OPINION: Portrait of the President As a Con Man

New York Magazine

July 27, 2018

By Andrew Sullivan

[Note: Sullivan’s piece on McCarrick begins nearly halfway down the page, right after his piece on Trump.]


The Cardinal Abuser

How surprised am I about the all too credible allegations of sexual harassment and abuse at the hands of Cardinal McCarrick, the latest Catholic prelate to be exposed in what seems like an endless cycle? The truth is — as someone who long attended Mass under McCarrick’s direct auspices, in the Cathedral of Saint Matthew in D.C. — not very. Every now and again, his name might pop up and some insidery, gay Catholic friends would roll their eyes, and switch the genders on him. He was obviously gay, I gleaned from this. I assumed that he had made some kind of discreet arrangement to stay sane as a celibate. A secret boyfriend, perhaps? A devoted companion? Since he never railed against homosexuality from the pulpit, I felt no need to inquire much further. And I always found queeny church gossip to be unseemly. These gay priests and hierarchs were obviously in pain, it seemed to me, or in denial, or so f*cked up sexually and emotionally that the most appropriate response was pity and mercy rather than censoriousness and contempt.

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