homosexual men?
No, they did not. They didn’t then, they haven’t since, and they won’t now.
Instead, President Wilton Gregory and his brother bishops conjured up a massive stonewall while their lawyers paid off their victims with billions of the faithful’s donations.

Unhappy Anniversaries

“So here I am, in the middle way,
having had twenty years —
twenty years largely wasted….”
T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets: East Coker

For American Catholics, June is indeed the cruelest month.
Four years ago this week, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick was removed from public ministry. He had been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor.
After the Dallas debacle, McCarrick had continued to rule with an iron rod in Washington until 2006. By then, he had played a key role in naming dozens of American prelates.
Among them were his successor, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, now retired, and McCarrick’s housemate, Kevin Cardinal Farrell.
In 2019 Pope Francis named Farrell as “Camerlengo” — the office responsible for running the conclave that elects a new Pope.
Both Wuerl and Farrell continued McCarrick’s policy of naming homosexual-friendly prelates throughout the U.S. If we consider them to be the “second generation” of the McCarrick Cardinal Cabal, it becomes clear who constitutes the third: Newark’s Tobin, Chicago’s Cupich, and now San Diego’s McElroy. And, of course, McCarrick’s front man twenty years ago in Dallas and now his successor in D.C.: Wilton Cardinal Gregory.
“Pray for me. The snake strikes at the head,” Cardinal Burke begged me years ago.

But The Snake Doesn’t
Like Us Either . . .

When the indicted pastor of St. John the Apostle Parish disappeared in 2005, his parochial vicar didn’t waste any time. He declared a parish-wide Penitential Service with several confessors.
The line of parishioners went all the way around the block.
He tore up the old pastor’s plans for a “church in the round” and proposed a beautiful monument to the Faith instead.
Pledges paid for it in a month.
We are under siege. And tougher times are coming.
The grass-roots of the Church will be watered by the blood of martyrs. The current crisis calls on us to gird our loins, strengthening our resolve with prayers for the virtues of hope and fortitude.
While the faithful are assailed by the rot at the top, the true Church will be saved by the folks on the ground.
Even if we’re underground.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Unable to load Tweets

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1


Today . . .

Bishop Strickland: ‘no communication from Rome’ following apostolic visitation

Following a report that Pope Francis and Vatican officials held a meeting earlier this month to discuss requesting the resignation of Tyler, Texas, Bishop Joseph Strickland, the prelate said on Wednesday he has not been contacted by the Vatican about such matters. In addition, Strickland said if Pope Francis were to remove him from office he would respect the Holy Father’s authority but would not resign if asked. 

Trump calls six-week abortion ban ‘terrible,’ gets slammed by pro-life leaders

(LifeSiteNews) — Former President Donald Trump stunned pro-life former supporters over the weekend with a Meet the Press interview in which he repeatedly touted plans for an abortion compromise he hopes will put the issue “behind us,” repeatedly refused to say if he believes the preborn have constitutional rights, condemned state heartbeat laws as “terrible,” expressed indifference as to whether the issue is resolved at the state or federal level, and reiterated his insistence that…Continue Reading

Pope Francis reportedly set to ask Bishop Strickland to resign

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis met with Vatican officials over the weekend to discuss asking Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, to resign, according to a report on Monday by The Pillar. Pope Francis met on Saturday with Archbishop Robert Prevost, OSA, the head of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Bishops, and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. The Pillar reported that several sources close to the dicastery told the website ahead of the meeting that…Continue Reading


Cardinal Burke drops bombshell on Synod of ‘ideology’ and ‘schism’

ROME – Cardinal Gerhard Müller has called it a “hostile takeover” of the Catholic Church. The late Cardinal George Pell termed it a “toxic nightmare”. Now, Cardinal Raymond Burke has written a foreword to a new book denouncing the Synod on Synodality as a “Pandora’s Box” that threatens to unleash grave harm on the Mystical Body of Christ. The Synodal Process is a Pandora’s Box, co-authored by José Antonio Ureta and Julio Loredo de Izcue,…Continue Reading

7,000 Pro-Lifers March In London

By STEVEN ERTELT LONDON (LifeNews) — Over the weekend, some seven thousand pro-life people in the UK participated in the March for Life in London to protest abortion.They marched to Parliament Square on Saturday, September 2 under the banner of “Freedom to Live” and had to deal with a handful of radical abortion activists.During the…Continue Reading

An Appeal For Prayer For The Armenian People

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke on August 29, 2023, issued this prayer for the Armenian people, noting their unceasing love for Christ, even in the face of persecution.) + + On the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, having a few days ago celebrated the…Continue Reading

Robert Hickson, Founding Member Of Christendom College, Dies At 80

By MAIKE HICKSON FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — Robert David Hickson, Jr., of Front Royal, Va., died at his home on September 2, 2023, at 21:29 p.m. after several months of suffering and after having received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He was surrounded by friends and family.Robert is survived by me —…Continue Reading

The Real Hero Of “Sound of Freedom”… Says The Film Has Strengthened The Fight Against Child Trafficking

By ANA PAULA MORALES (CNA) —Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Homeland Security agent who risked his life to fight child trafficking, discussed the impact of the movie Sound of Freedom, which is based on his work, in an August 29 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. “I’ve spent more than 20 years helping…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Welcome To The Big Tent

By PEGGY MOEN Catholics now are reading more Scripture than they did in earlier generations, possibly as a reflection of Vatican II and greater ecumenical involvement. But I think the increased reading might reflect another reality — the need for the consolation of the Word of God in trying times, with so many people moving…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This lesson on medical-moral issues is taken from the book Catholicism & Ethics. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. The email and postal addresses are given at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Ethics (Pages 53-59)…Continue Reading

Color Politics An Impediment To Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The USCCB is rightly concerned about racism, as they should be about any sin. In the 2018 statement Open Wide Our Hearts, they affirm the dignity of every human person: “But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and…Continue Reading

Trademarks Of The True Messiah

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on September 2, and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages.First: The Pattern That…Continue Reading

A Beacon Of Light… The Holy Cross And Jesus’ Unconditional Love

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON Each year on September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross commemorates the day St. Helen found the True Cross. It is fitting then, that today we should focus on the final moments of Jesus’ life on the…Continue Reading

Our Ways Must Become More Like God’s Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9Phil. 1:20c-24, 27aMatt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially when we look at what the Lord…Continue Reading

The Devil And The Democrats

By FR. DENIS WILDE, OSA States such as Minnesota, California, Maryland, and others, in all cases with Democrat-controlled legislatures, are on a fast track to not only allow unborn babies to be murdered on demand as a woman’s “constitutional right” but also to allow infanticide.Our nation has gotten so used to the moral evil of killing in the womb that…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading