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