Amidst all the tumult and turmoil over the question of who knew what when regarding Theodore McCarrick, one thing is absolutely ascertainable. New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan definitely knew about the charges against McCarrick about a year before they became public.
The Vatican-approved check into the charges that McCarrick molested a teenage altar boy in the sacristy of St. Patrick's Cathedral 45 years before was granted almost a year before Dolan's review board checked them out and deemed them credible, thus forcing Dolan to make the findings public.
So during that following year, at least Cdl. Dolan knew about them.
Now that's significant because, since he is cardinal in the American hierarchy, he automatically sits on the board of the Papal Foundation, an organization actually funded in part by McCarrick.
The Papal Foundation is comprised of extremely wealthy American Catholics who contribute large sums of money and then approve various grants to assorted projects based on requests from the Holy See, the Vatican.
The board receives the requests and then evaluates them following discussions and analysis and research and so forth — all part and parcel of any grant-making organization. It's why they exist and they generally operate by accepted guidelines.
One of these guidelines is that there be no conflict of interest or even the appearance of conflict of interest when members are deciding about who or what to give grants to.
And now enter the scandal of the corruption-plagued IDI Hospital in Rome, which Pope Francis had personally interceded on behalf of to ask the Papal Foundation, through Cdl.l Donald Wuerl, to have the Foundation give the hospital a gigantic grant of $25 million — way more than the usual amount of individual grants.
Now here's the rub. The request from Pope Francis on behalf of the hospital, and the ensuing lobbying for it by Donald Wuerl, came while the McCarrick investigation was already underway, a fact known by Timothy Dolan.
In fact, McCarrick himself lobbied hard for the board to grant the Pope's request for the $25 million. Four different meetings and votes were had where Wuerl and McCarrick pushed hard, and eventually $13 million of the grant was indeed made.
The votes included all the cardinals since they are board members, so that means at least two cardinals, and more than likely more, had absolute knowledge that McCarrick was under investigation for credible charges of homosexual child molestation — McCarrick himself and Dolan.
And yet McCarrick, alongside Wuerl, was allowed to keep pushing for the grant of millions, a grant requested by the Vatican that he knew, and Dolan knew, was going to be judging his case at some point down the road. This whole thing stinks to high Heaven.
A man accused of filthy crimes and sins, which are known to at least one other cardinal, is allowed to make a pitch that his eventual judge get $25 million, and the lay members of the board are kept in the dark on all this.
And yet, here we sit today, with all this known as fact, and Dolan is completely unaccountable as all the high ranking corrupt clergy are, totally refusing to even believe they should give an accounting, much less will.
They give a whole new meaning to the title "Princes of the Church." They certainly do think of themselves that way. It beggars belief that Dolan was the only other cardinal at that table aware of what was coming down the pike regarding McCarrick.
Perhaps all this coming out is why Dolan was one of the few senior clerics who did not rush to a microphone and TV camera to express his shock and horror at not knowing about McCarrick. He knew because it was his archdiocese that had been assigned the investigation almost a year earlier.
So his silence there absolves him from the label blatant liar like his fellow cardinals. But he is guilty of massive deception is sitting by silently — if that is, in fact, what he did — in letting McCarrick try to engineer what amounts to a $25 million payoff while pulling the wool over the eyes of other board members.
So a question — and Dolan has a moral duty to answer it — was he the only cardinal, besides McCarrick, who knew about the ongoing McCarrick investigation?
If he was, why didn't he stop it and fess up to the other board members that a fraud was being perpetrated on them by a fellow board member with a serious conflict of interest?
If he didn't tell anyone else, why didn't he?
If he did tell other cardinals, which one or which ones did he tell? And why didn't they speak up as the attempted fraud was being perpetrated?
So are we to think that Wuerl, O'Malley, Cupich, Tobin, DiNardo were all left completely in the dark about McCarrick? Man, if that's true, then Dolan screwed over his fellow brother "princes" by compromising their integrity and making them unwitting accomplices in financial deception.
If it's not true and all or some of them did know, then that's even more despicable — and perhaps illegal.
The Papal Foundation operates under the civil laws as they apply to non-profits and, as such, comes under the jurisdiction of the laws in its home state of Pennsylvania, which means their ol' buddy, Josh Shapiro, attorney general of Pennsylvania may soon feel the need to open yet another investigation.
Let's say it plainly: These men are crooked. They operate with impunity and feel as though they are accountable to no one.
They have sat atop an enormous meltdown of the faith over the past 50 years, lied about continual ongoing homosexual abuse of both minors and adults, hidden behind their positions of clerical importance and have sold souls down the river to protect their rear ends — their "careers" — which is exactly how they view their vocations — as nothing else but careers.
And every time you turn around, they are constantly launching appeals for money — hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars —non-stop.
They fleece the flock, they distort the truth of the Faith, they deceive even fellow board members, if not outright lie to them, and all for what?
The Church is in need of a giant purging, from top to bottom. How the Church actually does business, the secrecy, the arrogance, the pretense and trappings of office, the attitude of unaccountability, the lack of transparency, the financial mismanagement and theft and redirection of funds, the selection of men for seminary, the choice of formators of those men — all of it — every stick and branch, needs to be rethought and reformed.
Scoundrels, who can not be given the benefit of a doubt, because there no longer is any doubt, are running the Church and major archdioceses, and how this all functions must change. Here's to hoping that Josh Shapiro comes back for round two and nails the whole lot of them. Those robes need to be turned in for stripes or orange jumpsuits.
No wonder there is noise from New York as the attorney general investigation heats up there that Dolan wants to head off for Rome and take over for homosexualist Cdl. Edwin O'Brien who is the grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre — another society of largely wealthy and elite Catholics.
Perhaps Dolan and other Cardinals can start the funny money games with that group as well, and then keep them in the dark. Money, sex, lies, deceit, possible criminal wrongdoing — this is no way to run a church and no way are these men to be trusted.
Whatever the next conclave brings, it will be a disgrace if any of these men walk in.