Church Militant have done a superb job in breaking down the McCarrick Report in this presentation:

I'm a businessman, nearly 50, I've been in business since the early nineties and I would say I have a fair grasp of how the world works. The old adage "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" attributed to English Catholic historian, politician, and writer Sir John Dalberg-Acton, is something I have experienced at very close quarters and on very many occasions, especially among small business owners. There is a huge temptation to cheat. When you gain an advantage - you poke your head above the parapet of normal life and your business achieves even a miniscule modicum of success, there is a common tendency to consider that, rather than the beneficiary of some stroke of chance, or the hard work of a team, you are somehow solely responsible for whatever small degree of success you may be experiencing. I have met literally thousands of business owners like this. Belligerent, arrogant, convinced of their own self-importance. How many humble, wise ones have I met? Not many, but they are out there!

I have to assume the same process applies to clergy perhaps (hopefully) to a lesser degree. There are, no doubt, many good and humble clergymen out there who have sacrificed so much for the cure of souls. This is their direction, focus and aim. But I have also met many, many clergy who see Holy Orders as some kind of career path, the minutiae and details of which are utterly unimportant. The purpose; the product they are selling, is pastoral accompaniment; an idea of ingratiating yourself with as many people as possible to become popular and hold influence. You can usually tell if they're in this club because they will involve you in some mild scandal and see if you speak out. They will apologise for Church teaching rather than extol it as truth or attempt to explain it. They appear embarrassed by it often. Even if they pay an ostensive fealty to the Magisterium, one often finds that that honest outlook is truly subjective, compromised and much of their theology is about excusing or accommodating. There is no supernatural dimension to this mission, betrayed by a lack of humility before Christ & their office and there are no consequences beyond platitudes that "God will understand". The goal is to avoid trouble, embarrassment, adverse publicity - keep everything quiet - avoid scandal - make friends and influence people. Power is an opiate to such people, any ounce of power. They seek it always and exercise it in the most tiny, unimportant ways. What happens when such a man is made a bishop? When he has entertained enough of the right people? Accommodated enough error? ignored enough trouble?

Surely this describes McCarrick's project perfectly? You only have to read some of his stuff; it's all understanding and empathy. In reality we know he was all about manipulation and molestation: he thought the power and influence he had empowered him to act outside of the structures and norms of the organisation that had endowed him with such great honour.

I was going to say it takes a strong man to avoid the pitfalls of hubris once given a little "juice"; once they've tasted some success, but I'm not sure that would be true. It just takes a gentle integrity which refuses to compromise on the love that manifested itself not in maintaining the status quo, but in the scandal of the Cross.


  1. While I clearly know all of these things, you seem to speak from a position of having experienced or seen some of these personally. I hope not. I will say a prayer tonight for you and your continuing efforts. The true horror of these faithless servants is the wanton destruction of others faith and the possible loss of eternity.


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