Although a bishops’ delicately crafted open statements during their annual assembly in Baltimore this week perceived widespread media attention, it was a private talks with several preaching that were a many didactic — in particular, an confront we had with Cdl. William Levada.
On Thursday, as churned bishops were checking out of a Marriott Waterfront hotel and watchful in a run for taxis to a airport, we speckled Levada chatting with associate bishops in a sitting area. The 82-year-old cardinal had usually a day before stood adult during a bishops’ closed-door assembly and oral out opposite a magnitude to recover a files on passionate predator Abp. Theodore McCarrick, claiming such a opinion would usually dilate a order between a U.S bishops and Pope Francis. Levada upheld New Jersey Cdl. Joseph Tobin’s idea that a offer should be revised to state support for a Vatican investigation.
Levada, prefect emeritus of a Congregation for a Doctrine of a Faith, was former archbishop of San Francisco and Portland, where he had a churned record on sex abuse reform, in some cases returning famous abusers to active ministry, and even implicated in a punishment of a whistleblower priest.
I was with George Neumayr, publisher for a American Spectator, in a hotel lobby, and both of us walked over to Levada to ask a few questions about a bishops’ assembly and get a improved bargain of because he opposite a magnitude to recover a McCarrick files.
“The Vatican is already conducting an investigation,” he told us, and a bishops were deferring to them on this matter. We asked how a laity could trust a Vatican investigation when Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimony suggested Pope Francis himself stable and promoted McCarrick.
“What does Viganò know?” Levada asked, essay off a former pope nuncio-turned-whistleblower as merely a male with personal opinions. “Besides, we doubt his motives.”
“But his motives don’t matter so many as a justification he presented,” we said.
“His motives do matter,” Levada shot back, refusing to residence Viganò’s claims.
Since a recover of a nuncio’s testimony, Cdl. Marc Ouellet, prefect of a Congregation for Bishops, has confirmed that not usually did Pope Benedict levy penalties on McCarrick (he was banned to transport or make open appearances), Pope Francis abandoned a penalties for his passionate misconduct and promoted McCarrick to a purpose of devoted confidant and “kingmaker” in fixing U.S. bishops.
“The laity have mislaid certainty that a Vatican is infallible on this, and are sleepy of a complicity and cover-up,” we pronounced to Levada.
“Oh, a laity,” he pronounced with a dismissive wave of a hand. “I’ve met so many laity via my life, and they’re all over a spectrum.” The tinge of disregard in his voice was unmistakable.
He was likewise dismissive of a terms “complicity” and “cover-up,” claiming they’re favorite difference used by a media with tiny definition — a response that left me scarcely speechless, in light of a Church’s “Summer of Shame,” in that McCarrick, who was a open face of a response to a 2002 Boston sex abuse scandal, incited out to be a passionate predator himself, authorised to arise by a ranks to turn one of a many absolute cardinals in a Church — with a believe of churned bishops. In short, their complicity and cover helped him allege in a hierarchy.
“Catholics are seeking for some-more clarity from a bishops,” we insisted.
“Oh, clarity is another media watchword,” Levada said, job it a “mantra” used by a media for our own agenda. we reminded him that a bishops themselves have used that word in promising greater probity and clarity in doing sex abuse.
“Well, usually after a media used it,” he retorted.
When challenged on a existence of a homosexual network in a Church, Levada downplayed a problem, claiming he knew of “some homosexual priests,” though a tiny number, implying they’re not many of a problem. It was transparent he was uninterested in posterior this line of questioning.
I found a whole review impotent and disappointing.
Levada was concerned in a cover of ecclesiastic sex abuse and punishment of a whistleblower clergyman in a late 1990s, after Fr. James Conley reported passionate bungle of associate clergyman Fr. James Aylward. Conley had walked in on Aylward and a 15-year-old child on a floor of a darkened room in a rectory building during night enchanting in what seemed to be passionate activity. The child jumped adult when Conley walked in, breathing heavily, and Conley could see a male crawling divided in a dark. The teen pronounced it was Fr. Aylward. Although a child pronounced they were usually “wrestling,” Aylward certified dual years after he had indeed intent in passionate activity with teen boys.
Conley reported a bungle to internal law enforcement — leading to Conley’s cessation by Levada, a archbishop claiming that a cessation was a outcome of a priest’s “angry outbursts” opposite parishioners. Conley filed a insult lawsuit opposite a archdiocese claiming he was being punished for floating a alarm on sex abuse.
Sealed justice papers done open in 2004 reveal Levada had pronounced he himself would not have reported Aylward to law enforcement. After criticism, a archdiocese simplified that Levada would have taken a teen’s word that a dual were merely wrestling — in annoy of a rarely think circumstances. The archdiocese eventually staid a box with Conley, watchful dual years to remove Aylward from active method usually after he publicly certified to homosexual bungle with teens.
Towards a finish of his reign in San Francisco, Levada set adult an eccentric cabinet to examine sex abuse. But its initial chairman, clergyman James Jenkins, quiescent in offend in 2003, claiming a house was “compromised” by “disingenuousness and actions of dishonesty and manipulation.”
In 2006, Levada was named to conduct a Vatican’s devout watchdog arm, a Congregation for a Doctrine of a Faith, where he oversaw and adjudicated ecclesiastic sex abuse cases.
Cardinal Blase Cupich has blamed a stream abuse predicament in a Church on “clericalism.” If clericalism means an opinion of conceited superiority, by that clerics use their positions of authority to strengthen abusers and contend a standing quo, afterwards clericalism was on full arrangement in a review with Levada in a run of a Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel Thursday. Levada’s dismissive response to a questioning, his disregard for a laity, his disregard for media in honest office of law — all of these suggested a male who had tiny seductiveness in removing to a bottom of a abuse liaison or exposing a network of complicit preaching who helped group like McCarrick arise to power. As prolonged as such cardinals have a contend in Church matters, laity can wish for tiny reform.
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