What to do with former-Card. McCarrick’s galero in the @WashArchdiocese Cathedral

When a Pope names Cardinals they “get the red hat”.  These days the “red hat” is a Roman biretta in the cardinalatial red, porpora sacra.   However, as old paintings and present ecclesiastical coats-of-arms demonstrate, the old red hat was the great flat-brimmed galero, adorned with ties having several rolls of tassles.

Cardinals are still, usually, given these big hats, which they hang from the ceiling of their cathedrals or their titular churches in Rome.   The say goes that, when the last bit of a deceased cardinal’s hat finally drops to the floor due to the rot and dissolution of years, that’s when his soul is released from Purgatory.  Optimistic, I’d say.

I have – I don’t know why – never been in the Catholic Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington DC.  Hence, I don’t know one way or another if former Cardinal McCarrick’s red galero is suspended in there.  Given his narcissism, I’d say it’s up there.

Is it?

If it is, should it be?

Let’s have a POLL.

Anyone can vote, but you have to be registered to leave a comment.

Chose your best/closest answer and, if you can and care to, leave your own comment.

Yes, yes… some of you will have your own ideas.  Yes, I know.

What to do with McCarrick's galero? If his galero is suspended in the DC Cathedral, it should be...

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  1. cmb says:

    I thought the tradition was to hoist the hat after the Cardinal had deceased. Think I recall Cardinal George’s hat being hung in Chicago after he passed a couple years ago. In any case, any cardinalatial accouterments belonging to his ex-eminence should probably be exorcized, burnt and the ashes buried, because who knows what forms of sacrilege were committed in their presence.

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    No man that seduces and sodomizes the first little sweet child he baptized will make it to Purgatory.

    [Hang on. First, we WANT sinners to convert and amend their lives. We PRAY that they do. When they do, there is rejoicing in heaven. Great sinners can wind up being great saints. So long as they breathe, they can repent. Next, we cannot place limits on God. His graces are amazing. His power to forgive sins is ABSOLUTE. Provided that we are sorry, truly, and confess our sins, then there is no sin that is so terrible that we little mortals can commit that Almighty, merciful God cannot forgive and take from our souls. When we are truly sorry and intend to amend our lives and we receive absolution, those sins are cleansed away, taken from us, washed white in the Blood of the Lamb, never to be held against us for heaven. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have to make reparation. But it does mean that the worst sinner can obtain forgiveness. Never diminish God’s power and mercy and the effectiveness of the sacraments Christ gave us.]

  3. Kenneth Wolfe says:

    The traditional Latin Mass has been banned at the cathedral for decades (literally, the cathedral young adult group, who wanted to hear a TLM, had to go to another parish that day), so I am not exactly a regular there. However the galero is hung after the death of a cardinal. Since McCarrick is no longer a cardinal, there would be nothing to hang when he dies, with all of his red presumably turned in. The two cardinals represented in the photo are O’Boyle and Hickey. http://www.stmatthewscathedral.org/about/tour/baptistry-nave

  4. cathgrl says:

    Historically, the galero isn’t hung until the cardinal dies. I doubt if McCarrick’s is hung in the cathedral.

  5. Don’t the Knights of the Garter have an expulsion ceremony where they tear the disgraced member’s banner down from the ceiling of St. George’s chapel and then kick it out the door and onto the street?

  6. tho says:

    The mercy of God is infinite, but we should keep in mind that God is just. If you go to confession and then continue to commit the same sin over and over, you are using the great sacrament of confession like a car wash.
    I remember years ago on William F. Buckley’s show, Firing Line, a guest asked him, if Adolf Hitler made a sincere act of contrition, could he go to heaven. The show was a long time ago, but I remember Buckley being irritated, but I can’t remember his answer. My answer would be, if your act of contrition was sincere, why afterwards did you shoot Eva Braun, yourself and even poor Blondi, a dumb animal.

  7. ChesterFrank says:

    When a Pope names Cardinals they “get the red hat”. Gosh that sounds awfully similar to the “Red Hat Society.” Is there any correlation, I wonder.

    [I was once told by a now-Archbishop, “There are old women of both sexes.”]

  8. Dismas says:

    Were I to know that it was placed after death, I would have voted a different way. As it is, dangling it over the Chair like a Sword of Damocles would be great.

  9. Dismas says:

    Were I to know that it was placed after death, I would have voted a different way. As it is, dangling it over the Chair like a Sword of Damocles would be great.

  10. Kerry says:

    Whatever is done with the galero, McCarrick is now all galero (hat) and no cardinal.

  11. Hawkwood says:

    I was kind of disappointed that there wasn’t a “Strap it to a rocket and shoot it into the sun,” option, but oh, well.

    Actually, can we keep the hat and hang McCarrick in the church, instead?

  12. abasham says:

    All other things aside, the Cathedral of St. Matthew is a truly beautiful church. I really do recommend a visit next time you’re in our city. Hopefully by then its chair has a much more noble occupant.

  13. hilltop says:

    There are three galeros suspended in Washington as of yesterday.
    O’Boyle Baum and Hickey ?
    When he croaks, and hopefully goes to purgatory, Perhaps they could have a plaque that announces the absence of McCarrick’s (and Wuerl’s) galero(s) and why.

  14. Imrahil says:

    There was no vote for my option, which I will describe in some (for my level, comparatively few) words:

    1. I don’t know whether the galero hangs there.

    2. If it does, I think it should have been removed – completely unrelated to crimes and scandals – when the then-Archbishop of Washington became Archbishop emeritus of Washington. A diocesan bishop has a point in displaying his galero in his Cathedral – but is is not the Cathedral of the emeritus bishop of the diocese. It should have been moved to his titular Church at the time.

    3. Be that as it may and wherever it is now, what to do with it should reflect what has been done with his Cardinalate. I guess that is obvious.

    Hence: Archbishop McCarrick has, for the time being, been allowed to resign his erstwhile Cardinalate in honor. (If it had been up to me, the resignation should not have been accepted leaving the Cardinalate to be stripped in canonical process, but that’s just me and not what happened.) Hence, his galero should be put down and hidden out of sight. He is no longer a Cardinal.

    4. When, and if, the canonical process has come to its close, it may have come to the conclusion that his Cardinalate, had it not yet been resigned from, would have to be stripped in punishment. If so, and only then, it is time to burn the galero in a public ceremony.

  15. Fr_Andrew says:

    I think Cardinal Cupich knows a guy who would happily burn it for us…

  16. Man-o-words says:

    I went with “taken down and burned”. A shepherd attacked his own sheep. The hat should be burned (following a public exorcism.

    But I do like the “attach to rocket and send to sun” and “hang the (former) wearer instead” comments. I may have misread one, but it seemed someone was suggesting having the hat placed in a spot similar to the man’s crimes. I suppose you could hang both at the same time that way for efficiency’s sake. . .

  17. TonyO says:

    As to the Cathedral: it is a beautiful church with one MAJOR problem: It was built with flat plane (marble) surfaces as a rectangular box, and the sound just bounces back and forth between the flat planes endlessly. I was there for mass a while back, and I could not recognize the entrance hymn until the second verse – and it was a standard oldy, like “How Great Thou Art” or something equally known to everyone. The echoes butchered every song into useless noise.

    As to the hat: it should cease to exist. Whatever happens to McCarrick NOW, his entire cardinalate career was built on lies, and every honor and every iota of significance for that princely position should be erased where possible, suppressed and “explained away” where not possible. Even if one were to claim that “not everything that he did while a cardinal was harmful”, it wouldn’t matter: everything he did while a cardinal was done under the mantle of attaining that position because of corruption and evil, and (we may presume, not in judging the the state of his soul, but in judging the state of his career) that at every moment of his cardinalate his actions were taken under the influence of a deep and not-rejected attachment to the sins of homosexuality. Nothing should remain of that career that speaks of honor or position or princedom, nothing. It was all lies, right from the beginning.

    He was not in the position of a man who came to greatness and – like all of us – had moments of error and sin, from which he repented soon after. We should not treat him like that.

  18. JRP says:

    Leave it. The office is to be respected, not the person.

  19. JRP says:

    Leave it. The office is to be respected, not the person.

  20. PostCatholic says:

    The two hats in that photo belonged to Cards. O’Boyle and Hickey. I do not know if Card. Baum’s was suspended there after his death. McCarrick’s is probably still in the closet, if you’ll parts the joke.

  21. Titus says:

    The two hats in that photo belonged to Cards. O’Boyle and Hickey.

    This is what I would have thought. +Baum was buried in the cathedral in Washington but wasn’t the archbishop at the time of his death, so they may not have hoisted his pennant hat at the time.

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