Multiple reports say that Cdl. Donald Wuerl had a lunchtime meeting with senior clergy from the archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and that there he discussed plans for his future, which would include his no longer being the archbishop of Washington, D.C.
However, anger at the scandal surrounding Wuerl is now reaching fever pitch, with a Pittsburgh high school named after the cardinal vandalized to blot out Wuerl's name and a petition to strip the high school of his name launched just a few days ago already reaching nearly 7,000 signatures.
Catholics all over the country are expressing outrage at the culture of cover-up among Church leaders, personified by Wuerl, with billboards cropping up in Texas demanding that we drain the Catholic swamp, and homemade signs posted over a San Diego freeway accusing Bp. Robert McElroy of being part of the cover-up.
McElroy had known about the homosexual predation of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick since at least 2016, when renowned sex abuse expert Richard Sipe, who played a leading role in exposing the sex abuse crisis in Boston in 2002, sent McElroy a detailed letter explaining McCarrick's assault of seminarians.
Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute said:
Cardinal Wuerl's resignation is a good first step, but isn't nearly enough. In addition to stepping down, Cardinal Wuerl should be stripped of his cardinalate, removed from the College of Cardinals and removed from all positions of influence within the Church. The details of his work to protect predatory priests in Pittsburgh are so disturbing that he and those he worked with should likewise be removed.
And Catholic author Jim Russell says:
Strike one, two, and three, as far as I'm concerned. Cardinal Wuerl has struck out. Now it's up to Pope Francis to display those same true qualities of a bishop by ensuring that Wuerl gives over his office to another truly capable of it.
Reverend Roman Manchester from the diocese of Providence, Rhode Island also says Wuerl should be stripped of the red hat:
I recall a story about Pope St. Pius X taking the red hat away from a French bishop — literally. He called the bishop to Rome, and when the bishop genuflected to greet him, Pius said, 'Good morning, bishop,' took the zucchetto off his head, then said, 'Goodbye, Father.' We need Francis to be like Pius.
While Catholic Establishment media have given fawning interviews with Cdl. Wuerl to help shore up his deteriorating position, secular media have been tearing Wuerl's comments apart, pointing out contradictions and flat-out falsehoods.
Yesterday, CNN aired a story by Jake Tapper highlighting multiple contradictions in Wuerl's public remarks compared to his record in Pittsburgh — the same contradictions Church Militant was first to point out in our special report from last week.
"Nikki Battiste: Did you ever move priests, quietly, to another —
Donald Wuerl: That wasn't — that wasn't our process."
Jake Tapper: Actually it was the process with Fr. George Zirwas. The diocese of Pittsburgh, under Wuerl, who started there in 1988, "was aware of complaints against Zirwas for sexually abusing children as early as 1987. Additional complaints were received between 1987 and 1995" and that includes in 1988 and 1991, while Wuerl was bishop of the diocese. "However, Zirwas continued to function as a priest during this period and was reassigned to several parishes." Despite all this evidence, a spokesman for Wuerl maintains that he acted promptly in this case and removed Zirwas.
"Wuerl: If there were allegations, we dealt with them immediately."
Tapper: Immediately? Really? The predatory behavior of Fr. Ernest Paone dated back to the early 1960s and Paone was shuffled from parish to parish all over the country.
Father Zirwas, recall, is the priest Wuerl paid off with hush money in exchange for his silence on other priests' criminal sexual conduct, money the priest used on gay prostitutes in Cuba until he was murdered by one.
All this, against the backdrop of news earlier today that Pope Francis has finally broken his silence about the sex scandals rocking U.S. bishops.
In a statement issued this morning, Pope Francis blamed clericalism as the root cause of the crisis, saying, "Clericalism, whether fostered by priests themselves or by lay persons, leads to an excision in the ecclesial body that supports and helps to perpetuate many of the evils that we are condemning today."
The language sounds remarkably similar to that of Chicago Cdl. Blase Cupich, who told America magazine two weeks ago that clericalism was to blame, explicitly rejecting the idea that homosexuality has anything to do with sex abuse, saying, "I would not want to reduce this simply to the fact that there are some priests who are homosexual. I think that is a diversion that gets away from the clericalism that’s much deeper as a part of this problem."
Cupich's comments were lauded by gay activists and republished on the blog for New Ways Ministry, a group condemned by the Vatican for dissenting on Church teaching on homosexuality.
Cupich cited a controversial analysis of the U.S. bishops' John Jay Report to justify his remarks. That analysis by Cynthia Calkins introduced the novel idea that the homosexual priest sex abuse crisis of 2002 was somehow not related to homosexuality.
Calkins, who was paid by the U.S. bishops, pretended the real cause was just that priests had easier access to boys and homosexuality had nothing to do with it, something that Dr. Paul McHugh from Johns Hopkins, who was one of the charter members of the bishops' review board, says is ridiculous.
Dr. Paul McHugh: "This is obviously homosexual predation on Catholic youth ... I mean, thousands of young people were abused, most of them were young males, not pre-pubescent, but post-pubescent males, adolescent males, and thousands of priests were involved in this."
The numbers themselves, from multiple annual reports, prove that the vast majority of clerical sex abuse is, in fact, homosexual nature.
In 2004, the numbers showed 80 percent of abuse was homosexual in nature and 90 percent involved post-pubescent teens, proving this is not about pedophilia, but homosexual pederasty, a common dimension of homosexuality, where older men seek out younger males.
In 2011, the numbers are nearly identical, with 81 percent being homosexual in nature. And as in 2004, most of the abuse was committed on post-pubescent males.
Unsurprisingly, those numbers were again confirmed in the 2016 John Jay Report, showing 78 percent of priestly sex abuse is homosexual in nature, again the majority of the abuse committed against post-pubescent teens.
The Pennsylvania grand jury report published last week also confirmed those numbers, showing that 74 percent of the abuse in six dioceses was homosexual predation on males, and the majority of the abuse — 60 percent — was committed against post-pubescent teens. Again, homosexual pederasty, not pedophilia, which pertains only to young pre-pubescent children of either sex.
The homosexual predation exposed by the Pennsylvania grand jury report and before that, Cdl. Theodore McCarrick, has sparked new debate over the presence of gay priests in the Church.
Secular media is now all over the story, the Associated Press publishing a report just this morning titled "Cardinal McCarrick scandal inflames debate over gay priests."
Priests like Fr. James Martin, best known for his attempts to normalize homosexuality in the priesthood, have loudly complained about the focus on homosexuality, Martin even telling the Associated Press that gay priests are a vast component of the clergy, saying, "The idea of a purge of gay priests is both ridiculous and dangerous. Any purge would empty parishes and religious orders of the thousands of priests (and bishops) who lead healthy lives of service and faithful lives of celibacy."
But dozens of Catholic authors and leaders, including some bishops, are hitting back, saying it is all about homosexuality and that the Church must focus on rooting out gay priests from the life of the Church
Popular Catholic author Matt Walsh put it bluntly.
Matt Walsh: "Homosexuals must be banned from the priesthood — no exception. They must be banned. I said this has to be ruthless, brutal, uncompromising and so that's one of those steps. Every homosexual priest — banned."
Monsignor Charles Pope of the Washington, D.C. archdiocese has also weighed in with his own blunt remarks. In an article in the National Catholic Register titled "Active Homosexuality in the Priesthood Helped Cause This Crisis," he insists that it's time for frank discussion on the true causes of this sex abuse crisis:
It is time for a truthful conversation free from political correctness and forbidden topics. If our bishops are not willing to engage a full and honest airing of all the causes, the anger of God's people will only increase, and the credibility of the bishops and the Church will sink from near zero to absolute zero.
Pope Francis himself recently repeated the Church's discipline on this, saying as recently as this May that men with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or who support the gay culture should not be admitted to seminary.
In the strongest statement of any bishop yet, Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin zeroed in on the problem of homosexuality in the clergy, in particular the hierarchy, saying, "It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord."
Dozens upon dozens of Catholics have since weighed in with the same message, blaming the tolerance and in some cases promotion of homosexuality within the very ranks of the clergy — including many of bishops themselves — as a major factor in the sex abuse scandals in the Church, which makes it all the more troubling that this issue is avoided in Pope Francis' response.
Not only does he parrot Cupich's language on clericalism, Pope Francis wrongly focuses on children as victims of abuse as though they are young pre-pubescent children.
Again that is not the reality as the bishops' own research clearly indicates. The overwhelming majority of the homosexual predator clergy — including bishops — have been physically mature teenage males and young adult males.
And the McCarrick revelations, as well as a flood of testimonies from current and former seminarians that Church Militant and other media outfits have published in recent weeks, also reveals the heart of the problem is homosexual predation on adults.
It's an issue that's wholly avoided in the 2002 Dallas Charter, orchestrated largely by homosexual predator Theodore McCarrick.
Thousands of Catholics are expected to descend on Baltimore Maryland this November to take part in the Silence Stops Now rally to protest this never-ending scandal that bishops apparently cannot solve on their own.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro reacted to Pope Francis' statement today, expressing hopes that bishops would stop denying the obvious and start implementing real reforms in the Church, saying:
It is my hope that, following the Holy Father's words and teachings, Church leaders in Pennsylvania will cease their denials and deflections and now fully support the Grand Jury's recommendations so that survivors have the opportunity to obtain justice and ensure this type of widespread abuse and cover-up never happens again.
Catholics on social media are expressing shock and outrage that yet once again the central issue of homosexuality has been sidestepped — this time by the Pope himself.
Many are speculating whether Francis is being kept in the dark or is actually complicit in covering up what is now apparent to so many, that there exists a dominant homosexual culture in the Church and that the vast overwhelming majority of sexual abuse cases are directly tied to the high numbers of homosexual men in the priesthood and the episcopate.