An Ill Wind Blows for Children of Chicago Catholics
By Vinnie Nauheimer
Voice from the Desert
August 19, 2008
Where would you look to find the church's most skilled buck passer, second
only to the pope? Where would you look to find the master of denial with
a straight face, who arguably sports the best razor sharp convenient memory
in all of Chicago? You have to go no farther than Chicago's own Cardinal
George. Like the pope, he would have us believe that he was never consciously
in the business of hiding sexually abusive priests. He deserves special
attention not only because of his condescending and despicable attitude
towards children, civil law, church law and God, but because he is also
the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops whose
stated purpose is:
The purpose of the Conference is to promote the greater good which
the Church offers humankind, especially through forms and programs of
the apostolate fittingly adapted to the circumstances of time and place.1
As such, Cardinal George will be responsible for policy in the United
States for the next three years and his minions will do the same into
the foreseeable future.
Cardinal George has proven himself particularly adept at fittingly adapting
things to fit the circumstances of his view on clerical sexual abuse.
The USCCB is the august body that created the very superficial and now
legless Dallas Charter of 2002. It has subsequently been trampled upon
by the Cardinal. How ironic is it that George led the delegation to Rome
to receive the Vatican's stamp of approval for the Dallas Charter?
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who led the U.S. delegation, reported
the completion of the task to Bishop Wilton Gregory, October 29, from
"The four U.S. Bishops representing the Conference in the Mixed
Commission will report to their brother Bishops during the November
meeting in Washington, D.C. We believe that the goals of the Dallas
decision, i.e. to protect minors and to reach out to victims, have been
preserved and that the Dallas documents have been completed in elaborating
normative procedures that respect the rights of priests who have been
accused," he said.
Other members of the delegation from the United States in addition to
Cardinal George, included Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco,
Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, Illinois, and Bishop William Lori of
This is the pledge Cardinal George along with the other bishops made
concerning the Dallas Charter.
It is with reliance on prayer and penance that we renew the pledges
which we made in the original Charter:
We pledge most solemnly to one another and to you, God's people, that
we will work to our utmost for the protection of children and youth.3
Isn't it fascinating that Catholic bishops would forget to pledge to
God or Jesus, their savior, in a pledge to protect children! Coincidence
hardly, it's more like children crossing their fingers behind their back
before making a promise they know they will never keep.
Here we have Cardinal George leading the delegation to the Vatican to
get approval of the Dallas Charter and then making a pledge (not to God)
to do his utmost for the protection of children. It is impossible to reconcile
Cardinal George's actions with either his pledge or the Dallas Charter.
That is, of course, unless you believe him to be a feeble minded idiot.
Oh that it was that easy to dismiss him and his criminal acts. Hypocrite
yes, feeble minded no!
There is no excuse for allowing anyone to rape, sodomize and molest children.
Just as there is no excuse for protecting criminals who have committed
these heinous acts against children. Only a scurrilous miscreant consumed
by evil would put predators back on the street to prey again upon the
bodies and souls of innocent children. Those who do the above are nothing
but criminals protecting criminals.
The transcripts from Cardinal George's deposition have
just been released. If they are nothing else, they are a testimony to
the monstrous evil that resides in his soul. They also speak to a well
defined mindset which places perverted priests with wanton desires ahead
of innocent children. What manner of man condemns children to a lifetime
of pain and agony so that a criminal can continue to say mass? Only an
arrogant, loathsome, vile, despicable individual without a conscience
can perform such an evil act. The following are excerpts from the deposition
given by Cardinal George; the hypocrite who led a delegation to Rome seeking
approval of the Dallas Charter and once obtaining it, made a personal
pledge to protect children.
- The cardinal says that allegations against another priest, Joseph
R. Bennett, first surfaced in 2002, but the archdiocese did not act
to remove him from his church until 2006, despite the earlier urging
of its Review Board to do so. By the time Bennett was review, more than
a dozen allegations had surfaced against him (p.
- After allegations surfaced against Bennett, and against the recommendations
of his own hand-picked abuse panel, the cardinal let Bennett to be "supervised"
by Bennett's good buddy, Father Leonard Dubi. Dubi and Bennett owned
property together (p.
- The cardinal says (and along with other documents) reveal the Father
Edward Grace, the archdiocese's Vicar for Priests, helped to coach predator
clergy in denying allegations. In November 2005, Grace told Bennett
a note from a dermatologist suggesting that "freckles" on
his scrotum identified by a victim might, in fact, be aging marks that
couldn't have been there at the time of the abuse (p.
The cardinal says that he didn't follow the archdiocese's Review Board
recommendation in October 2005 that McCormack be removed from ministry
81). "They gave me that advice, yes….I thought they had not
finished the case investigation."
The cardinal says he thought McCormack was being "supervised"
adequately after his first arrest (p.
43). "The one egregious time when the protections of children
failed to our great shame was the McCormack case where I thought he
was being supervised and it wasn't adequate." (McCormack was, in
fact, continuing to molest kids "on an almost daily [basis]"
according to prosecutors.)4
The saddest sentence in this essay is from the above paragraph: "McCormack
was, in fact, continuing to molest kids 'on an almost daily [basis]' according
to prosecutors." What does that make Cardinal George? If George had
adhered to his pledge to uphold the Dallas Charter, or listened to his
Review Board, no more children would have been sacrificed to feed the
sexual appetites of a perverted priest. This is the relevant passage from
the Dallas Charter.
The diocesan/eparchial bishop is to exercise his power of governance,
within the parameters of the universal law of the Church, to ensure
that any priest or deacon subject to his governance who has committed
even one act of sexual abuse of a minor as described below shall not
continue in ministry.5
Cardinal George on two occasions overrode the decisions of his own Review
Board. Then in a clear violation of the Dallas Charter put predators back
on the street. And what does Cardinal George say, he says I'm sorry, I
didn't know! It was a breakdown in communications. If you believe that,
then you will believe George was just exercising his Christian love by
writing letters to get a convicted serial child molester out of jail as
evidenced in another part his deposition.
- The cardinal admits that he and archdiocese officials repeatedly
tried to reduce Maday's sentence, even though the priest was a serial
Cardinal George has proven through his actions that he believes priests
have a God given right to sexually abuse anyone they see fit without penalty.
Who can forget this sick pronouncement uttered by the Cardinal, before
the world, upon returning from a meeting with the pope to discuss the
Clergy Abuse Crisis in 2002?
Cardinal George said, "There is a difference between a moral monster
like Geoghan," who preys in serial fashion, and an individual who,
"perhaps under the influence of alcohol," engages in inappropriate
behavior with "a 16- or 17-year-old young woman who returns his
Cardinal George, if anything, has been consistent over the years in his
opinion that priests should not be held responsible for their criminal
acts with children. He knows full well what a moral monster looks like;
he sees one every time he sees his reflection. The above paints a vivid
picture of Cardinal George's unbridled arrogance as well as his disdain
for children. What follows below confirms it.
1. He defied the recommendations of his own Review Board on two separate
occasions, which resulted in additional lives being shattered.
2. He defied the Dallas Charter; a charter he pledged to uphold.
3. He mocks Pope John Paul II whose condemnation is in the Dallas Charter:
"There is no room in the priesthood for those that would abuse
4. He defies the Canon Law which demands he hold sexual abusers accountable.
5. He defies Civil Law which holds the rape, sodomy and molestation
of children is a criminal act.
6. He tramples on the very concept of morality
7. He defies Scripture
8. He defies the words of Jesus Christ!
Any man, clergy or otherwise, who allows the souls of children to be
murdered and their bodies ripped asunder for the sole purpose of a priest's
pleasure is neither a proponent Jesus Christ nor his teachings. He is
the epitome of the Anti-Christ, evil.
You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: "This
people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in
vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'"
Shakespeare rightly noted in his play Julius Caesar that the evil men
do oft lives after them. So too it will be with Cardinal George. He is
the current president of the USCCB and his term runs for the next three
years. During this time, he will be responsible for shaping Catholic policy
in the United States. The thought of this is probably sending thrills
down to the scrotums of every aberrant priest while at the same time sending
chills through the hearts of all decent people. Even the most ardent defenders
of Catholicism having either children or grandchildren should be running
for the exit signs.
Will it end when George retires or dies? No, because those who've been
appointed by George and those of his ilk will take over in his stead.
Jesus predicted this when he said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte,
and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of
hell as yourselves."
The cardinal says he that knowing now that McCormack was accused of
sexual misconduct with a minor and two of his peers while in seminary,
he would never have ordained him (p.
One of the seminary officials at the time, Gerald Kicanas, (now bishop
of Tucson and vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops),
told the Chicago Sun-Times that it would have been "grossly unfair
not to ordain him."8
With Kicanas as vice president, next in line to be president, George's
evil will be the dominant mindset of the USCCB for the next six years!
It's enough to scare anyone, but a sexual predator.
Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki, a civil and canon lawyer and one
of Cardinal Francis George's six active deputies, recently suggested
in a homily to Catholic lawyers and judges that decisions to award large
sums to victims of clergy abuse place an excessive burden on the free
exercise of religion for American Catholics.
"This burden needs to be lifted," Paprocki said during a special
mass for judges and attorneys in Grand Rapids, Mich., last month.9
[Note from BishopAccountability.org: See also the full text of Paprocki's
Red Mass homily.]
This is tantamount to admitting that there will be more priests raping,
sodomizing and molesting children in the future, for which Paprocki doesn't
want the church to pay. Paprocki is asking lawyers and jurists to make
the cost of these aberrant flings as painless as possible for the church
so they can continue on their merry way without upsetting the applecart.
Paprocki asks for this with total disregard for the lifetime of agony
abused children are put through. He does so with full knowledge that the
only positive changes made to church policy regarding the sexual abuse
of children have been forced upon them because of large settlements. If
change had anything to do with Jesus Christ or his teachings, the hierarchy
would have put an end to the sexual abuse of children centuries ago. Paprocki,
like George and a host of others in the hierarchy have no regard for Jesus.
Their well-documented actions and words speak louder than any protest
they can muster. The sad truth is Cardinal George and the hierarchy of
the Roman Catholic Church didn't move one inch towards protecting children
until it cost them too many dollars. Therefore, whether they admit it
or not, their actions prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that they worship
at the altar of dead presidents; For Money Is Their God!
Cardinal George is living in the past; a past where bishops and cardinals
were never questioned regardless of how ghastly the nature of the crime.
His hubris is a function of his age for he was bred in a closed society
and hasn't the wherewithal to function in an open one. He and his minions
have not realized, as most of the priesthood hasn't, that their flaws,
criminal acts and indiscretions are now subject to global scrutiny thanks
to the Internet. The evidence presented in this essay was retrieved with
just a few keystrokes.
This phenomenon hasn't been addressed anywhere more eloquently than in
the following paragraph written by a Marist priest named Ted Keating in
his capacity as Executive Director of Conference of the Major Superiors
of Men. His words were truly prophetic. The name of this organization
in and of itself gives readers a preview of how high they hold themselves
in their own esteem. The CMSM represents all the orders of priests outside
of diocesan fold. Behold the words of those who see themselves as the
betters of the human race!
"The days of the pass or station house adjustment
for Father or Brother by the Irish cop or prosecutor are over. Either
we will learn to become more comfortable in the gaze of the rude
and scoffing multitude (depending on our attitude) or
we will be dragged kicking and screaming into
a new future for religion and religious life"10
(italics are the author's emphasis)
The current hierarchy is being dragged kicking and screaming into the
present by the rude and scoffing multitude. They are old men, dinosaurs
living in the twenty first century reminiscent of the pathetic Matthew
Harrison Brady character portrayed by Fredric March in Inherit the
Wind. In their day, they got all the station house passes they wanted
and received them in silence. Cardinals like George cannot accept the
new reality. So they take it upon themselves to say and do inane things
like rejecting the advice of their hand picked Review Board; still trying
to preserve their power even as it slips through their fingers.
However, the old dinosaurs have left their minions in positions of authority
poised to take over upon the death or retirement of the current lot. The
new guard, seeds of the old, will have to find new ways to maintain control.
No finer description of this process comes to mind than this paragraph
from the Devils of Louden written by Aldous Huxley in 1952.
"In order to justify their behavior, they turn their theories
into dogmas, their bylaws into First Principles, their political bosses
into Gods and all those who disagree with them into incarnate devils.
This idolatrous transformation of the relative into the Absolute and
the all too human into the Divine, makes it possible for them to indulge
their ugliest passions with a clear conscience and in the certainty
that they are working for the Highest Good. And when the current beliefs
come, in their turn, to look silly, a new set will be invented, so that
the immemorial madness may continue to wear its customary mask of legality,
idealism, and true religion."11
And what is to become of the "rude and scoffing multitude?"
They walk around like the Tin Man looking for something already in their
possession: the key to salvation. Like the Tin Man they have fallen prey
to Oz. The rude and scoffing multitude pulled back the curtain of awe
and mystery only to find very human old men in red dresses who maintain
power through fear. Fear created by professing themselves to be the gateway
to salvation and the fear created by the threat of withholding said prized
salvation. The hierarchy never imagined this happening. The flock never
imagined what they found. Much to their surprise, what they found was
much too human, arrogant, condescending, hypocritical, and criminal.
Such is the legacy of Cardinal George.
[Note from BishopAccountability.org: See also the full text of Paprocki's
Red Mass homily.]
10. This paragraph was taken from an editorial in the
monthly bulletin posted on the website of Major Superiors of Men. Shortly
after I sent Fr. Keating my thoughts on his editorial, they stopped posting
bulletins publicly and restricted access to their past bulletins. The
reason in my opinion was that one too many of the “rude and scoffing
multitude” found their ideas rude and scoffing. [Note from BishopAccountability.org:
See Bulletin, July-August 2002, Conference of Major Superiors
11. Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudun, 1952,
Harper and Brothers, NY, NY.