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 Rome.

"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 Bridgeport, Connecticut.2

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.

Fr. Bennett

- 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. 181 ff).

- 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. 158)

- 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. 196 ff).

Fr. McCormack

The cardinal says that he didn't follow the archdiocese's Review Board recommendation in October 2005 that McCormack be removed from ministry (p. 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 child molester.[p. 251 ff]6

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 affections."7

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 children."

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.

Matt. 15:7-9

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."

Example 1.

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. 95-96; 98.) 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.

Example 2.

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 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.










9. [Note from 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 See Bulletin, July-August 2002, Conference of Major Superiors of Men.]

11. Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudun, 1952, Harper and Brothers, NY, NY.


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