Well, well, well, now the former secretary of former Cardinal McCarrick, Monsignor Anthony J. Figueiredo, is coming forward to spill what he knows:
The former Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick ordained me to the priesthood 25 years ago today. I served as his personal secretary in the Archdiocese of Newark (September 1994 – June 1995) and also assisted him in a secretarial capacity during his many visits to Rome in my 19 years of ministry there.After long consideration, I have made the decision to place in the public domain some of the correspondence and other information related to McCarrick that I possess in my many years of service to him. I have spent time in prayer and discernment about the moral basis for revealing these. My decision follows attempts since September 2018 to share and discuss these with the Holy See and other Church leaders.
Realizing full well that the debate about McCarrick has become highly politicized, I wish only to present facts that will help the Church to know the truth. From the outset of this report, I pledge my unswerving affection, loyalty and support for Pope Francis and his Magisterium in his tireless ministry as the Successor of Peter, as I manifested also to Pope Benedict XVI, grateful for their paternal solicitude and efforts to address the scourge of abuse. Indeed, my actions in releasing this report at this time are encouraged by the Holy Father’s motu proprio “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” (“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Mt 5:14), based on the overriding principle that it is imperative to place in the public domain, at the right time and prudently, information that has yet to come to light and impacts directly on allegations of criminal activity, the restrictions imposed on my now laicized former Archbishop, and who knew what and when.
It is my firm hope that this information will help the Church as she further endeavors to create a culture of transparency. This report, which may form the first of others, is a contribution to the wish of Pope Francis and the Holy See “to follow the path of truth wherever it may lead” in terms of the ongoing McCarrick investigation (Pope Francis, Philadelphia, USA, September 27, 2015; Press Statement of the Holy See, October 6, 2018). It aims to help the US Bishops in their promise last August to “pursue the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick’s conduct … we are determined to find the truth in this matter” (Statement of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President, USCCB, August 1, 2018). What Archbishop Wilton Gregory expressed for his local Church, upon his appointment to the Archdiocese of Washington, I wish to do for the Universal Church: “The only way that I can serve this Archdiocese is by telling the truth” (Press Conference, April 4, 2019).
In the subsequent sections, I present facts from correspondence that I hold relevant to questions still surrounding McCarrick. These facts show clearly that high-ranking prelates likely had knowledge of McCarrick’s actions and of restrictions imposed upon him during the pontificate of Benedict XVI. They also clearly show that these restrictions were not enforced even before the pontificate of Francis. It is not my place to judge to what extent the fault lies with the failure to impose canonical penalties, instead of mere restrictions, at the start, or with other Church leaders who later failed to expose McCarrick’s behavior and the impropriety of his continued public activity, and indeed may have encouraged it. My intention throughout this report is to present facts – not judgments or condemnation of anyone – for the protection of minors and vulnerable persons, the salvation of souls, and the good of the Church Universal. As a priest ordained by then Archbishop McCarrick and one who served him closely, I reflect often upon how much damage to the physical, psychological and spiritual lives of so many might have been avoided had the restrictions been made public and enforced as soon as they were imposed.
The hierarchy’s abuse of authority and cover up, in their various and serious manifestations, have inflicted consequences upon me, too. As Pope Francis has noted: “Many of those who have suffered in this way have also sought relief in the path of addiction” (Homily, July 7, 2014). Especially as a priest, I regret unreservedly the harms that I caused as a result of them through seeking consolation in alcohol. Now I am deeply grateful for the therapeutic treatment that I am receiving, which has allowed me to embrace a life of sobriety. It is my hope that my openness will encourage and help other priests, religious, and seminarians, who have found themselves trapped in similar abuses of authority and cover up by Bishops and Superiors. If God wills, the attached webpage (www.theFigueiredoReport.com) and my private and secure email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) can become vehicles for sharing these experiences in a safe and, whenever desired, confidential context.
My desire is for my experience to contribute to a new culture in the Church – a culture in which no victim, young or old, no priest or seminarian, no religious or superior, no bishop or nuncio need fear to speak the truth, a culture in which each knows where to seek help and all are held accountable, a culture in which no secret sins can fester and no corruption mar the Church’s maternal care. The Holy Father’s bold motu proprio “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” guides us in this direction. Only by such humiliating transparency does the Church imitate her Lord and fulfill her vocation as “the light of the world”: Wherever the proclamation of the Gospel and the celebration of the sacraments are public, let the self-discipline of the Church also be!
Monsignor Anthony J. A. Figueiredo
Go here to read the rest. The bottom line is that the Vatican knew what was going on with McCarrick, dating back to at least 2008. The Sergeant Schultz act of Pope Francis, that he knew nothing about what was going on with McCarrick is a lie. Archbishop Vigano is vindicated.
Here are the closing conclusions of the Monsignor:
Conclusion: A Moral Imperative to End the Cover Up Surrounding the Abuse of Power, Conscience and Sexual Abuse
- It is clear that for far too long, a culture has existed in the Church that allowed those like McCarrick to continue their public activity after serious and even settled allegations had come to the attention of Church leaders. Moreover, it is all too evident that Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops – in their cover up – until quite recently have enjoyed the propitious benefit of a more “forgiving” and “lenient” standard of evaluation as compared to those applied to lower ranking clerics and religious. A double standard and non-independent accountability harm the credibility of Church leadership and impede efforts to reestablish fundamental trust in the Catholic clergy.
- The saddening nature of the allegations against McCarrick, as well as the silence by Church leaders who ignored or enabled his actions, illustrates anew the moral imperative to all people of good will, and especially leaders of the Church, to address and inform all appropriate persons of this type of behavior at the earliest opportunity, first and foremost for the safety of minors and vulnerable persons, and ultimately for the salvation of every soul. For this very purpose, Jesus Christ came into the world.
In short the code of Omerta within the Church has served to protect predators like McCarrick, so long as they were high enough up in the Hierarchy. The Monsignor has his own problems, go here to read about them, but PopeWatch suspects in regard to McCarrick he is now telling the truth, or at least a part of the truth. Pope Francis was part and parcel of this until McCarrick became too public a liability. Any Catholic who believes this is no longer going on, needs to have his or her head examined. Jesus wept.