Religion Cardinal Sins
posted by November 13 at 12:09 PMon
The next time some dimwitted representative of the Catholic Church attempts to lecture you about your sexual orientation and ethics, or your legal and consensual sexual practices, ask ‘em to explain how Cardinal George of Chicago managed to get his child-rape-enabling ass elected as the head of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
NPR had a great story this morning. George, “[an] outspoken advocate for cleaning up the sex-abuse crisis in the church,” did nothing to stop Father Daniel McCormack, a Chicago priest, from raping boys. And, yes, the Archdiocese knew all about it.
The boy told [his mother] that at least twice in December 2003, McCormack cornered him, put his hands down the boy’s pants and fondled him. When she heard this, the mother says she called Leah McCluskey, the official in the archdiocese in charge of abuse investigations. She still has the phone records; one call lasted 22 minutes.
She says McCluskey promised to investigate. Under the zero-tolerance policies that Cardinal George promoted, the archdiocese was required at this point to call the police.
But the archdiocese didn’t call the police—and guess what? This wasn’t the first time someone reported Father McCormack to the Archdiocese.
In 1992, two men and one minor accused McCormack of sexually abusing them while he was in seminary. A letter is put in McCormack’s seminary file. That letter has disappeared.
In October 1999, the assistant principal at the school where McCormack taught informed the Office of Catholic Schools and the archdiocese that McCormack had allegedly abused a fourth-grade boy. She says she later wrote a letter and delivered it to the archdiocese. The investigator never found the letter. Church officials say they never received it.
In September 2003, a woman called the archdiocese and reported that her grandson was molested by McCormack. She left her phone number but not her name.
At no time did the archdiocese call the police.
But Father McCormack eventually got busted—he’s in prison now—so someone did the right thing eventually, right? Yes. But it wasn’t Cardinal George or anyone at the archdiocese.
“My assistant principal called me and said, ‘We’ve got a problem,” recalls Principal Westrick. “She said, ‘This kid says he’s been molested by Father Dan.’ I said, ‘I’ll be right over.’”
Westrick immediately called the parents, the police and the archdiocese. McCormack was arrested Jan. 20, 2006. In March 2006—only after McCormack’s arrest and 14 years after the first complaint—Cardinal George publicly apologized.
Westrick called the parents, the police, and the archdiocese—in that order. Thank God Westrick didn’t call the archdiocese first. Someone at the archdiocese was protecting McCormack—where did those letters go? records of phone calls?—and the archdiocese might have prevented Westrick, an employee of the archdiocese, from calling the cops. Only after Cardinal George’s archdiocese could no longer cover up for Father McCormack, moving him to new schools and parishes where he could go on raping and fondling children, did Cardinal George apologize. And what does Cardinal George have to say for himself?
“I should have found at least some fashion in the canons to remove provisionally Father McCormack,” he said in a press conference after releasing the results of two investigations that showed how the McCormack case went wrong. “I take responsibility for not doing that, and I’m saddened by my own failure, very much so.”
The cardinal is sad. Boo fucking hoo for the cardinal.
Good God. Cardinal George says he would’ve removed Father McCormack if only he could’ve found some provision in the canons, or church law, that allowed him to do so. Well, gee. Are we supposed to understand that there’s nothing in church law that specifically forbids raping children? Never mind that raping kids is against the law in the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, and the United States of America, and that priests and cardinals are subject to those laws. Instead of pouring over the canons—no doubt tearing his hair out in frustration—George could’ve called the fucking police. You know, just like that principal did and just like George’s own policies on the abuse of children require him to.
Let’s face facts, shall we?
Someone inside the Chicago archdiocese was protecting a known pedophile and a serial child rapist. And someone in addition to Father McCormack needs to go to jail. When is a prosecutor going to launch an investigation into the conduct of the Catholic Church—into one of these coverups—and indict some of the motherfuckers that let it happen? Or are conspiracies and pedophile rings somehow less criminal when the child rapists and their accomplices claim to be Jesus Christ’s representatives on earth?