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Chicago Responds

The first of those named in Archbishop Viganò’s memo has responded, although it really isn’t a response, except to snarkily put the word testimony in quotes. Cardinal Cupich in black, ours in red:

The former nuncio makes a number of references to me in his “testimony.”

Nice snark.

The first is in the sentence: “This is how one explains that, as members of the Congregation for Bishops, the Pope replaced Cardinal Burke with Wuerl and immediately appointed Cupich right after he was made a cardinal.”

The former nuncio is confused about the sequence of these events. In fact, I was appointed to the Congregation for Bishops on July 7, 2016, and was named a cardinal on October 9, 2016.

Yes? That is “right after” in Church minutes. 

The second reference to me is in the sentence: “The appointments of Blase Cupich to Chicago and Joseph W. Tobin to Newark were orchestrated by McCarrick, Maradiaga and Wuerl, united by a wicked pact of abuses by the first, and at least of coverup of abuses by the other two. Their names were not among those presented by the Nunciature for Chicago and Newark.”

Here it is in a nutshell: “It is customary for the Pope to choose from the list the Nuncio gives him, and I didn’t recommend either of you.

I consider these remarks astonishing. The only substantial conversation I have ever had about my appointment to Chicago with the former nuncio was on September 11, 2014, when he called to inform me of the appointment. The former nuncio started the conversation by saying: “I call with news of great joy. The Holy Father has appointed you the archbishop of Chicago.”

You know he was following protocol. We know he was following protocol. It doesn’t mean he liked it.

He then congratulated me upon hearing of my acceptance. That is the extent of any conversation I have ever had about this matter with the former nuncio. Moreover, the former nuncio personally participated in my installation ceremony in Chicago in November 2014 and personally presided at the imposition of the pallium the following summer, and on both occasions offered only supportive remarks and congratulations.

Protocol.

As to the issue of my appointment to Chicago as well as the question of episcopal appointments in general, I do not know who recommended me for the Archdiocese of Chicago, but I do know that Pope Francis, like his predecessors, takes seriously the appointment of bishops as one of his major responsibilities. Pope Francis has made it clear that he wants pastoral bishops, and I work each day to live up to that expectation in collaboration with many fine lay and religious women and men, my brother priests and brother bishops.

“Pastoral” is a code word. You know that. We know that.

The third and fourth references to me deal with my statements on the causes of clerical sexual abuse as it relates to homosexuality. Any reference I have ever made on this subject has always been based on the conclusions of the “Causes and Context” study by the John Jay School of Criminal Justice, released in 2011, which states: “The clinical data do not support the hypothesis that priests with a homosexual identity or those who committed same-sex sexual behavior with adults are significantly more likely to sexually abuse children than those with a heterosexual orientation or behavior.” John Jay researchers came to this conclusion after reviewing many studies on the topic. Their scholarly work is not to be dismissed out of hand.

You mean the John Jay study that distinguished between sexual identity and sexual behavior, and stated that more than 75 percent of the abuse was by males and perpetrated against primarily teenaged boys? That stated that there is a problem in seminaries with those who identify as homosexual regularly behaving as homosexuals with other men? That separated the two problems, of pedophilia and homosexual identity and behavior? Everyone in psychology knows that pedophiles are sexually attracted to children with no hair on their bodies, children of either sex. The John Jay report pointed this out. It also pointed out that priests who either identified as homosexual or practiced homosexual behavior abused themselves with same-sex adults. Reality tells us that they also abused teenaged boys, seminarians, other priests, and other partners. They were also sexually active with bishops and cardinals of the Catholic Church. Ok. Keep your blinders on.

As for the rest of the “testimony,” a thorough vetting of the former nuncio’s many claims is required before any assessment of their credibility can be made.

Rest assured, they will be vetted.

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