One would have to be a hermit not to know about quondam Cardinal McCarrick’s precipitous fall from grace. The New York Times, probably with great relish, ran three stories on McCarrick’s other career as “Uncle Ted”, sexual predator of young men. The story was taken up by the whole mediasphere for at least a week and still continues at this writing. The Church, thanks be to God, acted swiftly, stripping him of his public ministry, removing his membership in the College of Cardinals, and planning a trial in the Vatican in the future. The secular press often wonders how such a man could have been promoted to the very highest levels in the Church. But that sense of wonder masks an assumption that moral corruption in the Catholic Church is far and wide among its clerics.
The fact is that many priests and bishops knew about McCarrick’s predatory behavior for years. Even I, a simple parish priest from Connecticut, heard from priests in the know about Uncle Ted and his exploits. The question then still remains: why did he rise so high in the hierarchy when so many people, including those in Rome, knew his sordid history? Those in charge of making bishops cannot claim ignorance given the paper trail of payments paid to settle accusations made against him. So the obvious conclusion is that it is true that moral corruption has infected the Church at all levels.
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