I saw the full-moon-sized face and squinted. I stared at his image for several seconds. Yes; it was him.
In the closing frame of Bishop Joseph Strickland’s 2018 USCCB plenary assembly testimony and rebuke to bishops for their concealment of homosexual predator Theodore McCarrick sat a clergy member below the dais, facing the sea of bishops.
He is seen below the dais as Bishop Strickland returns to his seat to trailing applause. Poker players call what the priest did, “a tell.” He addressed a sudden itch by his nose, as if something mysterious and invisible just struck him in the face.
The priest’s name is Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill, then the general secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. You will remember him from The Pillar’s story two years ago, the one that sent him into hiding and forced him to resign immediately from his position at the USCCB. The Pillar had gathered data showing Msgr. Burrill’s mobile phone was used throughout 2018-2020 to access Grindr, a “hook-up” app designed for people to meet up to have homosexual sex with strangers.
It was Msgr. Burrill who held a critical oversight role in the Catholic Church’s response to the landslide of sexual abuse and misconduct scandals in 2018. In essence, one of the Church’s assigned watchdogs against clergy predation after 2018 was shown to be in bathhouses and gay bars, where he habitually pursued a homosexual lifestyle.
You will recall that after the 2002 homosexual clergy abuse scandals, the one elected for a similar oversight role was McCarrick.
On this autumn Thursday, Msgr. Burrill oversees a parish in a restful village in Wisconsin. Also today, after decades of proven immoral carnality, McCarrick is free to do as he wants. Disgraced Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston bishop Michael Bransfield can occasionally be found presenting himself as a bishop at glad-handing functions in West Virginia. Several-time accused sexual predator, Jesuit priest and artist Rev. Marko Rupnik, has returned to priestly ministry after his removal from the Society of Jesus. It is tedious to proceed because the point must be made: homosexually active clergy members roam untethered and unfenced in America—and Bishop Strickland, the man who tried to stop them, has been punished, and now has no home.
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