Cardinal Farrell: Doubts about suitability as a church prince and dicastery leader. Farrell had bad masters and even acts as a gay lobbyist.
(Rome) The removal of US Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the College of Cardinals is spreading in more distant circles and raising new questions. These also involve questions about the career of another cardinal, that of Cardinal Farrell.
McCarrick, today 88 years old, led various diocese, most recently until 2006 as Archdiocese of the prestigious and influential Archdiocese of Washington at the US capital.
According to the official language of the Holy See, McCarrick himself has requested to be relieved of all rights and duties as cardinal. Formally, that's true. In reality, Pope Francis sent him an ultimatum to see the resignation on his desk.
Although Francis leveled a formal, canonical procedure with the acceptance of the resignation, he already imposed heavy penalties against the former Cardinal, which amounts to a prejudice. The US Bishops' Conference even wrote that he had been suspended "a divinis". That's not true, but the punitive measures are very close.
McCarrick is accused of sexual misconduct. The facts are so clear that there is no doubt about his guilt. He has maintained homosexual relationships with adults and youths, including minors, for decades, to priests and seminarians. Although, as it turned out, this perversion was known to many people at all levels of the church hierarchy, McCarrick was not only able to cling to his double life but, according to Vatican writer Sandro Magister, "make a triumphant ecclesiastical career."
The case has recently been set in motion by the announcement of a former seminarian. On July 16, the New York Times reported it. Then everything went very fast. On July 20, this daily newspaper published again. Already on July 28, the Vatican announced McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals.
The incredulous eyes of a dismayed Catholic public quickly turned to another man: Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell. He is considered McCarrick's closest confidant. Could it be that he did not know anything about the sexual transgressions of his mentor all these years?
On July 31, Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press (AP), an international news agency, spoke to Farrell, who is quoted as saying he "never" knew or even "suspected" anything.
One reason for the Vaticanist Sandro Magister to take a closer look at Farrell's "wondrous career".
“Much has been written about the McCarrick case these days, but little is said about how it affects not only the main actor of the affair, but also church officials associated with him who have also benefited in their careers, lie hard on the edge of miraculous."
The career of one particular man raises "serious questions", says Magister: that of Kevin Farrell. The now 71-year-old American was created a Cardinal in 2016 by Pope Francis and appointed as Prefect to the head of the newly created dicastery for Laypeople, Family and Life.
Farrell's "bad teacher" and a "wonderful" career
Farrell was born in Dublin in 1947 in Ireland. In 1966 he entered the religious community of the Legionaries of Christ "when this organization was still small, and its sinister founder Marcial Maciel was still surrounded by the aura of total respectability."
In 1978, Farrell was ordained a priest for the Order. After assignments in various countries, he was sent to the United States in the early 1980s. In 1984, he left the Order over a “disagreement" and had himself incardinated in the Archdiocese of Washington.
When Maciel's faults became known and led to his conviction, Farrell never commented. Rather, he denied having ever had any contact worth mentioning with Maciel.
"However, credible testimony indicates that he held important offices and duties in the Legion, and not only enjoyed an episodic closeness to Maciel, which makes a total ignorance of his superior's unhealthy behavior unlikely."
In 1985 he was appointed by the then Archbishop of Washington, Director of the Spanish Catholic Center, in 1987 Caritas Director of the Archdiocese and in 1989 to the diocesan financial administrator. The real career began in 2001.
Bad teachers Marcial Maciel and Theodore McCarrick
To understand, take a look first at McCarrick's career ladder. It led him first to the auxiliary bishop of New York, then to the episcopal chair of Metuchen, finally to the Archdiocese of Newark and 2001 to that of Washington. Although there were already very serious concerns at the time, as voices of his disorderly sexual behavior became known, McCarrick was able to continue his steep career unabated. There were warning voices sounded in Rome. An archbishop of Newark, however, enjoys high reputation and weight.
Arriving in Washington, he was also awarded the cardinal’s hat because of the importance of the Archbishop's seat.
His appointment as Archbishop of Washington in 2001 also became a key year for a stunning career move for Kevin Farrell. McCarrick made Farrell General Vicar and eleven months after his accession to the throne also to his Auxiliary Bishop.
When the misdeeds of the Founder of Christ's Legionaries became known, Farrell could do nothing, although questions about accomplices and cover-ups came up, because, according to Magister:
"McCarrick had become such a power in the US episcopate, and not just there."
He wanted to have Farrell by his side and put him through in Rome. He wanted more. Farrell was not to live in the Archiepiscopal Palace, but to live on the fourth floor of a former orphanage, which had been rebuilt accordingly.
"All the more, it seems unlikely that Farrell does not want to hear about his patron's repeated, unrestrained sexual adventures."
In 2006, McCarrick was retired because of reaching the age limit. Nevertheless, he maintained a "considerable weight in the high hierarchy of the Church". A year later, Farrell left Washington for having been named "Bishop of Dallas," a not insignificant diocese in the United States, with the "obvious support of his mentor."
During the term of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI., Farrell kept himself under cover. He never drew attention to himself by progressive statements. McCarrick, on the other hand, criticized the instructions of the then Prefect of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, to the US bishops, to deny Communiom to Catholic politicians who support abortion and support the killing of unborn children. In 2004, McCarrick supported the presidential candidacy of Democratic politician and abortion advocate John Kerry. These circumstances were probably decisive for the fact that Benedict XVI. retired McCarrick immediately upon reaching the canonical age limit in 2006.
Farrell changed his behavior abruptly with the election of Pope Francis. Since then, he has been vocal in public and took sides in the controversial course of the new pontificate. The behavior suggests that Farrell previously held progressive positions, but concealed them for career reasons. Magister on Farrel's change after the election of Francis:
"He soon joined the group of the new progressive leaders, like Blaise Cupich and Joseph Tobin in the United States, whom Jorge Mario Bergoglio promoted to Archdiocese of Chicago and Newark, and promptly made both cardinals. And McCarrick was the patron of both.”
Farrell enthusiastically welcomed the controversial post-synodal writing Amoris laetitia in the interpretation that every person living living a sexually irregular manner of life is to be allowed to Communion (including remarried divorcees, but not only). Pope Francis called him to Rome in 2016, promoted him to Cardinal and appointed him Prefect of the new Dicastery for Lay, Family and Life.
Farrell as a gay lobbyist
As such, the present Cardinal Farrell wrote the foreword and a recommendation for one of the books, according to Magister, "which most represented the new Bergoglio climate.” This is the highly controversial book published in June 2017 by the US Jesuit James Martin "Building a Bridge. How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationschip of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.” The extended revision 2018 contains the Farrell foreword.
James Martin: controversial book with Farrel preface
James Martin is one of the most famous US Jesuits and leading author of the US Jesuit magazine America. With this book he wants to initiate a fundamental revision of Church teaching on homosexuality. Martin follows the path that was given by Cardinal Kasper to the remarried divorced. It’s not that the teaching should be changed, but "only" the pastoral approach. However, the secretive statement that is made here is that the doctrine will then virtually change over to the changed "pastoral way".
The unquestioned support of Farrell shows that the course of the Jesuit in Rome is desired. Pope Francis had previously James Martin to the Consultor of the new Ministry of Communications. An unerring signal of benevolence. Cardinal Cupich, the spokesman for the progressive episcopate installed by Francis, promptly rushed to help James Martim.
Farrell, on the other hand, grants James Martin, as the Roman dicastery leader for the family, access to the World Family Meeting, which will be held in Dublin this year, at the end of August. Homosexuality, a contradiction in terms, will be represented for the first time with its own program.
It was easy today, according to Magister, John Paul II, and those responsible for being too careless, ignoring the warnings, and promoting a "notoriously unimaginative" cleric like McCarrick.
"Even more daring, however, appears to be the decision of Pope Francis to appoint a figure like Farrell to Rome and to sit down at the headquarters of the family cadastre, who successively had serial offenders like Maciel and McCarrick as his bad teachers, and also as an advocate of recognition Homosexuality occurs. "
Farrell is not an isolated case.
The gay lobby in the Church
Of the nine Cardinals appointed by Pope Francis to the C9 Cardinal's Council to lead the Universal Church, "three have already been hit by allegations of sexual abuse.”
The Australian Cardinal George Pell has to answer in court in his homeland. He was, however, an outsider in Bergoglio’s Rome. He came to his position only because in 2013 he was the only Cardinal in Oceania. His departure from Rome was not mourned by Bergoglians. The trial will have clarity.
The Chilean Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, representing South America in the Cardinal Council, is a personal friend of the Pope. He defended, against any and all evidence, the ex-priest Fernando Karadima and his pupil, the now deposed Bishop Juan Barros Madrid. Errazuriz managed to persuade Francis three and a half years to mount an untenable defense of Bishop Barros, exposing him to international criticism.
Cardinal Maradiaga (left) with his now emeritus auxiliary bishop
The Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the coordinator of the C9 Cardinal Council, is one of the Pope's closest confidants. He is even said to have ambitions for the succession of Francis. His suffragan bishop allegedly led a homosexual double life and is said to have maintained homosexual relations with priests and seminarians, even seducing seminarians, but the cardinal did not want to know about it. Rather, although the Auxiliary Bishop was retired on July 20, every wrongdoing is denied. Already in the spring of 2017, a confidant of the Pope, who went to Honduras to review allegations advanced in Rome, confirmed in his report the homosexual double life of the right hand of Cardinal Maradiaga.
"In addition," said Magister, "there are not a few churchmen with unrestrained homosexual behavior that populate Bergoglio's court."
Already in June 2013, the case was made known about Battista Ricca, the director of Santa Marta, whom Francis appointed as personal delegate and prelate of the Vatican Bank. Magister then revealed the "scandalous behavior" of the Vatican diplomat Ricca at the Apostolic Nuncio of Algiers, Bern and Montevideo. From Switzerland, he took his homosexual playmate directly to his next job in Uruguay. Nevertheless, he was also looking for satisfaction in the scene. [He was caught there in an elevator with a rent boy of indeterminate age.]
Pope Francis acknowledged the allegations with that infamous sentence that has weighed heavily over his pontificate and became emblematic of its orientation ever since:
"Who am I to judge".
"This famous phrase actually became a universal pass," says Magister.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: AP / Settimo Cielo / MiL (Screenshot)
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