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The recent outing of a high-ranking U.S. cleric is raising eyebrows and questions. The now-former general secretary of the U.S. bishops' conference, or USCCB, announced his resignation Tuesday after his gay lifestyle was made public. Church Militant's William Mahoney looks at the scandal and the questions.
Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill climbed in the Church while spending much of his time using a hookup app for homosexuals called Grindr, visiting bathhouses and meeting strangers for casual gay sex.
But despite his double life, as general secretary of the USCCB, Burrill managed to become America's highest-ranking cleric who is not a bishop.
Jeffrey Burrill: "We thank you, Holy Father, for your continued pastoral guidance during this global pandemic."
Of course, the ordeal raises questions about who in the hierarchy and other prominent Church positions knew what and when did they know it, but also, and perhaps more pressing, who leaked the information?
The Pillar reported it obtained "commercially available records of app signal data," revealing Burrill was using Grindr basically everywhere he went, including his USCCB office.
Jeffrey Burrill: "As we consider post-pandemic life, we affirm with you that the normality to which we are called is that of the kingdom of God."
But who bought those records and submitted them for media exposure? Was it the same person who submitted to media last month the names of signatories on a now-infamous letter of 68 prelates who wanted to crush conversations on eucharistic coherence?
Jeffrey Burrill: "Does the body of bishops approve the request of the committee on doctrine to proceed with the drafting of a formal statement of the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church?"
It seems the informant, or informants, know what's happening behind the doors with the USCCB and is (or are) targeting prelates and high-ranking clerics like Burrill.
Now the question becomes: Why?
Cdl. Blase Cupich: "In some of the cases with adults involving clerics, it could be consensual sex — anonymous — but also adult pornography."
Is this deflection by a bad actor in the USCCB or somebody, or a group of people, sick and tired of corruption in the Church and doing something about it by systematically spotlighting the corrupt?
Jeffrey Burrill: "We are always humbled by this gift of the Lord's presence, that in the midst of upheaval, Christ is with us. And the light of Christ is always our hope and our guide."
If the former, then what are the deflectors hiding?
Burrill was a formation director at the NAC, the North American College in Rome, from 2009–2013, under pro-gay rector James Checchio, who's now the bishop of Metuchen where disgraced homosexual pederast Theodore McCarrick began his career.