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THE CHURCHMAN OF THE YEAR: The Reluctant Prince Cardinal Dinardo? Absurd Glorification Article Whispers in the Loggia Saturday, January 05, 2008


Saturday, January 05, 2008


Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston

“Se ve. Se siente. DiNardo está presente.”

“You see it. You feel it. DiNardo is here.”

Just six weeks ago, that was the word from Rome. The surroundings might’ve been Italian, the chant Spanish, but its voice was catholic as, by the hundreds, a diverse group from the American South stormed the Vatican to mark their arrival on the stage of the global church.

From relative obscurity (at least, in the public mind), the Pope had tapped Archbishop Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston — head of the US’ youngest archdiocese, 31st in rank of the 34 archbishops — to enter the papal senate. In a church where seniority and precedent often trump all else, the move has continued to find not a few of its establishment claiming “surprise,” as states of shock or confounded silences continue to linger on the scene.

From every angle, however, it was a destiny years in the making.

In barely three decades, the mother see of Texas — home to the nation’s fourth-largest city, an emerging capital of international transport, migration and commerce — had rocketed to a place among the nation’s ten largest dioceses by population, its Catholic presence quadrupling to 1.5 million. The last American see to receive its first cardinal was Washington, where Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle received his red hat in 1967. The scarlet hadn’t traveled to a new region of the country since 1953, when Los Angeles’ James Francis McIntyre became the “Cardinal of the West.” And among the chronicle of American Catholicism’s 46 princes of the church since New York’s John McCloskey was called to the college in 1875, a Southern prelate’s induction into the Roman clergy joins the elevations of McCloskey, McIntyre and the 1924 rise of the first “Western” cardinal — Chicago’s George Mundelein — as the watershed moments when the faith’s pilgrimage across a continent earned its vanguards a place on the universal scene.

At the audience for his newly-created lieutenants, Benedict XVI might’ve told DiNardo that “Texas needed a cardinal.” But its fruition was the climactic stroke of a Roman design a decade in the works.

Its script: to catapult the Curialist who picked parish ministry over a Vatican post from his founding pastorate in suburban Pittsburgh to an elector’s seat in the conclave.

It all happened before his 60th birthday. And little of it as the wiry, unassuming cleric would’ve wished.

Lone Star Country needed a cardinal before 2007. Rome just bided its time ’til its choice got there. And, in a rare triumph of Vatican clairvoyance, the bet has paid off spectacularly.

They say that “everything’s bigger in Texas,” and the customary bounce of energy that a local church gets from the red hat is no exception. According to the locals, the elevation “has breathed new life” into an already booming, energized fold. Since arriving home, the new cardinal has been welcomed by crowds of thousands at every turn, his post-liturgy reception lines running into the early hours of the morning. A stronger sense of identity and unity is already being felt among the multiethnic mega-flock, and several parishes have noticed a curious uptick of calls about RCIA programs in the weeks following the November consistory.

The Houston press — which had, according to one local, primarily “covered [the archdiocese] when the news was bad” — provided acres and hours of the finest, most enthusiastic elevation coverage ever seen on these shores. And most significantly of all, in the very city where the first Catholic president sought to assuage panicked Protestant clergymen that the White House wouldn’t take its lead from the Apostolic Palace, some of the most effusive testimonies to the advent of a Roman prince have come from H-Town’s ecumenical and interfaith communities.

Texas — and Houston in particular — likes to view itself as the “New America,” and not without reason. With Catholics recently edging out Evangelicals as the state’s largest religious group, the new America has bred a model of American Church gaining in strength, size and reputation, an ascendancy now recognized with the elevation of a new breed of American Cardinal — the post-institutional prince of the church.

Some might still be stunned, but it all happened in plain view. It just took a flash of scarlet to emerge to the fore.

And to think: it’s only just beginning.

* * *

“This is Sambi. Sit down.”

At mid-morning on 15 October, DiNardo was checking out of an Oklahoma City hotel when the papal nuncio to Washington, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, reached the Texas prelate on his cell-phone.

Due to a calcium buildup that requires hearing-aids in both his ears, DiNardo rarely uses his mobile; it mostly collects his messages, which he checks intermittently on a land-line.

Seeing the nunciature number, however, he picked up.

Having sat, Sambi dropped the bomb, telling him to return immediately to Houston. And everything afterward became a blur.

The announcement would be made 40 hours later. He told no one. By 11am Wednesday, five hours after Benedict revealed his list of 23 new cardinals during his weekly General Audience, the phone messages had already piled up by the hundreds at the Houston chancery.

Literally overnight, the quiet, relatively low-key life DiNardo loved was over.

Slight but intense, in contrast to some of his more overpowering peers, the cardinal cuts an inconspicuous figure. This was the prelate who, after a long day at last year’s November Meeting, sat quietly with his usual Pinot Grigio in a corner of the Baltimore Marriott lounge, clad in a plaid button-down shirt and khaki Tommy Hilfiger windbreaker as, at the center of the room, a score of his confreres held court in their day-dress of collars, suits and pectoral crosses.

The hearing-aids were turned down, and the lone figure — indistinguishable were it not for the same iconographic gold band he’d worn since his episcopal ordination — almost seemed to be at prayer.

He’s not one to seek out attention. But seek him out and, like a light switch, the “nervous energy” jump-starts itself.

He’s a figure of wild contrasts: the Basselin Scholar given to earthy, dynamic preaching from the middle of church aisles; fluent in Latin but devoted to the spirituality of the Eastern tradition; loved in the Curia but wary of the trappings of high office; the staunch defender of Summorum Pontificum who spent a whole week last summer “singing his head off” and mixing with attendees at the Indianapolis conference of the National Pastoral Musicians, of which he’s episcopal liaison. (A music fan who’s spoken of singing as “the elevation of the human voice,” DiNardo’s motto — “Ave Crux Spes Unica” (“Hail, O Cross, Our Only Hope”) — is taken from a sixth-century Roman hymn.)

The catch-all nature has baffled more than a few. At his 1997 ordination as coadjutor-bishop of Sioux City, the clergy of the Iowa diocese attempted the standard practice of figuring out their boss-in-waiting from his choices of co-consecrators and attending chaplains.

The “read” might usually be a reliable indicator. On this occasion, however — and to the frustration of the local clergy — the exercise proved futile.

Assisting then-Siouxland Bishop Lawrence Soens were DiNardo’s former ordinary, then-Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh, and the new bishop’s classmate and longtime friend, then-Bishop Raymond Burke of LaCrosse.

The chaplains made for an even harder read. At one side stood the delicate, straight-laced Msgr Leonard Blair of Detroit, the onetime secretary of Cardinal Edmund Szoka and current bishop of Toledo. On the other was his best friend since high school — the ponytailed, Harley-riding Fr Lou Vallone of Pittsburgh, known in the South for his proficiency at giving Black church revivals.

In the place he’s spoken of as “14,000 square miles of cornfields, that just happened to contain 93,000 Catholics,” the Iowans eventually came to recognize their bishop as “the most gifted man of the church we have ever experienced.”

It was something they only would learn, however, once he hit the ground running.

* * *

In a column for Sioux City’s diocesan paper, DiNardo once wrote of learning what true darkness was as he drove down Iowa roads to get home.

The straight, unlit drags through cornfields were a far cry from his hometown of Pittsburgh, and even further removed from the cramped and winding streets of Rome. But, so he says, it was in the Heartland that the onetime director of the English desk at the Congregation for Bishops actually learned how to be one.

In 1984, the newly-arrived bishop of Pittsburgh, Anthony Bevilacqua, found a request from the Vatican dicastery requesting one of his priests for a five-year tour of duty.

Bevilacqua’s predecessor, Bishop Vincent Leonard — who ordained DiNardo six years earlier — invariably refused the feelers from Central Office. But the Brooklyn-born, Rome-trained canonist — who would, in time, go on to become cardinal-archbishop of Philadelphia — was more given to the bigger picture of the church than Leonard, a native son who, DiNardo said, “taught me the value of being local, of belonging to a place.”

After a canvass of his senior staff, the bishop offered the assignment to DiNardo, then 34 and doing double-duty as vice-chancellor and a professor at St Paul Seminary.

Marked out from his high school days as a standout talent, he was no stranger to the Eternal City, having spent his seminary days at the Pontifical North American College, studying in turns at the Gregorian and the Augustinianum, where he earned his licentiate in Patristics. The timing of his return, however, would prove fortuitous.

In a historic move months earlier, Pope John Paul II had appointed Cardinal Bernardin Gantin to head the congregation. Born in Benin, Gantin was the first African ever named to lead one of the nine top-level offices overseeing the internal matters of the worldwide church.

As minutante, or desk officer, DiNardo was responsible for processing the case-files pertaining to episcopal appointments in the US, Canada, Britain and Australia. The reports would then go to the body’s membership of cardinals, who would vote on a nominee to recommend to the Pope.

Since the dicastery’s work was a topic of intense focus around the globe, the job didn’t just require a work ethic diligent enough to pore through ceaseless reams of documentation — the 1985 selection of a new archbishop of Los Angeles, for example, saw a dossier that measured some two feet high dropped on his desk — but the utmost discretion, to boot.

Every public, and some not-so-public, details of candidates’ lives and careers lay on the junior cleric’s desk, and whatever he saw would have to go with him to the grave. And, day after day, the files gave their reader a unique glimpse into the church’s universality. Even more usefully for the road ahead, it allowed him to see that the church in the States was less a monolith than a tapestry of cultures, administrative models, pastoral ideas and the faithful’s needs. As if the day job (on the usual curial schedule of six days a week) wasn’t enough, he took on two other commitments: the directorate of Villa Stritch, the residence for American priests in the Vatican apparatus, and an adjunct position on the faculty of the NAC.

Both on the job and off, DiNardo’s qualities of mind and spirit won a keen admirer in Gantin, among other curial chiefs and staffers. As 1989 approached and the early birds outside the walls began speculating on possibilities for John Paul’s successor, the African cardinal had appeared on not a few lists of papabili. More concretely, however, his American aide’s five-year term was ending.

It could’ve been renewed, and seemingly would’ve been without a flinch. If not, that is, for one minor issue: having served his stint, the Pittsburgher wanted to go home, back to the life of a parish priest.

“Dan will obey, but he’ll say what he wants,” a friend noted. The almost unheard-of wish to bolt Rome for the trenches was something of a brutta figura move — if anything, most curialists would give anything to spend their lives in the Vatican offices, a quality especially true of non-Italians. Then again, honesty was one of the traits that won him his superiors’ regard to begin with, even if it cut both ways.

It took a year of resisting the attempts to keep him from leaving, but his bosses realized he wouldn’t be changing his mind. In 1990, Wuerl — who had succeeded Bevilacqua in the Steel City two years earlier — named DiNardo co-pastor of an Italian parish, Madonna del Castello, on the outskirts of Pittsburgh.

At the time, friends recall him saying that “I’ve got everything I want in my life.”

But there was more. Alongside the parish duties, he was named the diocese’s #2 official in Wuerl’s specialty area: education. DiNardo shared his bishop’s devotion to catechesis — one that, the former said, could only be rooted in “knowing the face of Christ” if it sought to be effective — and to the formation of the young.

While Wuerl built a national following as the “education bishop,” the younger official who ended up leapfrogging him to the Sacred College was honing his approach on ground level.

After four years juggling his first pastorate and the office, the teacher-prelate handed his lieutenant a new lesson.

Twenty miles outside Pittsburgh, the suburban community of Marshall Township was expanding at a rapid clip. In early 1994, Wuerl announced that 12 acres there would be home to a new parish, Saints John and Paul. Named in tribute to the then-pontiff — who had ordained Wuerl to the episcopacy eight years earlier — it also evoked the Passionist church on Rome’s Coelian Hill (which, since 1946, has been the titular parish of the archbishops of New York). Appropriately, DiNardo was tapped to found it.

In his Whispers interview, the newly-named designate said that, among his models of ministry, one of the most powerful came from the pastor of his first parish assignment.

Fr Tom Marpes would always be on the lookout out for regulars who were missing from Sunday Mass. Without fail, the next afternoon found the Lebanese priest at the table in the rectory kitchen as he called the absentees — not to chide, but simply to make sure they were OK.

“It might sound unusual today,” his former associate said, “but it was his way of showing that he cared.”

The example proved particularly useful in keeping tabs on a new community’s growth. No buildings existed on the parish plot, so “Father Dan” — though made a monsignor in Rome, he shirked the title — and a core group from his 650 families began tracking down a starter site for Masses and offices, eventually nabbing a 300-seat makeshift “chapel” and two smaller rooms on the lower level of a local office complex.

While DiNardo came to realize the one easy part of founding a parish — “you don’t hear ‘But, Father, we’ve done it this way for years’ for the first six months” — every so often, the ghost of Rome would reappear and see if he was still enjoying himself at home.

Just in case he wasn’t, “something” — most likely an episcopal appointment in the Curia — could always be arranged. Gladly.

The pastor was happy and the parish was growing — a return trip wasn’t wanted or needed. But his fans along the Tiber hadn’t given up finding something he’d finally see fit to accept.

* * *

By 1997, it was no secret in Rome that Gantin’s 13-year stewardship of the Congregation for Bishops was nearing its end. He had been elected Dean of the College of Cardinals some years earlier, but longed to pull a DiNardo of his own and return to his homeland (a request John Paul would only approve when, after his 80th birthday in 2002, he retired from the latter post).

No curial don leaves office without shepherding a handful of cherished projects to fruition, and the Dean from Benin was no exception. His friend from Pittsburgh had been given seven years to live the dream and work quietly on the ground at home, but the reserved cardinal known for his prayerful spirit and gentle touch wouldn’t go until he ensured that his former aide’s talents had been put to the church’s wider service.

By then, the task DiNardo once performed alone required not one Pennsylvanian, but two. The staff was on board, as were the four American cardinals who sat on the congregation’s voting membership. And, in a facet that wouldn’t come to full bloom until a decade later, undoubtedly aware of — and sharing in — the departing prefect’s esteem for the Pittsburgher was the cardinal who was the congregation’s best-prepared, most observant member: Gantin’s closest ally in the Curia’s top rank, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger.

Knowing of the candidate’s fondness for intense study before acting, the pitch was sweetened by making his appointment not a direct one to the bishop’s chair, but as successor-in-waiting to a cooperative 71 year-old ordinary, providing a learning period that would allow for the most seamless transition possible.

In the dead of summer, as much of Pittsburgh was making its annual pilgrimages to South Carolina and Stone Harbor, the call was placed to Marshall.

A year earlier, Fr Dan had overseen the completion of a multi-use building of classrooms, offices, a temporary church and pastor’s apartment, and had the project’s debt paid off within months.

The nominee had to check his atlas to find Sioux City. But this time, he accepted.

“We knew he wouldn’t be here long,” one Siouxlander said. As for what the new arrival brought to the table in a place that was “certainly not the center of the universal church,” a local priest brimmed to overflowing.

“His intelligence, wit, and ability to passionately and persuasively preach the Gospel are unmatched,” the cleric said.

“He is also a genuinely humble man — there’s no way that he could be unaware of his gifts, [but] he never made a fuss over himself, and was visibly uncomfortable when other people did.

“Before all else, he is a shepherd.”

Without fail, the bishop cris-crossed the diocese relentlessly: present at every function, taking time with every person, sometimes getting an earful (and doing what he could about it), keeping contacts across the turf, and sticking around ’til the last person had gone. (The only people he was known to avoid: politicians… who tend to be especially abundant in Iowa every fourth winter.) The priests’ monthly deanery meetings would be a double-bill of business and down-time with the Boss, small-group dinners were routine at the simple house in a suburban development he called home and, with his distaste for handlers, his entourage was never more than himself.

The mark of the pastor, however, lay away from the big-print. While churchfolk can easily be tempted to measure leadership by the yardsticks of grand initiatives, big numbers or public flourishes, the record shows none of these. A pastor knows that the commission to teach and preach — to lead and give life — isn’t done in the wholesale, nor through policies, nor at the desk, but one by one, person to person. The policy is the Gospel, the most priceless asset is faith; live by and invest in those, and the rest just has a way of working itself out.

(The closest thing to a diocesan initiative DiNardo sought in Sioux City was an effort to train his priests in spiritual direction, with the hope that his clergy and the people could easily find regular, sound guidance.)

The bishop’s interest in a low profile extended practically to everything outside his diocese. The congregation, however, kept its eye on Iowa, and barely five years after succeeding Soens as diocesan bishop, another phone call was being prepared.

By late 2003 — after a spate of rumors had the Siouxland prelate in the mix for the bishopric of Brooklyn — Gantin had gone home, replaced by his former second-in-command, Giovanni Battista Re. Ratzinger was still at the table, as were the four Americans. In the wake of the abuse earthquake of 2002, the nation’s bishops felt under siege and, with American cases being placed under a closer microscope, the appointment process had started to go beyond the usual six to nine month time frame.

One succession, however, was settled before it could even be broached.

A leader of the US church’s “good-governance” wing, as Bishop Joseph Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston approached his 73rd birthday in early 2004, he sent a letter to the congregation advising that it might want to start considering the appointment of a coadjutor for Texas’ largest diocese.

The flock was booming at a staggering rate, with domestic transplants and an international mix of immigrants pouring in to an extent that the church was hard-pressed to keep pace with. A former president of the US bishops, Fiorenza often mused that he could open seven parishes the next morning — if he had the priests to staff them. Religious and foreign clergy outnumbered the incardinated presbyterate by about 2 to 1. And on top of all that, already sharing the episcopal duties with two auxiliaries, the coming of an heir apparent would make the burden easier still.

Just two months after Fiorenza’s note to Re, the native-son bishop was reportedly taken aback when the congregation sent word that his coadjutor had been named.

The bishop of Sioux City had never set foot in the Lone Star State. Heading to the home of the nation’s second-largest Hispanic community, he couldn’t speak Spanish extemporaneously.

But yet again, the vote of confidence was there where it counted — and, yet again, the chattering circles registered barely a ripple as the design to make Houston the church’s Southern hub had rolled into full gear.

There would be no dark roads in Southeast Texas. If anything, quite the opposite.

* * *

As in Sioux City, the deja vu coadjutor used the time to quietly visit each parish, take mental notes, get a feel for his new turf — and, most importantly, dig in with the people. Or try to — it was, after all, a mission-field with 15 times the faithful of Northeast Iowa.

Nine months after DiNardo’s Texan welcome — held in a large parish church as the 600-seat Houston co-cathedral was deemed too small — the future came into an even wider view.

During the Christmas Octave of 2004, as John Paul’s declining health loomed ominously over the Catholic world, the state’s longtime metropolitan, Archbishop Patrick Flores of San Antonio, retired, with the Denver auxiliary Jose Gomez (a longtime Houston hand before his appointment to the Rockies) named to succeed him. But simultaneously, for the first time since 1980, an American province was split up — San Antonio would keep the western seven suffragans of what had been the global church’s largest metropolitan jurisdiction as the eastern six were siphoned off to the newly-elevated archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Within a matter of years, a chain of events unseen in US Catholicism since the overnight explosions of the dioceses of Los Angeles and Detroit in the early 1940s quickly became evident: first, the population rose, then the caliber of leadership, a pallium appeared… and the rest — i.e. the red — would soon follow.

Having visited all but a few of the new archdiocese’s 149 parishes over the course of his two-year apprenticeship, on Mardi Gras 2006 — ironically enough, also Opening Day of the city’s biggest annual event: the renowned Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo — DiNardo became the second archbishop as the newly-elected Benedict XVI accepted Fiorenza’s retirement. To mark the transition, the new chief issued a video message via the archdiocesan website and set out immediately to work.

His journey to the corner office completed, the mental notes he’d been taking quickly became action items. Gently, but firmly, they came to light: insufficiently reverent tabernacle placements were to be rectified, and liturgical norms adhered to more faithfully; permanent deacons would start receiving assignments to archdiocesan ministries in addition to their parish duties; even more resources would be poured into young adult ministry — and, especially given the dearth of homegrown clergy, priests belonged in the parishes, not the chancery.

The venue might’ve changed, his profile raised mightily, but the man and his hallmarks stayed the same: never an MC, driver, or priest-secretary hovering over him, no desire for a national profile or responsibilities outside the diocese (except NPM), out among the people whenever possible, appraised of the doings in the office but not immersed in them; and, when his presence was sought, seldom (if ever) saying “no.”

As in Sioux City, following his succession the archbishop took up residence at another simple, small house, this time at St Mary’s Seminary. (His first Houston home, however, was humbler still; Fiorenza had allotted his coadjutor a spartan two-room flat on the chancery’s top floor.) Reflecting its occupant’s Eastern affinity, iconography now decorates the chapel of the traditional Archbishop’s Residence, which boasts just one accoutrement not often seen in his parishes — a chalice veil.

His collaborators have described him in turns as “a gift of God,” “a truly holy man,” and “one who personifies Christ’s love for the church.” But that doesn’t mean the experience has been without its bumps.

At a priests’ gathering shortly after taking the reins from Fiorenza, DiNardo made a point of underscoring his seriousness about rubrics and well-celebrated liturgy. Channeling Dirty Harry, those who did otherwise were, he said, welcome to “make my day.”

The remark sparked outrage among segments of the presbyterate. When asked about it at a subsequent convocation, he apologized. In the end, his ability to admit an error ended up earning more goodwill than the initial quote could’ve drained. Two years later, after pressure from his staff forced the naming of a priest-secretary on his elevation, he apologized again to his presbyteral council for drawing on the archdiocese’s clerical resources. (The choice of aide fell on Fr Gerald Goodrum, who Fiorenza ordained in 2005.)

Not the greatest enthusiast for the administrative end of the office, the reshuffle of the archdiocese’s central staff is ongoing. Keeping with the aim to not place any further strain on the already-stretched demand for clergy, Bishop Joe Vasquez — the lone active auxiliary — serves as chancellor and, in a first, DiNardo named a laywoman, Christina Deajon, as Vasquez’s deputy on his first day in office. (A former assistant counsel to the archdiocese, Deajon is believed to be the highest-ranking African-American layperson serving in a US chancery.) At present, the archdiocese’s top two financial posts are in the process of being filled.

He delegates authority willingly and expects the best — and as one aide who’s seen him in office mode put it, were anything less delivered, “I wouldn’t want to be on his bad side.”

That firmness, however, finds its flip-side in creativity. While many of his confreres either panicked at or turned a blind eye to the 2006 Vatican ruling revoking the permission for lay liturgical ministers to participate in the purification of vessels, the now-cardinal came up with a “third way” solution that both complied with the policy while avoiding post-Communion chaos, establishing a diocesan program for the formation of acolytes. Married men can be admitted to the order, and instituted acolytes were still permitted to care for the vessels by universal law.

While the predominant response sought to criticize the policy-change as pastorally insensitive or excessively rigid, a practical solution was present in the rubrics all along, it just took a bit of investment at the outset.

The Houston prelate saw the opening and ran with it. How many others did is anyone’s guess.

* * *

As he was in 1997 and 2003, Joseph Ratzinger was back at the personnel table earlier this year when DiNardo’s name came up. This time, however, his was the lone vote that mattered.

Never one to forget a name or face, Benedict XVI first met the young priest from Pittsburgh as he took notes for Gantin at the bilateral meetings between the top officials of the CDF and Bishops. The staff’s job was to remain inconspicuous. Clearly, though, enough of an impression had been made.

Back in the States, the names proffered for the red hat were primarily the old guard of the church: Washington, St Louis, Baltimore. Not a few advocated San Antonio — US Catholicism’s Hispanic seat — and Gomez as the more likely choice should a red hat travel. But in the end, alongside the chiefs of the Curia and the heads of the marquee sees of Paris, Bombay, Nairobi and Barcelona, it was Galveston-Houston’s chief pastor who got the nod, completing its rapid ascent to the top tier of the global church.

But some things were still more important — at least, for the figure at the center of the storm. As the chaos of Announcement Day bore down and cameras swarmed the chancery for a hastily-called, exuberant press conference (fullvideo), DiNardo kept a commitment to attend the installation of a Protestant pastor in the city. The following afternoon, with the frantic plans for the unprecedented consistory pilgrimage just beginning to take shape, he refused to miss a priest’s funeral.

Twice a coadjutor, one thing DiNardo never had was a proper installation as a diocesan bishop. He ended up with a coronation instead as, over Thanksgiving Weekend, the threads of his life converged in the Eternal City.

To the amusement of Vallone’s longtime sidekick, the sight of a cassocked cleric with a ponytail provided enough of an attraction to keep the crowd under control as almost a thousand well-wishers queued up for a moment with the new cardinal at the traditional post-consistory reception in the Apostolic Palace. And earlier that day, as the bareheaded cardinal-designate processed down the main aisle of St Peter’s with the other 22 honorees, another pilgrim took to shouting “Hey, DiNardo!” over the basilica’s barricades.

On his way to be inducted into the Roman clergy, the voice of Marshall was calling.

Since departing his founding pastorate for Sioux City, Fr Dan’s initial flock of 650 families had more than tripled at Sts. John and Paul, and Fr Joe McCaffrey had been tasked with the construction of a permanent church.

Spotted by his onetime spiritual director, “he shouted back,” McCaffrey told a local paper, “asking how things are at the parish.”

Led by his twin sister, Peg, his three siblings and their families were there, as was his ordination classmate David Zubik, now Pittsburgh’s 12th bishop, with a planeload from the Steel City. A low-profile retirement couldn’t keep Bevilacqua from seeing the first of his proteges to don the “sacred purple” alongside him, and from the Heartland where he learned what episcopal ministry was all about, a group of 40 from Sioux City — including his successor, Bishop Walker Nickless — descended to honor the first American cardinal whose road wound through Iowa.

But for all these, the week belonged to the upwards of 700 Texans. The group’s diversity and excitement turned heads even among their fellow cheering-sections, and as their chants bounced off the city’s walls, one longtime Vatican hand said the “radiant” Houston crowd had provided the natives with a much-appreciated sign — that, for all the bad headlines of recent years, “the church in America is still very much alive.”

The show of unity wasn’t a one-off occurrence. “Everyone really gets along here,” DiNardo said shortly after the elevation was announced, ticking off a list of the archdiocese’s cultural groups: the Hispanic majority, a historically prominent African-American contingent, vibrant Vietnamese and Filipino communities, the world’s largest concentration of Nigerians outside their home country, and more.

Almost since the beginning, tensions between rival ethnic factions have been a mainstay of the church’s American journey… that is, until the Southwest.

The region’s newest honor isn’t just papal recognition of a metropolis and its momentum, but of the energized, collaborative model that, following generations of Establishment suspicion, earned Southern Catholicism a place at the civic table not through confrontation, coercion or compromise, but a commitment to the common good and the credibility of its witness.

* * *

Returning home exhausted from the feeding frenzy of Consistory Week, the new cardinal received a card from a grade-schooler that summed up the expectations ahead.

“Congratulations, Cardinal,” it said. “Now get to work.”

Just when he thought his 2008 plans were “worked out,” DiNardo told his flock that “a number of things have now been turned topsy-turvy.

“It should be an interesting time in the year ahead,” he said. “I really need your prayers!”

As it wasn’t just a matter of weeks ago, the ecclesiastical spotlight now rests squarely on what its new prince has termed the “happy chaos” of Houston, of Texas and the wider South.

The archdiocese’s marquee event of the year — the early April dedication of its first permanent Houston hub, the $64 million, 2,000-seat Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart — now takes on the dynamics of a national, even international, event.

From near and far, the invites and requests have already increased, as has his public prominence on the local circuit, the once-averted political niceties included.

Earlier this week, DiNardo offered the invocation as Houston Mayor Bill White was sworn in for his third term. In mid-December, as Texas Gov. Rick Perry hosted a “private” lunch for 400 to welcome the new cardinal home, the guest of honor used the statewide coverage of the Austin event to tackle the controversial topic of immigration, advocating the moral imperative of family reunification and saying that “punitive measures alone” to the end of protecting the nation’s borders “are going to be ultimately ineffective and, I think, counterproductive.”

But, again, the ride is just beginning.

At 58, the youngest American cardinal elevated in nearly two decades has another 22 years of eligibility in a conclave. With 15 of the US’ 17 red-hats now older than 71, his seniority in the top rank will accrue quickly. What’s more, as the undisputed head of the Stateside church’s most dynamic region and leader of the second-largest state grouping of the nation’s Catholics, his potential degree of national influence — already evidenced by the deference accorded him at November’s USCCB plenary — could be without peer.

Well, to the degree he seeks to use it. Time is, after all, on his side.

Seemingly overnight, much has changed for the pastor-turned-“Cardinardo.” But the mind and approach of his parish roots remain unscathed.

Keen to put one on his rectory wall, a Houston priest recently asked his boss when his formal portrait in the scarlet would be ready. Never a fan of flashbulbs, DiNardo told him there were bigger things to think about — even in the purple, he said “it’s still me.” (Six weeks since the consistory, the shot has remained untaken.)

And as he preached from the aisle to a group of young people, another of his clerics was overheard muttering that “This guy should be teaching high school religious ed., not running a diocese.”

The line was intended as a slight. But as the nation’s hierarchy struggles to restore its credibility, an American cardinal couldn’t ask for a better compliment.

PHOTOS: AP/Pier Paolo Cito; Getty Images; Sts. John and Paul Parish, Marshall Pa.; Loggiarazzi; Smiley N. Pool/(Removed by order of the) Houston Chronicle



Survivors’ network calls for resignation of DiNardo, former Sioux City bishop

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Survivors’ network calls for resignation of DiNardo, former Sioux City bishop

Cardinal DiNardo

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo speaks at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City on in 2013. A network of Catholic church sexual abuse survivors has called for DiNardo to step down from his position as Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston after allegations that he bungled several allegations of sexual misconduct levied against priests.

SIOUX CITY  — A group of Catholic church sexual abuse survivors has called on Cardinal Daniel DiNardo to resign as head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, citing his alleged role in a three-decades-old cover up of a former Sioux City diocese priest who sexually abused more than 50.

The diocese on Tuesday publicly apologized for mishandling the case of the Rev. Jerome Coyle, who was stripped of his parish duties in 1986 after acknowledging to church authorities his sexual attraction to and contact with boys while serving several Northwest Iowa parishes over a 20-year period.

The case was brought to light on Oct. 31 by an Associated Press investigation that revealed the diocese, without explanation, announced that Coyle was taking a six-month medical leave of absence. Church officials transferred him to a treatment center in New Mexico where other accused priests nationwide were once commonly sent. The diocese pointed out that was the protocol at the time.

Coyle continued to live in New Mexico for decades, before the diocese recently moved him into a retirement home in Fort Dodge, Iowa, without informing administrators at the Catholic school across the street. The diocese has since transferred him to an undisclosed location.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, an advocacy group for some 25,000 victims, claimed Wednesday that DiNardo, as bishop of the Sioux City diocese from 1997 to 2004, would have been aware of Coyle’s confession and would have one of the diocese officials supervising his living arrangements in New Mexico.

In 2002, while he was in Sioux City, SNAP noted DiNardo also apologized for permitting The Rev. George McFadden, the subject of 27 lawsuits, to remain a priest after he was accused of molesting children. McFadden, the subject of 27 lawsuits, was forced to retire in 1992 after serving nearly 50 years at six parishes.

DiNardo acknowledged the abuse claims were never reported to law enforcement “because it was so long after the events took place.” DiNardo initiated the process to have McFadden deflocked the year before his departure for Texas in 2004.

SNAP also claims DiNardo, who today is the cardinal archbishop of the Galveston-Houston diocese, bungled a more recent sex abuse case in Texas involving Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, a Houston-area priest facing charges of indecency with a child.

Taken together, the allegations are “in our opinion, proof positive that Cardinal DiNardo is unfit for his role as the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,” the statement read.

DiNardo’s predecessor in Sioux City was Lawrence D. Soens, who became bishop in 1983. Soens, now 92, is retired and living in a Sioux City retirement home. Soens himself was investigated more than a decade ago for alleged sexual abuse of an Iowa City high school student in the 1950s or 1960s.

The Coyle case became public as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops prepared to gather for their annual meeting in Baltimore Nov. 12-14. A response to the sex abuse scandal rocking the church will be on the agenda.

As president of the Conference, DiNardo has repeatedly urged the church to be completely transparency about the crisis.

Neither the Diocese of Sioux City nor the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston immediately responded to The Journal’s request for comment on Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Francis Uses”Uncle Ted”Cardinal McCarrick to Empower The Red Chinese Communists to Annihilate The Catholic Church in China Francis, Apostate, is not The Pope

Pleas From the Underground Church

News: Commentary

by Church Militant  •  •  November 9, 2018    8 Comments

Francis betrays Chinese Catholics

By Cry of the Poor

An urn containing the remains of an underground

bishop. For 30 years, the Communist government

would not permit his burial for fear of it

becoming a pilgrimage site.

It’s with a very heavy heart that I write this article. However, after much prayer, I, in good conscience, can no longer keep silent. Since the Sept. 22 provisional agreement between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China, the crackdown of the underground Church has quickly escalated:

  • Throughout the country, underground priests are being coerced into joining the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA). Some have even received threats of imprisonment. Although this is nothing new, what’s different now is that Chinese Authorities are using the Holy Father’s words against us. They’re telling priests: “Your pope agrees with us. You must now join the 爱国会 (CCPA) or return home.” Priests are now faced with an ultimatum: Either pledge loyalty to the Communist Party, or return home.

The underground Church will not disobey the Holy Father nor their legitimate authorities. However, they also will not go against their conscience. The underground priests that I’ve spoken with said that they would rather leave the institutional priesthood than join the CCPA. They, in good conscience, cannot obey an atheistic government dictating their religious activities. Also, what about the faithful? Who will minister to them? Does the Holy See foolishly think that underground Catholics will blindly follow Patriotic Association priests?

  • The work of foreign missionaries is now in jeopardy. In the past, the work of foreign missionaries has been “under the radar.” The Chinese government probably knew about their mission but tolerated them to a certain extent. However, with the recent provisional agreement, many have begun to question their future in China. If they were forced to register their activities with the Chinese government, the majority will probably not receive government approval to stay in China.

Also, due to security reasons, a number of foreign missionaries have begun returning to their home countries. The Chinese government is intent on purging any foreign influence. Also, they continue to plan for the “Sinicization” of the Catholic Church.

  • Image
    Catechism classes are held in discreet locations. In this

    particular location, the children’s class is near a landfill.

    The recent provisional agreements have plunged the underground Church into chaos. One underground bishop has begun the process of joining the CCPA. During his presbyteral council, his priests rebuked him. One priest stood up and said, “I am ready to die for my people! How about you, Your Excellency? Are you ready to die for your people?” The bishop cowered his head. The priest than responded, “You should be ashamed of yourself! You out of all people should be the first to offer your life for your people!”

  • Government authorities are telling underground priests that they are no longer permitted to have Holy Mass in family homes. In a few regions, the crackdown has gotten so bad that priests have begun turning the faithful away and telling them to stay home.
  • Young people are no longer allowed to attend Mass or Church activities. They’re being told to leave their children at home and that the government was responsible for children’s formation.
  • Limited sacraments. Recently, I visited an elderly woman in her 80s. She was very upset over the current situation and was in tears. She mentioned that two of her friends just recently passed away. She tried to find a priest to give them the last sacraments. Unfortunately, the priest that was serving her community was detained and wasn’t able to give them the anointing of the sick or be at their burial. She’s extremely worried, as she herself is gravely ill. Before I left, she told me, “Please don’t abandon us! Please don’t forget us!” It broke my heart to see her like that.

The list can go on and on. Recently, an orphanage for handicapped children was forced to close. An underground retreat house was also forced to close. And then, there are numerous churches, shrines, convents and graves that are being suppressed or ransacked — this in the name of the recent provisional agreement; this in the name of our Holy Father, Pope Francis!

Was this what the Holy Father envisioned when he signed the provisional agreement, to have the Communist government further its assault on our Church?Tweet

Was this what the Holy Father envisioned when he signed the provisional agreement, to have the Communist government further its assault on our Church? To have chaos and confusion among the clergy? Does he know that many in the underground Church are very angry and disheartened? Does he know that if this continues, there will be an exodus of priests and religious returning home, that there is a real risk of a schism with the Church in China?

With a sad heart, I implore the readers to assist the Church in China:

  1. Image
    Fr. Miao Zi Shan (缪子山神父), a priest from Fujian

    Province who was martyred by the Communist


    With your prayers and penance. Now more than ever, we are in desperate need of your prayers. The “Errors of Russia” are still alive and well, and we implore you to heed the words of Our Blessed Mother: “Pray for the conversion of Russia. Pray for China!”

  2. For those in authority, please assist us in obtaining details on the provisional agreement. Chinese authorities are using the provisional authority and the Holy Father against us. We need to know the details of the agreement in order to better defend ourselves.
  3. We need native Chinese clergy representing us. Who better to represent us than our people: those who understand our language, our culture and the Chinese government? Where was Cdl. Joseph Zen and Abp. Savio Hon during the agreement? They were left to the side. And for who? Then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick — a sexual predator who corrupted his seminarians and priests; Cardinal Pietro Parolin, whom Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò claims to have been “complicit in covering up the misdeeds of McCarrick”; Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo, a hit-and-run drunk driver who hit a five-month pregnant woman; Monsignor Carlo Capella, a former Vatican diplomat worked in Hong Kong for three years, and who was convicted of possessing a large quantity of child pornography. (Although Msgr. Capella may not have worked on this current deal, there nevertheless seems to be a pattern of morally compromised individuals working in Chinese-Vatican diplomacy).
  4. Make our voices known! Please don’t allow us to suffer in silence! Help us make our plight known to the world.

Our Lady of Fatima and St. Joseph, pray for us and protect us!

Cardinal Dinardo As Bishop of Sioux City and President of U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishop Cover Up Enabled Fr. Jeremy Coyle Who Admitted  for 20 Years Victimizing 50 School Boys, 7th to 10th grade.” The Number of Victims Could be Higher, As There was “Minimal Supervision” of the Priest After He was “Removed” from Ministry




Cardinal Dinardo Must Resign as President U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Petition, Make Your Voice Heard For The Silenced

Petition Respondent:

Cardinal Daniel Dinardo, President U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
United States of America
Cardinal Dinardo is Culpable of, and therefore not Credible to End Bishop Fueled Clergy Child Sex Crimes and Seminarian Sexual Assault as President of The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Must Resign Immediately for the Protection of Children and Seminarians from Sexual Criminal Assault Perpetrated by Clerics in The Catholic Church.


Cardinal Dinardo’s Cover Up Enabling of Sex Crime Child Predators Clerics History:  First made a bishop, importantly  a “coadjutor bishop” i.e. assistant bishop) for Sioux City, Iowa, (1997-2005) Then Father Danny Dinardo of The Diocese of Pittsburgh would serve as coadjutor bishop for two years and  have the right of succession to succeed Bishop Lawrence R. Soens of Sioux City who was Bishop of Sioux City 1983-1998. Soens retired two years after presiding as the principle bishop consecrating Dinardo his coadjutor bishop in 1998. Nine sexual abuse lawsuits have been filed against Bishop Emeritus Lawrence Soens of the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa. The alleged attacks on male students took place while (Father) Soens was principal of Iowa City Regina High School and Rector of St. Ambrose Seminary in Davenport. Despite the fact that diocesan officials received three molestation allegations against Soens in the 1960s, Archbishop James J. Byrne of Dubuque went ahead and consecrated him on August 17, 1983.  Source : The Rite of Sodomy – Vol. 5 Epilogue 2009 Randy Engel.  As coadjutor bishop to Soens for two years, Dinardo shares responsibility for publicly covering up for and enabling Soens as Bishop of Sioux City as a bishop who like Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sexually assaulted adolescent males and seminarians as Rector of St. Ambrose Seminary. Dinardo as coadjutor to Soens, then as Bishop of Sioux City after Soens’ retirement in 1998 bears equal responsibility with Soens’ for covering up enabling of serial boy rapist Fr. Jeremy Coyle along with Fr. McFadden. The Diocese of Sioux City has been called a historic protective harbor for clerical child abusers by SNAP members during the reign of bishops Soens and Dinardo- 1983-2005-. McFadden and Coyle just recently brought to light are only the tip of the ice berg. Dinardo as Bishop of Sioux City violated Norm 8 of the 2002/2006 Essential Norms Policy of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops – the so called “Zero Tolerance”  declaration in the cases of McFadden and Coyle, as well as Fr. Manuel de la Rosa-Lopez:

Norm 8. When even a single act of sexual abuse of a
minor by a priest or deacon is admitted or is
established after an appropriate process in
accordance with canon law, the offending
priest or deacon will be removed permanently
from ecclesiastical ministry, not excluding
dismissal from the clerical state, if the case so
warrants (CIC, c. 1395 §2; CCEO, c. 1453 §1).t of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Fr. Danny Dinardo was co-consecrated Bishop of Sioux City 1997 by Dinardo’s Home Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop Donald “Donna The Girl” Wuerl. Wuerl, Age 77. Recently had his Resignation Letter for Retirement Mandated at Age 75 accepted two years after Wuerl was mandated by Church retirement law to submit it to Francis (The Pope). Francis bowing  tacitly to popular outrage demanding Francis accept Wuerl’s retirement resignation (although Wuerl first publicly stated he would not resign, but stay at his post to “help in the healing” and had made errors but had committed no crimes)  allowed Wuerl resign due to Wuerl’s implicated 169 times in clerical child sexual abuse cover up enabling in the 2018 PA AG Grand Jury Findings. Francis  reluctantly accepted Wuerl’s de facto forced by Church member outrage resignation (a petition demanding Wuerl resign immediately fueled by the PA Grand Jury Findings detailing Wuerl’s cover up enabling of sex crimes by clerics against children in 169 instances as Bishop of Pittsburgh during the time Fr. Danny Dinardo was a Priest of the Pittsburgh Diocese under Wuerl, reached over 100,000 Signatures). Francis to the contrary recently accepted Wuerl’s age 75 years old  mandated retirement resignation letter with stellar accolades by “The Pope.” Francis commends Wuerl’s “service” in a personal letter as D.C. Cardinal Archbishop (2006-2018). Francis apparently oblivious to the 2018 PA AG Grand Jury Report implicating Wuerl 169 Times for cover up enabling of child sex crimes by clerics, exonerates by praise  Wuerl for making “honest errors” in Wuerl’s pioneer forward looking efforts to  combat child sex abuse by priests as Pittsburgh Bishop.  After Wuerl reached mandatory retirement age of 75 and submitted his resignation letter to Francis, Francis choose to have Wuerl remain as D.C. Archbishop and Cardinal to function as Francis’ close  personal adviser on The Synod on The Family.  “It was Soens and the Archbishops Byrne, Kucera and Hanus  of Dubuque ArchDiocese,  Iowa that first brought sex initiation programs into Catholic schools. These vile books had the imprimatur of the 3 archbishops.”  Wuerl who has authored a series of “gay friendly” sex initiation program publication for Catholic school children is responsible for authoring  sections of Laeticia Amoris promoting basically Wuerl’s “gay friendly” sex initiation program publications for Catholic schools across the globe and in the final documents produced (as Magisterial Teaching promulgated by Pope Francis) by The Synod on The Family.  Whispers from the Loggia:

Father Dinardo, after his return from Rome serving as secretary to Cardinal Gantin, 1990, was was named the diocese’s #2 official in Wuerl’s specialty area: education ” if it sought to be effective — and to the formation of the young.”  —Whispers in the Loggia

While Wuerl built a national following as the “education bishop,” the younger official (Cardinal Dinardo) who ended up leapfrogging him to the Sacred College was honing his approach on ground level.


As minutante, or desk officer, DiNardo was responsible for processing the case-files pertaining to episcopal appointments in the US, Canada, Britain and Australia. The reports would then go to the body’s membership of cardinals, who would vote on a nominee to recommend to the Pope.

As coadjutor bishop of Bishop Soens of Sioux City and two spectacular examples of shared responsibility of cover up enabling of not just child rapists Frs. McFadden and Coyle by Dinardo, equally Dinardo as Wuerl’s “lieutenant” in “education”  must have known of Donna the Girl Wuerl’s active homosexuality and himself as an ambitious cleric (a practicing homosexual since high school) taken the proverbial “Twirl with Wuerl” a number of times.  Like Soens, and latter as coadjutor bishop (2005-2007) to Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, a homosexual, homosexualist former President of the U.S. Conference of Bishops noted by for disingenuously understating the true number of “credible claims of abuse against clerics of the Houston/Galveston Diocese” The Buried Abuse of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocesehttps://…Jan 17, 2017 · “The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston fully cooperates with civil authorities regarding any allegations of clergy sexual abuse with minors, Dinardo as Wuerl’s lieutenant during the time canvassed by the 2018 PA Ag Grand Jury findings, bears responsibility cover up enabling by his silence of Wuerl in Wuerl’s  indictment 169 times in the PA AG Grand Jury findings.

As coadjutor of Galveston/Houston Dinardo served to shield newly elected Pope Benedict who later made Dinardo a Cardinal from criminal indictment for Conspiracy to Harm Children in Federal U.S. Criminal Court, Southern District of Texas, by obstructing justice in putting a non national child sex crime seminarian posing as a priest in a Houston parish on a flight out of the U.S. at Bush International who was central to the civil suit brought against the archdiocese by the victims parents. The Man Who Sued the Pope | Houston Press https:// Apr 21, 2010 ·

A U.S. News article, Liberal Catholic Journalist Links Gay Network to Abuse, Cover-Up Crisis,  demonstrates Wuerl, like Dinardo  Soens as bishop in Sioux City, Wuerl replaced a Notorious Sex Criminal Cardinal, John J. Wright as Bishop of Pittsburgh.

….. author Kenneth Woodward highlighted the career of Cdl. John J. Wright, bishop of Pittsburgh from 1959–1969. He noted that Wright, “like McCarrick, was the subject of numerous stories about his own sexuality.”

“Again, these came mostly from former seminarians and priests of the Pittsburgh diocese, which had a reputation during Wright’s decade there as a haven for actively gay clerics,” he observed. “That was especially true of the Pittsburgh Oratory, which Wright founded in 1961 as a religious center ministering to Catholic students attending the city’s secular universities.”

Woodward recalled:

In 1969, at the age of sixty, Pope Paul VI chose Wright to head the Congregation for Priests in Rome and elevated him to cardinal. It was there, in the frenzied initial years of the post-council era, that I first heard stories of his leading a double life rather openly with a younger lover. What interests me now is not the private details of this double life, but whether it influenced how he ran the congregation overseeing the selection, training, and formation of the clergy.

He then shifted the spotlight to Wright’s protégé, Cdl. Donald Wuerl:

Donald Wuerl, who recently resigned as archbishop of Washington D.C., would surely know the truth about Wright. Wuerl’s first assignment after ordination at the age of thirty-one was as secretary to then Bishop Wright of Pittsburgh in 1966. The younger priest was said to be closer to the cardinal than the hair on his head. He became Wright’s omnipresent full-time personal assistant when the latter moved to Rome, even sitting in for him during the papal conclave that elected John Paul II.

“Priests were raping little boys and girls and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing, they hid it all for decades.” the Pennsylvania Attorney General (Josh Shapiro) explained. “Monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops and cardinals have mostly been protected. Many have been promoted. … Bishop Wuerl is now Cardinal Wuerl …” “Wuerl was the dirtiest bishop as far as [the] sex abuse cover up.” -Josh Shapiro stated.

In the same vein, Dinardo knew about Wright, Wuerl his Consecrating Bishop, and Soens who Dinardo Replaced as Bishop of Sioux City and was Promoted Ecclesiastically by his Silence and Association (Sexual) with Wuerl. Although Dinardo and Wuerl Hypocritically Deny it, both Wuerl and Dinardo knew about D.C. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s (Uncle Ted) Seminarian Predation and Dinardo could not have become Cardinal of Galveston/Houston, nor Wuerl have Succeeded Uncle Ted as D.c. Cardinal  without the Firm Support of “Uncle Ted.” Uncle Ted’s Firm Support Certainly Implies at the Least Tacit Approval of Uncle Ted’s Seminarian Predation by Wuerl and Dinardo.


Wuerl  as Bishop of Pittsburgh, covered up by personal promotion Founder of The Legionaries of Christ (1941- still extent, and  controlling Znet Catholic Media INC. such as Our Sunday Visitor  Currently extolling Dinardo and Wuerl as True Spiritual Champions to Heal and End Child and Seminarian Predation in The Church) Fr. Maciel Macial Degolado, a Serial Child and Seminarian Predator and Criminal Mastermind behind The Sinaloa Federation Cartel and Child Sex Slave Trafficking in Cantinas along the I-10 and I-69 using the The Legionary of Christ Account at The Vatican Bank to Money Billions in “Charitable Religious Donations” from SFC Jefe Carlos Slim Helu,  by writing a new English edition Forward extolling Fr. Marcial Maciel Degolado’s as a modern day saint in Salterio de mis días, Ediciones CES Rome 1991. Maciel’s knock off of Psalter of My Days is a Pious Devotional by  so called “Pater Noster” i.e. Fr. Maciel for Legionary Seminarians, 80% Plagiarized from (compared to Comes’s new 2014 edition) Luis Lucia Lucia’s Salterio  de Mis Horas. Fr. Maciel, was Protected by JPII as JPII’s Svengali  for 25 years until JPII’s Death from Investigation by Cardinal Ratzinger as Papal Inquisition head by JPII. In 2006, Fr. Maciel was removed as head of the Legionaries of Christ, a faux Catholic religious order Maciel Founded in 1941,  by Pope Benedict after the Death of Maciel’s Protector, JPII in 2005. Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict, long a rival for JPII’s Patronage was against Maciel, but did not Investigate Maciel’s Criminality at the Behest of JPII. Ratzinger Elected  Pope Benedict after JPII’s Death in 2005 only Dismissed Fr. Maciel in 2006 as head of the Legionary of Christ ordering Maciel to live a life of penance and prayer due solely to impending public revelations in the Mexican secular press of paternity test evidence Maciel had fathered children with two wives, whose adult sons claimed Maciel  a veritable “Pedophile” sexually assaulted them. Maciel had also sexually assaulted numerous seminarians in the Legionaries’ seminaries, as well as children in Legionary schools in the U.S. (Houston, Texas) Canada, Mexico, Italy, and Spain. Fr, Maciel, in the image of Meyer Lansky (Jewish) and the Italian Mafia, was the Criminal Master Mind and Founder of the Mexican/American Sinaloa Federation Cartel. Maciel  Pioneered and Established International Child Sex Slave Trafficking to the Disenfranchised Workers in Cantinas along the I-10 and I-69 with Geographically The Archdiocese of Galveston Houston as The Hub and Fr. Maciel’s Legionary of Christ Account at The Vatican Bank as a Money Laundering Facade for Sinaloa Federation Cartel Child Sex Slave Trafficking.

Francis and The Vatican Offered “no Comment” at the PA Grand Jury Findings Promulgation then or now  since the Report was Issued. Francis, Who Says Nothing in Response “Who Am I to Judge” to Critical Allegations did not Respond Months Before to a Personal Letter from PA AG  Josh Shapiro to “The Pope” Objecting  Wuerl was using his Influence with the PA. Supreme Court to Obstruct and Redact the Promulgation of the PA Grand Jury Findings on Clerical Child Sex Abuse in Six PA. Catholic Diocese.  Wuerl is the Chosen D.C. Cardinal Successor of  Wuerl’s Disgraced Predecessor Theodore “Uncle Ted” McCarrick. McCarrick was only Recently Suspended by Francis in the Public Practice of Priestly and Episcopal Ministry in The Church for Decades Old  Credible Charges of  Sex Crimes against Children and Seminarians and is the Only Cardinal Ever Removed from The College of Cardinals. Wuerl and Dinardo Continue to Claim Ardently they Had No Knowledge of Uncle Ted’s Seminarian Predation.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, then Bishop of The Diocese of LaCrosse joined with Wuerl to Co-Consecrate Dinardo as Bishop of Sioux City.

“Assisting then-Siouxland Bishop Lawrence Soens were DiNardo’s former ordinary, then-Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh, and the new bishop’s classmate and longtime friend, then-Bishop Raymond Burke of LaCrosse.”

The catch-all nature has baffled more than a few. At his 1997 ordination as coadjutor-bishop of Sioux City, the clergy of the Iowa diocese attempted the standard practice of figuring out their boss-in-waiting from his choices of co-consecrators and attending chaplains.

The “read” might usually be a reliable indicator. On this occasion, however — and to the frustration of the local clergy — the exercise proved futile.

The chaplains made for an even harder read. At one side stood the delicate, straight-laced Msgr Leonard Blair of Detroit, the onetime secretary of Cardinal Edmund Szoka and current bishop of Toledo. On the other was his best friend since high school — the ponytailed, Harley-riding Fr Lou Vallone of Pittsburgh, known in the South for his proficiency at giving Black church revivals.


Dinardo was made Bishop of Sioux City  to Clean Up,  Cover Up for “Retiring” later Criminally Indicted Sadistic Catholic High School Principle Male Student Sexual Predator Bishop Lawrence Soens. Cardinal Dinardo, Admittedly, as then Bishop of Sioux City, Covered Up Enabled Notorious Child Sex Crime Predator Fr. George B. McFaddan, just as Dinardo’s Indicted Sadistic Sexual Abuser of Male Adolescents Predecessor Bishop Lawrence Soens did before Soen’s Retirement Prompted Dinardo’s Consecration as Bishop Soens’ Successor.

In October, 2018, Faced with impending Federal and State Attorney General subpeona and Grand Jury investigation and possible federal and state indictments of  Racketeering Conspiracy to Endanger Children, Fr. Brad Pelzel, Vicar General for the Sioux City Diocese, Publicly admitted the Extensive Nature of the abuse of Fr. Jeremy Coyle. Fr. Coyle admitted that, for a period of about 20 years, he victimized approximately 50 school boys, varying from 7th to 10th grade.” The number of victims could be higher, however, as there was minimal supervision of the priest after he was removed from ministry in 1986. Pelzel did not explain why it would have been “difficult” for the bishop at the time (Bp. Lawrence Soens) to have turned in a self-admitted pederast with a significant record of abuse. Soens, who retired in 1998, was later found to have himself abused students when he was principal at a Catholic school.  “When he self-reported his situation to then-Bishop Soens and asked for help ( Soens who had sadistically abused sexually adolescent boys when Coyle asked Soens his Bishop for “Help” to Stop his Serial Sex Crimes Against Children, Turned a Blind Eye and Deaf Ear to Coyle’s plea for “Help”from his Bishop, spiritual  “overseer” to Stop Coyle from Further Serial Victimization of Boys. Cardinal Dinardo, as Soen’s Immediate Successor as Bishop of Sioux City, knew about Fr. Jeremy Coyle Case and Pleas and like Soens Responded with Episcopal Silence and Did Nothing to Stop Coyle’s Serial Criminality Against Boys. Though Fr. Coyle admitted that, for a period of about 20 years, he victimized approximately 50 school boys, varying from 7th to 10th grade.” The number of victims could be higher, however, as there was minimal supervision of the priest after he was removed from ministry in 1986. Fr. Coyle was recently outed living in Elizabeth Seton Home in Omaha, Nebraska.  Daniel Dinardo as Bishop of Sioux City and as President of  US Conference of Catholic Bishops covered up the Existence of Coyle, his Pleas for Help, and his Serial Criminality against Boys, there bye Enabling Coyle by  Legal Anonymity to have more Victims. Bishop Dinardo of Souix City (1997-2005)  knew of  Soen’s History of Child Abuse Serial Criminality  later Ending in Soen’s Criminal Indictment.  Likewise, Dinardo Nonetheless Knew about Jeremy Coyle while Bishop of Sioux City, and now as President of The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and has concealed the Secret Archive Record of  Sex Crimes Against Boys of Fr. Jeremy Coyle, of The Diocese of Sioux City from Public  13 Years after Bishop Dinardo of Sioux City was Promoted  to become Archbishop of Galveston/Houston and then Elevated to Cardinal.  Fr. Brad Pelzel, Vicar General for the Sioux City Diocese Publicly Admitted “it”failed for decades to report a known pederast (Fr. Jeremy Coyle)who abused at least 50 boys. So did Cardinal Dinardo.

Cardinal Dinardo as Archbishop of Galveston/Houston was Cover Up Enabling 35 year Veteran Parish Child Sexual Predator Pastor Fr. Steven Horn of The Archdiocese of Galveston Houston at the Moment  Archbishop of Galveston/Houston Daniel Dinardo was being Elevated to Cardinal of Galveston/Houston in a 2007 Papal Ceremony in Rome by Resigned (Because of Orchestrating Global Child Abuse by Clerics Cover Up at The Behest of JPII) Former Pope Benedict, Dinardo’s Ecclesiastical Promoter. In 2013, Cardinal Dinardo Claimed All Sexual Abuse Cover Up Allegations Leveled Against Pope Benedict (Contrary to Those  against Pope Francis by Archbishop Vigano’s Three Letters in 2018 according to Dinardo) as 25 Year Head of the Papal Inquisition under JPII are False and Salacious, Vicious Lies. In Fact, JPII Protected all Cardinals, Bishops, and Priest from Vatican Investigation for Sex Crimes Against Children and Seminarians Restraining Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Head of The Papal Inquisition from Investigating and Directing Ratzinnger to Cover up all Cases Submitted Per Crimen Solicitationes, 1961 per Pope John XXIII, to The Holy Office of The Inquisition. JPII Absolutely Protected Fr. Maciel Degolado, The Disgraced Founder of The Legionary of Christ, a De Facto Exposed Pederast, Pedophile, and Sexual Assaulter of Seminarians and the Criminal Master Mind with Carlos Slim Helu of the Sinaloa Federation Cartel Child Sex Slaving Cartel from being Investigated by Then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger,  later Pope Benedict. Benedict’s Universal Cover up of  Child and Seminarian Sex Crimes at the Behest of JPII Led to Benedict’s 2013 Resignation on the Day the 300 Page Dossier  Detailing  Fr. Maciel, Cardinals Soldano and Bertone’s Cardinal Dario Castillon Hoyos, a Colombian and a former head of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and of the Congregation for Clergy, and “Personal Chaplain to Pablo Escobar”  Chase/Vatican Bank Sinaloa Federation Cartel Child Sex Slave Trafficking Money Laundering, Complied by Three Cardinal Investigators into Vatican Corruption and Homosexuality was Presented to Benedict. The Dossier Exhibits Benedict under JPII Cover Up Maciel’s and The Vatican’s not just Individual Bishop, Priest, and Cardinal Sex Crimes Against Children and Seminarians, but Global Organized Crime Child Sex Slave Trafficking under The Auspices of The Vatican Cardinals and Bishops, and Fr. Maciel’s Chase/Vatican Bank Legion of Christ Sinaloa Federation Cartel Money Laundering Account Still Extant, Now under The Supervision of Monsignor Baptistta Ricca, Francis’ Papal Legate to Oversee Reform of The Vatican Bank Credibly Accused of International Money Laundering. Monsignor Ricca, a Credible Accused Child Sex Slave Buyer, and Public Practicing Homosexual, by Local Law Enforcement, Papal Nuncios of The Secretary of State, Local Bishops and Religious, Arrested with a Satchel of Child Pornography, Condoms, and an Illegal Firearm in His Possession, of who Francis Spoke the Famous Words (After Conducting his Own Personal Investigation of Ricca and Finding no Evidence Whatsoever Substantiating the Official Allegations against Ricca) “Who Am I To Judge.”

In 2011, Cardinal Dinardo’s Child Sex Crime Predator Enabling Repeatedly Ordered to Deny Medical Treatment to an Eight Year Old Refugee Child from Iraq, Gang Anal Raped on Multiple Occasions by other Children and Allegedly Fr. Manuel de la Rosa-Lopez at Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston Catholic Charities’ St. Michaels Home in an Attempted Cover Up according to Federal Investigators. Cardinal Dinardo’s 13 Year Cover Up and Enabling of Fr. Manuel de la Rosa-Lopez from 2005-2018 as Archbishop of Galveston/Houston was Exposed Dramatically by Two Child Sexual Assault Victims, a Minor Girl, and a Boy with a Desire to Become a Seminarian at the Time, Culminating in Fr. Manuel’s Arrest on Four Counts of Sexual Assault of a Minor a Day before Cardinal Dinardo was Set to Meet with Francis, September 13th, 2018 to “Demand Answers” (The Exact Opposite Position Dinardo took Towards Sexual Abuse Cover Up Charges Leveled at Pope Benedict in 2013 Dismissing Them as False and Slanderous) how The Vatican Allowed Theodore McCarrick, a Sexual Predator of Seminarians to be, along with his Chosen Successor, Now Resigned, but Still “Apostolic Administrator per Francis” D.C. Cardinal Archbishop, Donna Wuerl, Elevated to D.C. Cardinal.  Cardinal Dinardo Conspiring in the Duplicitous Guise of  Cardinal Clerical Sexual Abuse Reformer and Candidate for Pope to Replace Francis who Must Resign also Sought  to Mandate (Hypocritically) to Francis,“The Pope,” Bishop Accountability Regulations for Sexual Abuse Cover Up Enabling.

These Historical, Factual Grounds Exhibiting Cardinal Dinardo’s Continuous Malfeasance in Episcopal Office in Cover Up Enabling of Criminal Sexual Assault against Children and Seminarians as Bishop, and Cardinal Archbishop of Galveston/Houston, and Currently as President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Demand Cardinal Dinardo in Justice for all Ignored Victims of Clerical Predators in The Catholic Church in the U.S., and Non National Child Sex Slaves Trafficked along the I-10 and I-69 by The Sinaloa Federation Cartel in Conjunction with Father Maciel Degolado’s Legionaries of Christ Vatican Bank Money Laundering Account ( Cardinal Dinardo is a Cardinal “Overseer” of The Vatican Bank) across The Southern Border into The U.S. with The Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston as the Hub, to Resign Immediately as President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop as Culpable of, and therefore not Credible to End Cover Up of Clerical Criminal Sexual Assault on Children and Seminarians

We, The Catholic Faithful of Our Church, in Our Country of America, Demand Cardinal Dinardo Resign as President of The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as Culpable of, and therefore not Credible to End Bishop Fueled Clergy Child Sex Crimes and Seminarian Sexual Assault as Cardinal Archbishop in Dinardo’s Archdiocese of Galveston Houston, nor as President of The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in all Dioceses in The U.S.

The Cardinel Dinardo Must Resign as President U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops petition to Cardinal Daniel Dinardo, President U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was written by Fr. Christopher Terry, O.P. and is in the category Children’s Rights at GoPetition.

Petition Tags

Cardinal Dinardo Resign

Archbishop Vigano in Oct. 19th Third Letter does not Eat His Eat Own Dog Food, Refuses to Say The Truth, Francis Apostate, per se, is not, cannot be The Vicar of Christ (The Pope) a Damnable Sin of Omission by Vigano just as Conspiracy of Silence on Homosexual Corruption in Church Vigano Denounces as Damnable


Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano. (Edward Pentin photo)
BLOGS |  OCT. 19, 2018
Archbishop Viganò Responds to Cardinal Ouellet’s Letter With New Testimony
The full text of the former nuncio’s testimony in which he refutes much of Cardinal Ouellet’s letter of Oct. 7.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò issued a third testimony today, the feast of the North American Martyrs, which we publish in full below, with a link below it to Cardinal Ouellet’s letter of Oct. 7.


On the Feast of the North American Martyrs

To bear witness to corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was a painful decision for me, and remains so.  But I am an old man, one who knows he must soon give an accounting to the Judge for his actions and omissions, one who fears Him who can cast body and soul into hell. A Judge who, even in his infinite mercy, will render to every person salvation or damnation according to what he has deserved.  Anticipating the dreadful question from that Judge — “How could you, who had knowledge of the truth, keep silent in the midst of falsehood and depravity?” — what answer could I give?

I testified fully aware that my testimony would bring alarm and dismay to many eminent persons: churchmen, fellow bishops, colleagues with whom I had worked and prayed.   I knew many would feel wounded and betrayed.  I expected that some would in their turn assail me and my motives.  Most painful of all, I knew that many of the innocent faithful would be confused and disconcerted by the spectacle of a bishop’s charging colleagues and superiors with malfeasance, sexual sin, and grave neglect of duty.  Yet I believe that my continued silence would put many souls at risk, and would certainly damn my own.  Having reported multiple times to my superiors, and even to the pope, the aberrant behavior of Theodore McCarrick, I could have publicly denounced the truths of which I was aware earlier.  If I have some responsibility in this delay, I repent for that.  This delay was due to the gravity of the decision I was going to take, and to the long travail of my conscience.

I have been accused of creating confusion and division in the Church through my testimony.  To those who believe such confusion and division were negligible prior to August 2018, perhaps such a claim is plausible.  Most impartial observers, however, will have been aware of a longstanding excess of both, as is inevitable when the successor of Peter is negligent in exercising his principal mission, which is to confirm the brothers in the faith and in sound moral doctrine.  When he then exacerbates the crisis by contradictory or perplexing statements about these doctrines, the confusion is worsened.

Therefore I spoke.  For it is the conspiracy of silence that has wrought and continues to wreak great harm in the Church — harm to so many innocent souls, to young priestly vocations, to the faithful at large.  With regard to my decision, which I have taken in conscience before God, I willingly accept every fraternal correction, advice, recommendation, and invitation to progress in my life of faith and love for Christ, the Church and the pope.

Let me restate the key points of my testimony.

  • In November 2000 the U.S. nuncio Archbishop Montalvo informed the Holy See of Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual behavior with seminarians and priests.
  • In December 2006 the new U.S. nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, informed the Holy See of Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual behavior with yet another priest.
  • In December of 2006 I myself wrote a memo to the Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone, and personally delivered it to the Substitute for General Affairs, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, calling for the pope to bring extraordinary disciplinary measures against McCarrick to forestall future crimes and scandal.  This memo received no response.
  • In April 2008 an open letter to Pope Benedict by Richard Sipe was relayed by the Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Levada, to the Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, containing further accusations of McCarrick’s sleeping with seminarians and priests. I received this a month later, and in May 2008 I myself delivered a second memo to the then Substitute for General Affairs, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, reporting the claims against McCarrick and calling for sanctions against him.  This second memo also received no response.
  • In 2009 or 2010 I learned from Cardinal Re, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, that Pope Benedict had ordered McCarrick to cease public ministry and begin a life of prayer and penance.  The nuncio Sambi communicated the Pope’s orders to McCarrick in a voice heard down the corridor of the nunciature.
  • In November 2011 Cardinal Ouellet, the new Prefect of Bishops, repeated to me, the new nuncio to the U.S., the Pope’s restrictions on McCarrick, and I myself communicated them to McCarrick face-to-face.
  • On June 21, 2013, toward the end of an official assembly of nuncios at the Vatican, Pope Francis spoke cryptic words to me criticizing the U.S. episcopacy.
  • On June 23, 2013, I met Pope Francis face-to-face in his apartment to ask for clarification, and the Pope asked me, “il cardinale McCarrick, com’è (Cardinal McCarrick — what do you make of him)?”– which I can only interpret as a feigning of curiosity in order to discover whether or not I was an ally of McCarrick.  I told him that McCarrick had sexually corrupted generations of priests and seminarians, and had been ordered by Pope Benedict to confine himself to a life of prayer and penance.
  • Instead, McCarrick continued to enjoy the special regard of Pope Francis and was given new responsibilities and missions by him.
  • McCarrick was part of a network of bishops promoting homosexuality who, exploiting their favor with Pope Francis, manipulated episcopal appointments so as to protect themselves from justice and to strengthen the homosexual network in the hierarchy and in the Church at large.
  • Pope Francis himself has either colluded in this corruption, or, knowing what he does, is gravely negligent in failing to oppose it and uproot it.

I invoked God as my witness to the truth of my claims, and none has been shown false.  Cardinal Ouellet has written to rebuke me for my temerity in breaking silence and leveling such grave accusations against my brothers and superiors, but in truth his remonstrance confirms me in my decision and, even more, serves to vindicate my claims, severally and as a whole.

  • Cardinal Ouellet concedes that he spoke with me about McCarrick’s situation prior to my leaving for Washington to begin my post as nuncio.
  • Cardinal Ouellet concedes that he communicated to me in writing the conditions and restrictions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict.
  • Cardinal Ouellet concedes that these restrictions forbade McCarrick to travel or to make public appearances.
  • Cardinal Ouellet concedes that the Congregation of Bishops, in writing, first through the nuncio Sambi and then once again through me, required McCarrick to lead a life of prayer and penance.

What does Cardinal Ouellet dispute?

  • Cardinal Ouellet disputes the possibility that Pope Francis could have taken in important information about McCarrick on a day when he met scores of nuncios and gave each only a few moments of conversation.  But this was not my testimony.  My testimony is that at a second, private meeting, I informed the Pope, answering his own question about Theodore McCarrick, then Cardinal archbishop emeritus of Washington, prominent figure of the Church in the US, telling the Pope that McCarrick had sexually corrupted his own seminarians and priests. No pope could forget that.
  • Cardinal Ouellet disputes the existence in his archives of letters signed by Pope Benedict or Pope Francis regarding sanctions on McCarrick. But this was not my testimony.  My testimony was that he has in his archives key documents –  irrespective of provenance – incriminating McCarrick and documenting the measures taken in his regard, and other proofs on the cover-up regarding his situation.  And I confirm this again.
  • Cardinal Ouellet disputes the existence in the files of his predecessor, Cardinal Re, of “audience memos” imposing on McCarrick the restrictions already mentioned.  But this was not my testimony.  My testimony is that there are other documents: for instance, a note from Card Re not ex-Audientia SS.mi, signed by either the Secretary of State or by the Substitute.
  • Cardinal Ouellet disputes that it is false to present the measures taken against McCarrick as “sanctions” decreed by Pope Benedict and canceled by Pope Francis. True. They were not technically “sanctions” but provisions, “conditions and restrictions.” To quibble whether they were sanctions or provisions or something else is pure legalism. From a pastoral point of view they are exactly the same thing.

In brief, Cardinal Ouellet concedes the important claims that I did and do make, and disputes claims I don’t make and never made.

There is one point on which I must absolutely refute what Cardinal Ouellet wrote.  The Cardinal states that the Holy See was only aware of “rumors,” which were not enough to justify disciplinary measures against McCarrick. I affirm to the contrary that the Holy See was aware of a variety of concrete facts, and is in possession of documentary proof, and that the responsible persons nevertheless chose not to intervene or were prevented from doing so. Compensation by the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen to the victims of McCarrick’s sexual abuse, the letters of Fr. Ramsey, of the nuncios Montalvo in 2000 and Sambi in 2006, of Dr. Sipe in 2008, my two notes to the superiors of the Secretariat of State who described in detail the concrete allegations against McCarrick; are all these just rumors? They are official correspondence, not gossip from the sacristy. The crimes reported were very serious, including those of attempting to give sacramental absolution to accomplices in perverse acts, with subsequent sacrilegious celebration of Mass. These documents specify the identity of the perpetrators and their protectors, and the chronological sequence of the facts. They are kept in the appropriate archives; no extraordinary investigation is needed to recover them.

In the public remonstrances directed at me I have noted two omissions, two dramatic silences. The first silence regards the plight of the victims. The second regards the underlying reason why there are so many victims, namely, the corrupting influence of homosexuality in the priesthood and in the hierarchy.  As to the first, it is dismaying that, amid all the scandals and indignation, so little thought should be given to those damaged by the sexual predations of those commissioned as ministers of the gospel.  This is not a matter of settling scores or sulking over the vicissitudes of ecclesiastical careers.  It is not a matter of politics.  It is not a matter of how church historians may evaluate this or that papacy.  This is about souls.  Many souls have been and are even now imperiled of their eternal salvation.

As to the second silence, this very grave crisis cannot be properly addressed and resolved unless and until we call things by their true names. This is a crisis due to the scourge of homosexuality, in its agents, in its motives, in its resistance to reform. It is no exaggeration to say that homosexuality has become a plague in the clergy, and it can only be eradicated with spiritual weapons.  It is an enormous hypocrisy to condemn the abuse, claim to weep for the victims, and yet refuse to denounce the root cause of so much sexual abuse: homosexuality.  It is hypocrisy to refuse to acknowledge that this scourge is due to a serious crisis in the spiritual life of the clergy and to fail to take the steps necessary to remedy it.

Unquestionably there exist philandering clergy, and unquestionably they too damage their own souls, the souls of those whom they corrupt, and the Church at large.  But these violations of priestly celibacy are usually confined to the individuals immediately involved.  Philandering clergy usually do not recruit other philanderers, nor work to promote them, nor cover-up their misdeeds — whereas the evidence for homosexual collusion, with its deep roots that are so difficult to eradicate, is overwhelming.

It is well established that homosexual predators exploit clerical privilege to their advantage.  But to claim the crisis itself to be clericalism is pure sophistry.  It is to pretend that a means, an instrument, is in fact the main motive.

Denouncing homosexual corruption and the moral cowardice that allows it to flourish does not meet with congratulation in our times, not even in the highest spheres of the Church.  I am not surprised that in calling attention to these plagues I am charged with disloyalty to the Holy Father and with fomenting an open and scandalous rebellion.  Yet rebellion would entail urging others to topple the papacy.  I am urging no such thing.  I pray every day for Pope Francis — more than I have ever done for the other popes. I am asking, indeed earnestly begging, the Holy Father to face up to the commitments he himself made in assuming his office as successor of Peter. He took upon himself the mission of confirming his brothers and guiding all souls in following Christ, in the spiritual combat, along the way of the cross.  Let him admit his errors, repent, show his willingness to follow the mandate given to Peter and, once converted let him confirm his brothers (Lk 22:32).

In closing, I wish to repeat my appeal to my brother bishops and priests who know that my statements are true and who can so testify, or who have access to documents that can put the matter beyond doubt.  You too are faced with a choice.  You can choose to withdraw from the battle, to prop up the conspiracy of silence and avert your eyes from the spreading of corruption.  You can make excuses, compromises and justification that put off the day of reckoning.  You can console yourselves with the falsehood and the delusion that it will be easier to tell the truth tomorrow, and then the following day, and so on.

On the other hand, you can choose to speak.  You can trust Him who told us, “the truth will set you free.”  I do not say it will be easy to decide between silence and speaking.  I urge you to consider which choice– on your deathbed, and then before the just Judge — you will not regret having made.

+ Carlo Maria Viganò
Arcivescovo tit. di Ulpiana
Nunzio Apostolico
19 Ottobre 2018, Feast of the North American Martyrs

Cardinal Ouellet’s Oct. 7 open letter to Archbishop Viganò.

Catholic Church bombshell: Lay board that probed sex abuse seeks to be reappointed

Here is another great action by lay Catholics. Although I have grave moral reservations in regard to Leon Penneta involved in anything, resurrecting the board including Gov. Keating who Cardinal Mahoney (being rehabilitated recently by Francis a la McCarrick) cornered to resign from the board in futility in 2004 under new jurisdiction that includes and does not exclude Bishops fueling child sex crimes and seminarian sexual assault is another action taken apart from Dinardo and Francis by Catholics.


Catholic Church bombshell: Lay board that probed sex abuse seeks to be reappointed

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired Roman Catholic archbishop of Washington, D.C., has been removed from public ministry and faces further punishment over "credible" allegations that he sexually abused a teenager while a priest in New York more than 40 years ago, the church announced Wednesday.

Pope Francis and former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. | The Washington Post via AP file photo

A lay board appointed 15 years ago by the U.S. Conference of Bishops to investigate the priest sex abuse scandal is seeking to be reappointed and given the power to probe high-ranking members of the Catholic Church in the United States, according to a bombshell letter obtained by Sneed.

The nine-member panel — which included Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke; President Barack Obama’s former CIA chief and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta; powerful Washington, D.C., attorney Robert Bennett; and New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Petra Jimenez Maes — worked together last week by phone to hammer out its request, a copy of which is included below.


Burke, on behalf of the group, sent the letter to U.S. Conference of Bishops president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo on Friday.

The letter cites recent claims by a retired top Vatican official that Pope Francis himself knew about sexual misconduct allegations against the former archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, but that Francis restored him to public ministry anyway. McCarrick resigned in July after an abuse allegation lodged against him was deemed “credible.”

“We were never given the power to investigate the bishops,” Burke told Sneed. “We need to know why Washington, D.C., Archbishop McCarrick and others rose in their ecclesiastical careers when troubling facts regarding sexual abuse were known by the hierarchy which promoted them.”

“Until these bishops and cardinals admit their fault and knowledge of what was occurring and their role in it, we are not going to be able to restore trust in our Church,” Burke added.

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The letter notes the lay board was “independent and impartial,” was “widely praised both inside and outside the church,” and stresses that the creation of any new lay board should be a totally independent.

However, Sneed hears Francis is the only one who could make the decision to re-appoint the old U.S. Conference of Bishops lay board — and is the only one to authorize the investigation of Bishops.

“What has been happening is awful,” said Bennett, a member of the 2004 lay board.

“In order to protect the integrity and representatives of the Holy See, it is essential the Holy See promptly create an independent lay board to investigate current allegations and report their findings to the National Review Board,” said Bennett.

“Our lay board was well recognized for independence, integrity and competence in dealing with these matters,” he said.

Here’s the full text of the letter from Burke to DiNardo, who couldn’t be reached for comment.

Dear Eminence:

I served as the Interim Chair of the National Review Board created by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which issued its report on February 27, 2004. For your convenience, I have attached the introductory pages of the report. I have been in contact with the members of that Board and we are all deeply disturbed and saddened by the recent reports that sexual abuse by the clergy and its alleged cover-up has reached into the hierarchy of the Church.

The purpose of this letter is to offer the services of the members of that Board to assist the Church in dealing with the very serious crisis that it is currently facing.

Our Board, which performed its work under the auspices of Bishop Wilton Gregory, was independent and impartial and was widely praised both inside and outside the Church. We believe that our report to the Bishop’s Conference was well received and that the Charter that resulted from our work has been helpful. Indeed, it is undisputed that as a result of our report to the Conference, children and young people are safer today than in the past. Policies, practices and procedures, and reporting requirements are in place which have been very effective in accomplishing our goals to protect children and young people.

We believe that an “Independent Inquiry Board” comprised entirely of lay people should be convened.

The focus of the new inquiry and resulting report should be on the following:

1. The failure of the Church to adequately resolve cases of sexual abuse that pre-date the charter in an effective way.

2. The basic flaw in the Charter which has always exempted the bishops from the process.

3. The fundamental need to answer the question as to how Archbishop McCarrick and others rose in their ecclesiastical careers when troubling facts regarding sexual abuse were known by the hierarchy which promoted them.

In order to restore confidence in the Church and the hierarchy, we strongly recommend that you request the Holy See to appoint the members of our Board to investigate and report to the Holy See on the allegations in this evolving crisis and to make recommendations to the Bishops Conference. If the Holy See should ask us, we would accept. Further, we respectfully recommend that you ask the Holy See to appoint Archbishop Charles Scicluna to consult with us and serve as our liaison with the Holy See. We offer the Church our help, knowledge, wisdom, credibility and experience in this time of great need.


Honorable Anne M. Burke


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