About Millstones


#NotreDame is on the wrong side of the church's sexual abuse scandal with Abp #McCarrick's honorary degree around its neck. #GoCatholicND Click To Tweet

Father John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, has decided to let stand the honorary degree it awarded Archbishop Theodore McCarrick pending a canonical trial..

Fr. Jenkins found “no reason to question” the New York Archdiocese’s determination that allegations of sexual abuse by Archbishop McCarrick were “credible and substantiated,” and he noted that Pope Francis had “asked for McCarrick’s resignation from the cardinalate, suspended him from public ministry and ordered him to live a life of prayer and penance until a canonical trial.”

Nevertheless, Father Jenkins said, in a public statement, “McCarrick maintains his innocence,” and so the University should “allow the adjudicatory process to reach a conclusion before taking action” as it did in the Bill Cosby case.

Sounds reasonable, does it not? Well, let’s see.

The Cosby Misdirection

Father Jenkins’s reliance on the Cosby precedent is mystifying, since in fact it undermines his decision.

As Father Jenkins said, the University rescinded Cosby’s honorary degree “only after judicial proceedings in criminal court concluded with a guilty verdict.” Indeed, on the very day of that verdict,

What he did not say is that the “adjudicatory process” was, and is, far from “reaching a conclusion.” Cosby was professing his innocence and pledging an appeal even as Notre Dame was junking his honorary degree. “There’s still a long and arduous legal process ahead.”

In McCarrick’s case there is the judgment Father Jenkins “sees no reason to question,” not of an anonymous randomly selected jury, but of Cardinal Timothy Dolan and his archdiocesan review board — a board, as he explained, composed of “a seasoned group of professionals including jurists, law enforcement experts, parents, psychologists, a priest, and a religious sister.”

Nor is Archbishop McCarrick appealing. Rather, Cardinal Dolan reported, “while maintaining his innocence” – more on that later – “he has accepted the decision.”

Father Jenkins needs to explain why he is not following the Cosby precedent rather than pretending that he is.

Catholic, Fordham, and Portland Universities v. Notre Dame

Notre Dame’s CSC sister school, the University of Portland, has now joined Catholic University and Fordham Univerity in rescinding McCarrick’s honorary degree. Portland declared:

In taking this action, we uphold our UP community values and commitment to fostering a world that is free from sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other forms of violence.

It is worth noting that Catholic University’s board of trustees, which presumably concurred in the rescission, includes all six of the nation’s cardinals – Dolan, O’Malley, Cupich, Tobin, Wuerl, and DiNardo – and a clutch of other archbishops and bishops. And the University underscored the gravity of its decision by reciting McCarrick’s long and deep relationship with the school:

This is the first time The Catholic University of America has rescinded an honorary degree. Between 1958 and 1965, the now-Archbishop McCarrick was, successively, a student (M.A. ‘60; Ph.D. ‘63), assistant chaplain, Dean of Students, and Director of Development at Catholic University. He also served several terms as a member of the Board of Trustees, and served as Chancellor of the University, 2000-06, when he was Archbishop of Washington

Surely these universities are no less committed to fairness and canonical procedures than Notre Dame. Still, they acted. And with good reason. Consider:

Who is Archbishop McCarrick and What Did He Do?

While a number of bishops have gotten into trouble on account of homosexual liaisons and homosexual abuse allegations, up to now none have been toppled from the pinnacle of the episcopate.

The Washington Post and the New York Times have variously described then Cardinal McCarrick as “Vatican’s Man of the Hour,” a “Washington power broker,” “one of the most recognized American cardinals on the global stage,” and, with exquisite irony, “a staunch defender of celibacy” who “has not been tainted by scandal” and who supports “‘zero tolerance’ toward priests who molest minors.” McCarrick, the Post declared, “has given the scandal-battered Catholic Church what it so badly needs: an attractive public face.”

Now, in his spectacular fall from grace, McCarrick has become the public face of a Church again scarred by scandal over homosexual sexual abuse and episcopal cover-up and peopled by a stunned laity beset by doubts about the integrity and courage of its leaders — some, perhaps many, of whom evidently had heard accounts of McCarrick’s homosexual aggressions even as he rose step by step in the hierarchy. (See, e.g., “What Did the Cardinals Know?)

That’s Archbishop McCarrick’s legacy. How did he earn it?

The Charges, Proven, and Probable

The details of the proven and alleged sexual predations by Archbishop McCarrick are repellant. We provide below some, we hope sufficient, illustrative descriptions and sources for those who wish to learn more. 

  • In the New York case, the “credible and substantiated” allegations from a New York businessman related to two incidents in the early 1970’s when he was an altar boy. In the first, McCarrick “unzipped his pants, reached inside and fondled him while taking measurements for a cassock” and said, “Let’s not tell anybody about this.” Then, a year later, “McCarrick cornered the boy in a bathroom, grabbed him and shoved his hand into his pants.”
  • As Professor John M. Breen (ND ’85) of Loyola University Law School relates: ” Since [the New York decision], a host of allegations have surfaced (some, apparently, having been known and shared among church-insiders for years) that McCarrick was not only a priestly figure who molested teenagers, but a man of power who led a life of dissipation, frequently inviting seminarians and young priests to parties at his beach house on the Jersey shore, where they were also invited to share his bed (see Washington Post; Rod Dreher’s reporting in The American Conservative has been especially good, see Uncle Ted’s ‘Special Boy’Uncle Ted & The Grand Inquisitor and How Uncle Ted’s Tribe Thrives).
  • For example, in 2005 and 2007, “two New Jersey dioceses secretly paid settlements of $80,000 and $100,000 to two men for allegations against the archbishop.” At least one, and probably both, were in exchange for silence.
  • Settlement documents provide a “firsthand account” of two incidents involving Archbishop McCarrick and several young priests while on trips. In both, McCarrick is said to have climbed into bed with one of them clad in his underwear and engaged, or attempted to engage, them sexually, viz:

He was sitting on the crotch of Fr. R.C. and moving his hands all over Fr. R.C.’s body…occasionally placing his hands underneath Fr. C.’s underwear…. He smiled at me saying, “Don’t worry, you’re next.” …He put his arms around me and wrapped his legs around mine…. The Archbishop started to kiss me and move his hands and legs around me….

There is more, and worse, in these documents. And according to the Washington Post “Clinicians at a church-run treatment facility wrote in their evaluations that they believed [the person quoted] had been a victim of sexual misconduct by “the former bishop of his diocese.”

  • The most recent charge has been leveled by a man claiming that McCarrick, a close friend of the family, abused him for some 20 years beginning when he was 11. His attorney has filed a police report. See the repellant details in Rod Dreher’s Uncle Ted’s ‘Special Boy.

What’s the truth of the matter? What Does McCarrick Have to Say?

There is certainly no reason to question the determination of Cardinal Dolan and his commission. Indeed, McCarrick does not really dispute it. He said:

While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through.

A (risible) claim that one cannot remember molesting an altar boy is not by any stretch a denial that it happened. Little wonder that McCarrick accepted Cardinal Dolan’s decision. Father Jenkins’s assertion that McCarrick “maintains his innocence” is true only technically, not substantively.

As to the plethora of other allegations, while one cannot be certain, it seems exceedingly unlikely a canonical tribunal would clear McCarrick. He has issued no denials; the settlements are highly suggestive; and there is the confirming judgment of church retained clinicians as to one set of charges.

McCarrick and Notre Dame

Archbishop McCarrick’s relationship to Notre Dame is long and strong.

  • He did not join the 83 cardinals, archbishops and bishops who denounced Father Jenkins’s decision to honor President Obama.
  • He was a participant in Father Hesburgh’s Land O’Lakes meeting and signatory to the Statement.
  • He presided at the beatification Mass for Father Moreau.
  • He was a prominent presence at Father Hesburgh’s memorial and funeral.
  • His cringeworthy tribute to Father Hesburgh at a Capitol Hill celebration was that he was one of “four great Americans,” along with Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. (Take that, FDR!)

All the more reason for Father Jenkins not to appear to show favoritism now.

Homosexual Transgressions and Cover-ups by Other Notre Dame Honorees

There is yet another reason for Notre Dame to avoid appearing reluctant to act in this case of episcopal homosexual abuse and cover-up, namely, the homosexual transgressions and cover-ups by some of its past honorees:

  • Cardinal Roger Mahoney, who was “stripped of his official duties in an unusual public rebuke by his successor” because “for years [he] conspired to cover up the sexual abuse of children by clergy.
  • Archbishop Rembert Weakland, a headlining liberal who was disgraced by a homosexual affair and the payment of $450,000 hush money.
  • Father Bruce Ritter, the founder of New York’s Covenant House who preyed sexually on the street boys he took in.


Archbishop McCarrick is a ruined man. He is 88 years old. One hopes he is at peace with God. He cannot want to face a battery of additional charges at a canonical trial. As has been observed, the Pope may spare him, by delay if not explicitly.

But Father Jenkins’s responsibility is to Notre Dame and its community. In the Cosby case, he scuttled a reasonable policy of never rescinding honorary degrees in order to show Notre Dame’s abhorrence of sexual abuse of women. He should surely be no less eager to show Notre Dame’s abhorrence of  homosexual abuse of altar boys, and probably much more, by an erstwhile Prince of the Church. His refusal to do so is puzzling and disappointing, to put it as conservatively as we are able.

Let us pray for Archbishop McCarrick, Father Jenkins, Notre Dame, and the Church, trusting in Christ’s promise that “the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it” — and praying that neither will they against Notre Dame.

Join Our Petition Opposing Father Jenkins’s “Contraceptive Culture.”

This is the fourth time Fr. Jenkins has publicly brushed off the objections of his and the University’s bishop. Recall The Vagina Monologues and Queer Film Festival and the honoring of President Obama and Vice President Biden. It is time for all alarmed by the growing breach between Notre Dame and the Church to speak up.

We invite all members of the Notre Dame community – alumni, students, family, faculty, staff – and all concerned Catholics to join the petition we have prepared urging the Fellows and the Trustees to maintain the existing exclusion of contraceptives from Notre Dame’s policies and to end promptly the provision and subsidy of abortifacients.


9 Responses to “About Millstones”

  1. We have already begun to develop a concrete plan for accomplishing these goals, relying upon consultation with experts, laity, and clergy, as well as the Vatican.”

    As long as members of religious, clergy, the laity, as well as the Vatican, who deny Christ’s teaching on The Sanctity of the marital act, and thus The Sanctity of The Sacrament of Marriage, are permitted to remain within Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, making it appear as if it is possible for a counterfeit church, to subsist within Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. the crisis will continue.
    Only a Crisis in Faith can explain how such evil could be allowed to take root and remain hidden from The Faithful for such a long period of time.

    “It is not possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion”; it is not possible to deny The Sanctity of Human Life, from the moment of conception, and The Sanctity of Marriage and The Family, and remain in communion with Christ, and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

    Pray that The Faithful do not flee on account of those wolves who deny that God Is The Author of Love, of Life, and of Marriage. Pray that those members of the religious, clergy, and hierarchy, who desire Holiness, have “the courage”, to remain witnesses to The Christ. Pray for the victims and their families, that their Faith will be restored.

    Our hearts are broken-

  2. John L. Ryan '79 August 19, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Yesterday Bishop Robert C. Morlino of the posted the following thoughtful analysis of the overall situation to the website of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin. Like President Garvey at Catholic University of America he calls for a stronger spiritual approach to the immediate issues and, in the latter stages of the letter, wider issues of human sexuality paralleling issues Sycamore Trust has raised as far as Notre Dame’s commitment or lack thereof to true Catholic teaching and values. I’ve highlighted the most pertinent paragraphs if the highlights come through in the post.

    8/19/2018 Bishop Robert C. Morlino’s letter to the
    faithful regarding the ongoing sexual abuse crisis in the Church
    layout=default&page= 1/3
    Bishop Robert C. Morlino’s letter to the faithful regarding the ongoing sexual abuse crisis in the
    Bishop’s Letter
    Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018 — 1:30 PM
    August 18, 2018

    Dear brothers and sisters in Christ of the Diocese of Madison,
    The past weeks have brought a great deal of scandal, justified anger, and a call for answers and
    action by many faithful Catholics here in the U.S. and overseas, directed at the Church hierarchy
    regarding sexual sins by bishops, priests, and even cardinals. Still more anger is rightly directed
    at those who have been complicit in keeping some of these serious sins from coming to light.
    For my part — and I know I am not alone — I am tired of this. I am tired of people being hurt,
    gravely hurt! I am tired of the obfuscation of truth. I am tired of sin. And, as one who has tried
    — despite my many imperfections — to lay down my life for Christ and His Church, I am tired of the
    regular violation of sacred duties by those entrusted with immense responsibility from the Lord for
    the care of His people.

    The stories being brought into light and displayed in gruesome detail with regard to some priests,
    religious, and now even those in places of highest leadership, are sickening. Hearing even one of
    these stories is, quite literally, enough to make someone sick. But my own sickness at the stories
    is quickly put into perspective when I recall the fact that many individuals have lived through
    them for years. For them, these are not stories, they are indeed realities. To them I turn and say,
    again, I am sorry for what you have suffered and what you continue to suffer in your mind and in
    your heart.

    If you have not already done so, I beg you to reach out, as hard as that may be, and seek help to
    begin to heal. Also, if you’ve been hurt by a priest of our diocese, I encourage you to come
    forward, to make a report to law enforcement and to our Victim’s Assistance Coordinator, so that we
    might begin, with you as an individual, to try and set things right to the greatest extent

    There is nothing about these stories that is okay. These actions, committed by more than a few, can
    only be classified as evil, evil that cries out for justice and sin that must be cast out from our

    Faced with stories of the depravity of sinners within the Church, I have been tempted to despair.
    And why? The reality of sin — even sin in the Church — is nothing new. We are a Church made of
    sinners, but we are sinners called to sanctity. So what is new? What is new is the seeming
    acceptance of sin by some in the Church, and the apparent efforts to cover over sin by them and
    others. Unless and until we take seriously our call to sanctity, we, as an institution and as
    individuals, will continue to suffer the “wages of sin.”

    For too long we have diminished the reality of sin — we have refused to call a sin a sin — and we
    have excused sin in the name of a mistaken notion of mercy. In our efforts to be open to the world
    we have become all too willing to abandon the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In order to avoid
    causing offense we offer to ourselves and to others niceties and human consolation.

    Why do we do this? Is it out of an earnest desire to display a misguided sense of being “pastoral?”
    Have we covered over the truth out of fear? Are we afraid of being disliked by people in this
    world? Or are we afraid of being called hypocrites because we are not striving tirelessly for
    holiness in our own lives?

    Perhaps these are the reasons, but perhaps it is more or less complex than this. In the end, the
    excuses do not matter. We must be done with sin. It must be rooted out and again considered
    unacceptable. Love sinners? Yes. Accept true repentance? Yes. But do not say sin is okay. And do
    not pretend that grave violations of office and of trust come without grave, lasting consequences.

    For the Church, the crisis we face is not limited to the McCarrick affair, or the Pennsylvania
    Grand Jury Report, or anything else that may come. The deeper crisis that must be addressed is the
    license for sin to have a home in individuals at every level of the Church. There is a certain
    comfort level with sin that has come to pervade our teaching, our preaching, our decision making,
    and our very way of living.

    If you’ll permit me, what the Church needs now is more hatred! As I have said previously, St.
    Thomas Aquinas said that hatred of wickedness actually belongs to the virtue of charity. As the
    Book of Proverbs says “My mouth shall meditate truth, and my lips shall hate wickedness (Prov.
    8:7).” It is an act of love to hate sin and to call others to turn away from sin.

    There must be no room left, no refuge for sin — either within our own lives, or within the lives of
    our communities. To be a refuge for sinners (which we should be), the Church must be a place where
    sinners can turn to be reconciled. In this I speak of all sin. But to be clear, in the specific
    situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by
    clerics. We’re also talking about homosexual propositions and abuses against seminarians and young
    priests by powerful priests, bishops, and cardinals. We are talking about acts and actions which
    are not only in violation of the sacred promises made by some, in short, sacrilege, but also are in
    violation of the natural moral law for all. To call it anything else would be deceitful and would
    only ignore the problem further.

    There has been a great deal of effort to keep separate acts which fall under the category of
    now-culturally-acceptable acts of
    homosexuality from the publically-deplorable acts of pedophilia. That is to say, until recently the
    problems of the Church have been

    [8/18/2018 Bishop Robert C. Morlino’s letter to the faithful regarding the ongoing sexual abuse crisis in the Church]
    [2 of 3]

    painted purely as problems of pedophilia — this despite clear evidence to the contrary. It is time
    to be honest that the problems are both and they are more. To fall into the trap of parsing
    problems according to what society might find acceptable or unacceptable is ignoring the fact that
    the Church has never held ANY of it to be acceptable — neither the abuse of children, nor any use
    of one’s sexuality outside of the marital relationship, nor the sin of sodomy, nor the entering of
    clerics into intimate sexual relationships at all, nor the abuse and coercion by those with

    In this last regard, special mention should be made of the most notorious and highest in ranking
    case, that being the allegations of former- Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s (oft-rumored, now very
    public) sexual sins, predation, and abuse of power. The well-documented details of this case are
    disgraceful and seriously scandalous, as is any covering up of such appalling actions by other
    Church leaders who knew about it based on solid evidence.

    While recent credible accusations of child sexual abuse by Archbishop McCarrick have brought a
    whole slew of issues to light, long- ignored was the issue of abuse of his power for the sake of
    homosexual gratification.

    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. The Church’s teaching is
    clear that the homosexual inclination is not in itself sinful, but it is intrinsically disordered
    in a way that renders any man stably afflicted by it unfit to be a priest. And the decision to act
    upon this disordered inclination is a sin so grave that it cries out to heaven for vengeance,
    especially when it involves preying upon the young or the vulnerable. Such wickedness should be
    hated with a perfect hatred. Christian charity itself demands that we should hate wickedness just
    as we love goodness. But while hating the sin, we must never hate the sinner, who is called to
    conversion, penance, and renewed communion with Christ and His Church, through His inexhaustible

    At the same time, however, the love and mercy which we are called to have even for the worst of
    sinners does not exclude holding them accountable for their actions through a punishment
    proportionate to the gravity of their offense. In fact, a just punishment is an important work of
    love and mercy, because, while it serves primarily as retribution for the offense committed, it
    also offers the guilty party an opportunity to make expiation for his sin in this life (if he
    willingly accepts his punishment), thus sparing him worse punishment in the life to come.
    Motivated, therefore, by love and concern for souls, I stand with those calling for justice to be
    done upon the guilty.

    The sins and crimes of McCarrick, and of far too many others in the Church, bring suspicion and
    mistrust upon many good and virtuous priests, bishops, and cardinals, and suspicion and mistrust
    upon many great and respectable seminaries and so many holy and faithful seminarians. The result of
    the first instance of mistrust harms the Church and the very good work we do in Christ’s name. It
    causes others to sin in their thoughts, words, and deeds — which is the very definition of scandal.
    And the second mistrust harms the future of the Church, since our future priests are at stake.

    I said that I was tempted to despair in light of all of this. However, that temptation quickly
    passed, thanks be to God. No matter how large the problem, we know that we are called to go forward
    in faith, to rely upon God’s promises to us, and to work hard to make every bit of difference we
    can, within our spheres of influence.

    I have recently had the opportunity to talk directly with our seminarians about these very pressing
    matters, and I have begun to, and will continue to, talk with the priests of the diocese, as well
    as the faithful, in person and through my weekly column and homilies, making things as clear as I
    can, from my perspective. Here now, I offer a few thoughts to those of my diocese:

    In the first place, we must continue to build upon the good work which we have accomplished in
    protecting the youth and vulnerable of our diocese. This is a work on which we can never rest in
    our vigilance, nor our efforts to improve. We must continue in our work of education for all and
    hold to the effective policies that have been implemented, requiring psychological exams for all
    candidates for ministry, as well as across-the-board background checks for anyone working with
    children or vulnerable individuals.

    Here again, I state, as we have done consistently, if you have knowledge of any sort of criminal
    abuse of children by someone in the Church, contact law enforcement. If you need help in contacting
    law enforcement contact our Victim’s Assistance Coordinator and she will help connect you with the
    best resources. If you are an adult victim of sexual abuse from childhood, we still encourage you
    to reach out to law enforcement first, but even if you don’t want to, please still reach out to us.

    To our seminarians: If you are unchastely propositioned, abused, or threatened (no matter by whom),
    or if you directly witness unchaste behavior, report it to me and to the seminary rector. I will
    address it swiftly and vigorously. I will not stand for this in my diocese or anywhere I send men
    for formation. I trust that the seminaries I choose, very discriminately, to help form our men will
    not ignore this type of scandalous behavior, and I will continue to verify that expectation.

    To our priests: Most simply, live out the promises you made on your ordination day. You are called
    to serve Christ’s people, beginning with praying daily the Liturgy of the Hours. This is to keep
    you very close to God. In addition, you promised to obey and be loyal to your bishop. In obedience,
    strive to live out your priesthood as a holy priest, a hard working priest, and a pure and happy
    priest — as Christ
    Himself is calling you to do. And by extension, live a chaste and celibate life so that you can
    completely give your life to Christ, the Church, and the people whom he has called you to serve.
    God will give you the graces to do so. Ask Him for the help you need daily and throughout every
    day. And if you are unchastely propositioned, abused, or threatened (no matter by whom), or if you
    directly witness unchaste behavior, report it to me. I will not stand for this in my diocese any
    more than in our seminaries.

    To the faithful of the diocese: If you are the victim of abuse of any kind by a priest, bishop,
    cardinal, or any employee of the Church, bring it forward. It will be addressed quickly and justly.
    If you have directly witnessed sexual advances or any type of abuse, bring it

    [8/19/2018 Bishop Robert C. Morlino’s letter to the faithful regarding the ongoing sexual abuse crisis in the Church]

    forward as well. Such actions are sinful and scandalous and we cannot allow anyone to use their
    position or power to abuse another person. Again, in addition to injuring individuals, these
    actions injure the very Body of Christ, His Church.

    Furthermore, I add my name to those calling for real and sustained reform in the episcopate,
    priesthood, our parishes, schools, universities, and seminaries that would root out and hold
    accountable any would-be sexual predator or accomplice;

    I will hold the priests of the diocese to their promise to live a chaste and celibate life of
    service to you and your parish, and evidence of failure in this regard will be justly addressed;

    I will likewise hold every man studying for the priesthood for our diocese accountable to living a
    chaste and celibate life as part of his formation for the priesthood. Failure to do so will lead to
    dismissal from diocesan sponsorship;

    I will continue to require (with our men and our funds) that all seminaries to which we send men to
    study be vigilant that seminarians are protected from sexual predators and provide an atmosphere
    conducive to their holistic formation as holy priests, in the image of Christ;

    I ask all the faithful of the diocese to assist in keeping us accountable to civil authorities, the
    faithful in the pews, and to God Almighty, not only to protect children and the youth from sexual
    predators in the Church, but our seminarians, university students, and all the faithful as well. I
    promise to put any victim and their sufferings before that of the personal and professional
    reputation of a priest, or any Church employee, guilty of abuse;

    I ask everyone reading this to pray. Pray earnestly for the Church and all her ministers. Pray for
    our seminarians. And pray for yourselves and your families. We must all work daily on our own
    personal holiness and hold ourselves accountable first and, in turn, hold our brothers and sisters
    accountable as well, and

    Finally, I ask you all to join me and the entire clergy of the Diocese of Madison in making public
    and private acts of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of
    Mary for all the sins of sexual depravity committed by members of the clergy and episcopacy. I will
    be offering a public Mass of reparation on Friday, September 14, the Feast of the Triumph of the
    Holy Cross, at Holy Name Heights and I ask all pastors to do the same in their own parishes. In
    addition, I ask that all priests, clergy, religious, and diocesan employees join me in observing
    the upcoming Autumn Ember Days (Sep. 19, 21, and 22) as days of fasting and abstinence in
    reparation for the sins and outrages committed by members of the clergy and episcopacy and I invite
    all the faithful to do the same. Some sins, like some demons, can only be driven out by prayer and

    This letter and these statements and promises are not intended to be an exhaustive list of what we
    can and need to do in the Church to begin to heal from, and stave off, this deep illness in the
    Church, but rather the next steps I believe we can take locally.

    More than anything else, we as a Church must cease our acceptance of sin and evil. We must cast out
    sin from our own lives and run toward holiness. We must refuse to be silent in the face of sin and
    evil in our families and communities and we must demand from our pastors — myself included — that
    they themselves are striving day in and day out for holiness. We must do this always with loving
    respect for individuals but with a clear understanding that true love can never exist without

    Again, right now there is a lot of justified anger and passion coming from many holy and faithful
    lay people and clerics across the country, calling for real reform and “house cleaning” of this
    type of depravity. I stand with them. I don’t know yet how this will play out nationally or
    internationally. But I do know this, and I make this my last point and last promise, for the
    Diocese of Madison: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
    Faithfully yours in the Lord,

    Most Rev. Robert C Morlino
    Bishop of Madison

  3. Dear Sycamore Trust: I congratulate Bill Dempsey on piecing together such a strong case for action by Notre Dame. I think the Church has been taken advantage of by people similar to Bishop McCarrick, people who know that the Catholic Church is so closely tied to a message of forgiveness of sins, they know the Church’s leaders almost instinctively ponder about forgiveness, sometimes at the expense of justice and punishment, meted out to discourage others from sliding into the same temptations. It’s a tough tight rope to walk between forgiveness and on the other side justice and punishment to prevent ongoing evil behavior. When the evil continues to go on and on, and the number of suffering victims continues to grow greatly, the scales need to tip more in the direction of attacking the evil vigorously and punishing it openly, because that open, honest punishment is what discourages and stops the ongoing evil behavior. Jesus did turn over the money changers tables and Jesus did not forgive both of the men being crucified with him, because the second one persisted in challenging Jesus.

    I thought it was very useful to draw the connections between Bishop McCarrick and Notre Dame and some other bad members of the clergy and Notre Dame. I am saddened to see these connections, because this will not end well for Notre Dame. Fr. Jenkins’ delay and silence, in my opinion, is his refusing to take action against a member of the clergy who has done very evil things. When officials in business and government refuse to take open action regarding ethics or law violations, in my experience, they are either returning a favor by their silence or trying to curry favor by their silence. Imagine what would happen if Fr. Jenkins started acting very devout and holy in condemning Bishop McCarrick, and Bishop McCarrick had some damning info about Fr. Jenkins or Notre Dame. I have no info and can’t say anything definite about either Father Jenkins or Bishop McCarrick, but imagine an imaginary scenario where Fr. Jenkins CAN’T say anything about McCarrick, for fear McCarrick will spill the beans about something bad a priest at Notre Dame may have done, whether it be financial or sexual. This is why bad police officers and bad judges rarely get in trouble, because there is a stack of blackmail cards in a house of cards that will start collapsing, if people start singing about the bad deeds or unreported deeds observed by others, that should have reported them in the past. It is my strong suspicion, that you can bet there is a lot of behind the scenes e-mails and phone calls going on, and meetings off-campus, trying to keep things quiet and continue to keep a lid on things, whatever they may be. There are more dark days ahead.

    Going back to CUA President Garvey, I think special attention should be paid to his message about the laity taking charge of cleaning up the Catholic Church and maybe also our local communities. There is too much silence in the face of evil in America today, too much dusting off our hands and averting our eyes and saying, ” I don’t want to get sucked in or get involved, I don’t have the time, other people should be doing this”. We talk about being special people, having gone to Notre Dame. It is time for each of us, in our own way, in letters or e-mails or signing polls, to push harder, as best we can, to move Notre Dame and our local communities in the direction of honesty and integrity, particularly you retired ND alums, but all of us. I have been preparing a letter to bishops to address this situation- I encourage others who have prepared letters to send letters to higher locations, whether they be Northern Indiana, Chicago, Texas or Washington DC or France. It’s never too late to get involved and likewise, it’s never too late for Notre Dame to start anew and do the right thing concerning the Catholic Church.

  4. John McNamara '86 August 18, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    I don’t know how this will print out in my e-mail to Sycamore Trust, but I have tried to copy how a Catholic president of another University has handled this. I found the message strong:
    University logo
    Letter on the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

    To the Catholic University Community,

    There are times when words fail. This is one of those times. What I read in the Pennsylvania grand jury report released this week is distressing beyond words.

    The report, which summarized the findings of an 18-month investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by clergy in Pennsylvania, revealed terrible acts carried out by priests of the Catholic Church abusing young and trusting children. The investigation reported that some 1,000 children were abused during the period covered by the investigation. According to Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, more survivors continue to contact his office. I pray that these outrages were not perpetrated in other states. But I am concerned that further inquiries will uncover similar cases.

    As President of The Catholic University of America, I have taken great pride in the fact that we are the bishops’ university, the national university of the Catholic Church. Despite what I read this week, I continue to do so.

    That said, I have to admit that I am at a loss to understand how such unspeakable evil has been allowed to fester at the heart of the Church. It appears clear that some bishops shuffled priests around and devoted their energies to managing the Church’s image, rather than caring first for the safety of their flocks. Meanwhile faithful Catholics have left the Church, and her teaching has lost authority in our culture.

    The report covers a long period of time and the activities of many clerics, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl when he was bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988-2006. I will not address in detail the particulars concerning Cardinal Wuerl, now archbishop of Washington and, by virtue of that office, our chancellor. The grand jury report includes a number of cases where he refused to return priests to parishes after they were accused of abuse. But the thrust of the report against Pennsylvania’s bishops is that abuse occurred over many years, and was in many instances facilitated, ignored, or covered up – a gross breach of trust with every innocent victim and with the faithful.

    About 800 years ago, in a dusty church on the edge of Assisi, St. Francis heard the command to “rebuild my Church, which is in ruins.” I don’t know that the Church is in ruins, but the present situation feels more like it than anything I have experienced.

    The question in the hearts of all the faithful, including our priests and bishops, is what to do now. Let there be no misunderstanding. There need to be stronger reporting protocols and firmer discipline. But procedures will not substitute for repentance and spiritual renewal.

    There is a way forward. I want to emphasize to all of you—students, parents, alumni—the responsibility the laity have, now more than ever, to serve the Church. This is not a problem the bishops can solve on their own. Though most of them are good and holy men, the actions detailed in the grand jury report have damaged the reputations of all. They will need our help and our insistence on accountability and high standards.

    We could take as a model St. Catherine of Siena, a doctor of the Church who famously wrote to Pope Gregory XI, demanding that he “intervene to eliminate the stink of the ministers of the Holy Church; pull out the stinking flowers and plant scented plants, virtuous men who fear God.”

    The laity must step forward with prayer, energy, and resolve. We need the laity’s perspective, expertise, judgment, and prayer—and the pressure that comes from having been burned more than once. We need policies and structures that make it hard to evade responsibility for such crimes, and we must examine carefully the processes by which we recruit, prepare, nourish, and monitor the men who present themselves as candidates for the priesthood.

    For those who are students here at Catholic University, the Church is experiencing a moment of real crisis. I encourage you to prepare yourselves to take on key roles in rebuilding Christ’s Church. Pray fervently for survivors. And pray for religious vocations; encourage men and women to consider such vocations as part of the Church’s renewal, joining the many virtuous clergy who continue to serve. And decide how you can best serve.

    As president, I am considering with the Board of Trustees and with my staff how best to put our resources at the service of the Church. I commit myself and this University to the process of renewal. We cannot rule out any response or corrective measure. I look forward to discussing particulars with the entire University community in the months to come.

    Before I close, I want to continue to encourage any survivors of abuse to contact your home diocese or the Archdiocese of Washington’s Office of Child and Youth Protection, which offers resources and confidential support to any who have suffered from abuse and who seek help:
    Phone: 301-853-5328

    As members of the laity, and also as priests and religious, we are all critical members of the Church and we are responsible for the faith. Pray for the strength and grace to take on this great challenge.

    John Garvey
    The Catholic University of America
    620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, DC 20064
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  5. John J. McHugh, III August 17, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    I can only pray for my alma mater and my Church. May God in his infinite mercy, and his Son, and especially our intercessor, the Blessed Mother, for whom our university is named and to whom it is dedicated, be forgive us and lead us forward.

  6. One more to add to the list of Notre Dame honorees linked to homosexual transgressions.

    This year Notre Dame, at the personal invitation of Fr. Jenkins, invited retired bishop Robert N. Lynch of the St. Petersburg FL diocese to spend the year on campus as a “bishop in residence”:

    Lynch peddles LBGT ideology and in 2002 was accused of sexually harassing a married male diocesan employee, resulting in a $100,000 settlement:

    Importantly, this was publicly known well BEFORE Fr. Jenkins asked Lynch to spend the year at Notre Dame.

    Lynch was also the bishop who turned his back on Terri Schiavo and her family.

    At the Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns, he was extolled as an “important, influential, and lovely bishop”:

    • Right, and then in return Hislop Lynch lavishly praised Notre Dame as a truly Catholic university in the Notre Dame Magazine featured article in its summer edition, He took several whacks at critics (like us), e.g., “I would go to the bank on the premise that those who criticize Notre Dame’s commitment to the Catholic faith have never spent any real time at this or any other major Catholic institution of higher learning. It is just easier to load snowballs with rocks than to do the investigative legwork.” Right back at you, Bishop: I would “go to the hank on the premise” that you have never read any of our bulletins because it is “just easier to load snowballs with rocks rather than to” actually read the results of our investigative reports.

    • The more ‘deep seated”, a disordered inclination becomes, the greater the temptation to engage in acts that are physically, psychologically, spiritually, and emotionally harmful. Every sin is an offense against God, and thus against man. The greater the sin, the greater the destruction.
      Those who desire to create a separate personhood in order to identify themselves or others according to sexual desire/inclination/orientation, which sexually objectifies the human person, in direct violation of God’s Commandment regarding lust and the sin of adultery, denying the inherent Dignity of the human person as a beloved son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, father, mother, are guilty of withholding both authentic Love and Mercy. They are guilty of denying the respect, compassion, and sensitivity due to those persons who desire to overcome their disordered same-sex sexual attractions, and are called to fulfill God’s Will – that all persons experience authentic Salvational Love, in their life. Woe to those who out of pure selfishness and deceit, have exchanged God’s Truth with a lie, making it appear as if the desire to engage in a demeaning act of any nature can change the nature of the act, transforming an act of lust into Love.
      Love, which is always rightly ordered, is devoid of lust.
      Our Call to Holiness, has always been a call to be chaste in our thought, in our words, and in our deeds. God desires that we desire to overcome our disordered inclinations so that we are not led into temptation and sin, but that we become transformed through Salvational Love, God’s Gift of Grace and Mercy.
      As the veil is being lifted from the counterfeit church, the evidence is clear; to choose life, we must call out the apostasy of the counterfeit church, so that That Light That Shines In The Darkness, continues to shine, unobstructed.

      I believe that Father John has the desire to do the right thing and I will continue to Pray that That Light That Shines In The Darkness will shine for him, unobstructed, so that The Truth of Love, Who Serves for The Good of all His beloved, will prevail.

      Love, which is always rightly ordered, does not divide, it multiplies, as in The Loaves And Fishes.