Interesting observation by @CCPecknold about laicization of McCarrick

Rumor has is that ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick – disgraced – may very soon be “laicized”, that is, stripped of the clerical state.

Prof. Chad Pecknold of CUA has a piece today in the NY Post.  He has some interesting posts:

Behind Ted McCarrick’s fall: the wrong kind of ‘openness’

The Roman Catholic Church is sometimes viewed as an impenetrable fortress. To many liberals, that’s exactly the problem.

The church, they think, needs to come of age, modernize its teachings and ­accommodate ­itself to the sexual revolution that has been roiling the West since the 1960s.

Yet those who want a church “open to the world” must face an inconvenient truth: Theodore “Uncle Ted” McCarrick championed just this kind for openness. And this emblem of openness, this man who caused so much pain to underage boys and young seminarians under his authority, will be laicized, likely Saturday.

Before last summer’s sexual-abuse revelations put an end to his brilliant ecclesial career, McCarrick, as cardinal archbishop of Washington, promoted Catholic chumminess with cultural liberalism. [NB] He was a regular visitor to President Barack Obama’s White House. He ran interference for Notre Dame University when it conferred American Catholicism’s highest honor on the pro-abortion-rights Obama. He opposed calls to deny Communion to pro-abortion-rights politicians. He was beloved at Davos.

An entire generation of boomer-age bishops, priests and theologians claimed that the Second Vatican Council demanded a concordat with liberal values. But no one chanted the mantra of openness louder, or raised more money around its central aims, than did McCarrick.

He personified the spirit that swept the church in the immediate years after the council — one that mistook the council’s teachings for an invitation to endless experimentation and the demolition of ancient moral barriers. McCarrick’s laicization is a judgment not only against the man but also against that rebellious spirit.

[…]

I can see Team Francis – the New catholic Red Guards – balling up their fists in rage but unable screeching in protest, because it would seem as if they were defending McCarrick.

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21 Responses to Interesting observation by @CCPecknold about laicization of McCarrick

  1. taylorhall95 says:

    It’s a very interesting observation. And in my book, it’s the correct one.

    The entire “reform” promulgated after Vatican 2 (and to some degree before) is rotten to the core. The worldly ethos, and lack of respect for Tradition, promoted by these clerics is absolutely in contradiction to the Gospel.

    Whether with regards to the Novus Ordo, dialogue, “new catechesis,” new scholarship (that’s not really new or factual), the entire system has greatly hampered the Church’s missionary outreach to bring the world into the Church so that people may be saved by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    But it’s not just the leftists. It’s also what passes for orthodoxy in modern Church. Basically the entire Nouvelle Theologie promoted by von Balthassar, Rahner, Conger, etc. is also out of line with Church Tradition, even if it is now considered “conservative.”

    It’s time for us to hold fast to the Tradition of the Church – the liturgy, the old (actually timeless) social magisterium, Thomistic philosophy and thought, the neo-Patristic method to interpreting Scripture, and of course traditional moral teachings

  2. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    We have to watch for the prestige, dont be distracting by the right hand….watch the left.

    They’re laicizing McCarrick and it sounds like they are elevating his pet roomate Cardinal Kevin Ferrell to Camerlengo….

  3. ChrisP says:

    I’m with Scott Hahn on this one. McCarrick gets laicized after his crimes? IE. The laity who suffered get to deal with him? Great, thanks very much.

    Strip him of his ordained authority sure, but put him in the slammer at the same time. That is what needs to happen. He could swap places with Fr McRae – that would be justice to believe in.

  4. TonyO says:

    Whether with regards to the Novus Ordo, dialogue, “new catechesis,” new scholarship (that’s not really new or factual), the entire system has greatly hampered the Church’s missionary outreach to bring the world into the Church so that people may be saved by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Taylor, I think you are right. However much the liberals who have remained in the Church talk about the “New Evangelization”, in my experience the people converting to Catholicism are doing so in spite of, and not in the least bit because of, their theories and “praxis”. They are coming for the certainty that subsists in the Eucharist and in Catholic doctrinal teaching, not because of much ballyhooed “living in tension with” and “dialogue”. They are fed up with unending tension and dialogue about a truth, they just want truth.

    But it’s not just the leftists. It’s also what passes for orthodoxy in modern Church. Basically the entire Nouvelle Theologie promoted by von Balthassar, Rahner, Conger, etc. is also out of line with Church Tradition, even if it is now considered “conservative.”

    Right: whatever kernel of truth may have subsisted underneath the desire to state in a newer (better?, fuller?) way the truth of man’s sexuality – and of man’s moral dimension in general – the efforts of the subtle-modernists of the stripe of von Balthasar, Rahner, Conger, was hardly any better than their slightly more obvious modernists of the stripe of de Chardin, Schillebeeckx, Charles Curran, and similar heretics.

    What is more concerning, of course, is that people like Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger, (eventual popes), though restrained compared to those named above, were willing to ruminate with, dialogue with and negotiate teachings with the above (the suble-modernist ones), and even promote them within the Church, without saying things like “but your very modus operandi conflicts with the proper respect for Tradition as it is handed to us through the history of the Church“. (The nouvelle-ists always wanted to go back to certain (usually isolated) teachings of a Father without respecting the developed teaching since then). Even if these two popes internally thought in terms of such qualifiers, (which they seemingly were not much inclined for), they did not say it out to the rest of us, and thus seemed to grant that these untraditionalists had respectable theologies – which they did not (except in matters where they simply remained true to tradition, making it hard to condemn their positions as a whole).

  5. HvonBlumenthal says:

    Liberalism insists upon not making judgments. This means that when a priest is accused of indecent activity, whether legal or not, the liberal bishop reacts by not judging which in practice means burying the story.

    This unCatholic behaviour is a modern illustration of why it is not possible to be Catholic and Liberal at the same time. Catholicism demands that we constantly make judgments all the time, not of course of people but of actions, a distinction of which liberals are incapable of making.

  6. DeGaulle says:

    Taylor and Tony, you may well both be right and I certainly would have no qualification to contradict you, but someone I have huge respect for, both in terms of his orthodoxy and vast intellect, has great respect for von Balthasar and his writings despite some obvious faults and would not dismiss him to the company of the others mentioned.

  7. There was a retired priest in the Pacific Northwest who was a darling of the left. In addition to spearheading the uglification of a number of unfortunate parish churches, he was known for his leftist activism and his promotion of same-sex “marriage.” Some years back, he wrote an article in the local paper slamming the Church’s teaching on homosexuality (consequences to his ministry: none visible), and then wrote another article some years later calling for the ouster of Pope Benedict XVI on the grounds that the latter did not go far enough in dealing with priestly sex offenders (consequences to his ministry: none visible).

    Early last year, this priest was arrested after being found with a gigantic stash of violent child porn images and videos. He ultimately pled guilty to five felony counts, including possession and distribution of child porn and possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to 25 years without parole in December. The diocese has begun the process to depose him from the clerical state.

    Somewhere along the line, we became convinced of the idea that a person’s ideology and beliefs can have nothing to do with how he comports himself, or that his private life and his public persona are two totally separate things. In the Church, we have for many years been given to understand that you can have heterodoxy alongside holiness — and that, in fact, heterodoxy may even be an outstanding sign of holiness, since it implies The Courage to Take On The Establishment, which is invariably The Enemy in the Struggle to Do the Right Thing.

    But in fact, cases like this priest and McCarrick demonstrate that if we decide that there’s nothing wrong with people thinking the moral law is stupid, then we shouldn’t be surprised when those same people decline to follow it, and when they prey on others in order to feed the appetites that that law does not restrain. If a person publicly proclaims the stupidity of the moral law, isn’t it foolish to assume that he must be privately following what he publicly derides? Then why should we be surprised to find a priest who both publicly dissents from the teachings he has been charged to pass on and lives contrary to those same teachings?

    Heterodoxy is not the mark of a tolerant society, but a huge red flag we have been trained to ignore, to our cost and the cost of innocent people.

  8. Paul of St Paul says:

    I believe some conservative / trad / orthodox priests known for great sermons and great pastoral care have also sinned in this way. Not all of the disgraced are advocates for change to church teachings.
    I don’t think sins of the orthodox pastors undermine orthodoxy.
    So I disagree with the article.

  9. TonyO says:

    have huge respect for, both in terms of his orthodoxy and vast intellect, has great respect for von Balthasar and his writings despite some obvious faults and would not dismiss him to the company of the others mentioned.

    DeGaulle, I suspect that von Balthasar is among the best of the New Thinkers group, and for that reason doesn’t fit in with the whole group quite as well as some of the others. But I suspect that even you might agree with me that he seemed oddly eager to experiment with new ways of thinking about the old truths. It is one of the hallmarks of the Nouvelle-ists that they ignored the dictum that new-ness in theology is not virtue.

  10. tho says:

    On you tube there is a great Te Deum. It is 1500 years old, and is more beautiful than anything that modernism has given us. There is much beauty in tradition, along with truth. In my opinion there is nothing but banality, and possibly ugliness, in what has been imposed on us since VII.

  11. Kent Wendler says:

    Is (still, as of this writing) Archbishop McCarrick going to receive the full Rite of Degradation of an Archbishop?

    That would be quite a local as well as national event if it were held at Basilica of St. Fidelis in Victoria, KS, where I believe he is in seclusion. (I grew up not far from there.)

  12. JustaSinner says:

    The Left is like a blister in the sun on this one!

  13. Paul of St Paul says: I believe some conservative / trad / orthodox priests known for great sermons and great pastoral care have also sinned in this way. Not all of the disgraced are advocates for change to church teachings.

    No, but many are. And something should be done about those who openly signal their repudiation of Church teachings. They are already victimizing the innocent by leading them astray with their preachings. But beyond that, the question needs to be asked, why do they devote so much energy to tearing down particular moral teachings? Is it probable that they do not have a personal investment in reversing those teachings? If the red flags are being waved, it’s stupid to ignore them.

  14. Chuck Ludd says:

    I’ve always wondered a bit about laicization as a penalty — does it give the wrong impression to people that men can come and go as a priest or bishop? If he is laicized he will still ontologically be a priest and bishop. The pope can’t change that. I could see a bishop being deprived of the dignities of a bishop exemplified but the old rituals of the stripping of the dignities and symbols, but a bishop can’t be changed to a non-bishop or a non-priest. I don’t know what the right answer is but I worry about sewing confusion.

  15. Chuck Ludd, consider the case of the priest I mentioned above who was caught with child porn. He was putting out a newsletter to his supporters from behind bars, and was even arrogant enough to give an interview to the local paper where he said he had people joining him for reciting the breviary and holding what he called “dry Mass” in the jail, without wine. Even if the latter isn’t simulating the Sacraments, or sacrilegiously confecting the Host outside of Mass, and assuming he was telling the truth about what he was up to in the jail, it was apparent that suspending him was not enough to stop him from attempting to carry on some sort of ministry, or to make clear to other inmates that he was not in good standing. At his sentencing, his arrogance resurfaced when he addressed the court at length on how the community would be better served by letting him out on probation so that he could “help” people and give lectures on the evils of child pornography. In the event, he got what will amount to a life sentence in prison. But that this man is not keeping himself to himself is all the more reason for him to be deposed from the clerical state. The Church, the other inmates that are locked up with him, and the public need to be safeguarded.

    Laicizing a miscreant priest or bishop, so far from sowing confusion, prevents confusion where it really counts. Most people understand generally that to be defrocked means the priest or bishop has been decisively and publicly deprived of priestly jurisdiction and functions, and can no longer hold himself out as a priest. Even if that doesn’t address the ontological change that Holy Orders works in a man’s soul, it is nevertheless enough for the protection of the Church and the general public.

  16. KateD says:

    Amen, Professor!

  17. KateD says:

    When I first saw a pic of McCarrick, I thought I was looking at the late Saint Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Kevin Farrell is a ringer for Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

  18. HobokenZephyr says:

    So was this a result of the Solicitation in the Confessional charge, or did that just make the whole process quicker without having to legally substantiate the other things?

  19. I think I would make a special trip to Kansas to observe that. It’s long, however. The rite, that is. I’d probably pack a lunch and thermos.

  20. robtbrown says:

    Kent Wendler,

    Are you from Hays?

  21. Father G says:

    Toward the end of the article Pecknold writes, “Elsewhere, openness to the world has meant…turning altars around to the face the people rather than the dying Jesus on the cross. Such openness has shifted not only the direction the priest faces during the Mass — but which way he faces in his heart.

    Well said! Another reason for ad orientem!