McCarrick resigned from the College of Cardinals. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

Father Z has asked Catholic bloggers to share this post. 

Posted on 28 July 2018 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Before anything else…

Lots of people are really angry, indeed enraged. Horrid situations such as those caused by men like McCarrick are painful. We can make choices about how to view them. Anger is appropriate, but not to the point where we are merely giving voice to our spittle-flecked Ids. Sad situations like this must be taken as an opportunity for grace. When you see this filth in the Church, remember that Christ created His Church for sinners: you, me and McCarrick. If anger is the first impulse that we have when we see this awful stuff, the second impulse must be to say, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner!”, and then go to confession and do some penance.

That said:

Bolletino. Theodore McCarrick has resigned from the College of Cardinals and Pope Francis accepted his resignation. McCarrick is no longer to be addressed as “Your Eminence” and he no longer has any of the privileges that come with being a Cardinal.

Furthermore, Pope Francis applied to McCarrick a suspension a divinis, which prohibits him from holding any office or acts of the power of order and governance. “Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the cardinalate and has ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, together with the obligation to remain in a house yet to be indicated to him, for a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.”

So, there is a canonical process underway. Since he resigned from the College, he cannot be “stripped” of that office. Keep in mind that Cardinals Law and O’Brien did not resign and were not removed by the Pope from the College. Law covered up crimes while O’Brien committed certain other delicts. Law, still an elector, participated in the 2005 conclave. O’Briens, still an elector, decided not to participate in the 2013 conclave.

Since he resigned as a Cardinal, there isn’t much left that can be done to censure him. It is possible that he could be dismissed from the clerical state.

The USCCB issued a press release. It doesn’t say very much.

I have long held McCarrick to be one of the most loathsome figures of whom I was aware in the Church, for several reasons.

Over the years I had heard from priests about the “open secrets”. Having been persecuted in seminary for having complained about homosexuals, I find people like him hideous. Also, he was a spectacular liar. He buried key text in Card. Ratzinger’s letter to bishops in these USA concerning voting. Also, after Card. Arinze presented Redemptionis Sacramentum to the press corps and responded to my question about Communion for pro-abortion Catholic politicians (hint: NO!) – the spox didn’t want Arinze to answer, but John Allen backed me up! – Card. McSlime made a bee line to the cameras and microphones after the presser and said, “What Card. Arinze meant to say, was…” and then said exactly the opposite.

Lying on that level, and using his position as he did, is nothing short of diabolical.

I suspect that he will be “laicized”.

While I truly loath McCarrick, I hope that he has had enough of a shock at this point in his life, and still has enough time, sincerely to repent of his sins. There is still time for him, while he yet draws breath. I hope he manages it, with the help of the tremendous graces God must be offering to him. Sincere repentance and public statements about his sorrow could be great examples of God’s mercy. The greater the sinner, the greater the prevenient graces God offers in mercy… mercy which is rooted in truth.

I will try to pray for McCarrick, for my own sake, as well as for his. It is hard to loath people for whom you choose to pray. Charity and God’s own admonishments oblige us.

Please allow me to do my job, which is to keep as many people out of Hell as I can.

I must rant.

Remember: There is no sin that we little mortals can commit so terrible that God cannot forgive it and cleanse it from our souls. The key to this forgiveness is asking for forgiveness. God’s justice we will get whether we want it or not. His mercy is there for the asking. But we have to ask for it. That means sincere examination of conscience and then humble admission of sins.

Remember: God cannot be fooled. He know us better than we know ourselves. God cannot deceive. God cannot be deceived. God’s promises are absolutely reliable. We cannot trick God. Trying to trick God, deceive God, withhold from God is deep, black wickedness, which excludes one from His mercy.

Examine your conscience. For the love of God, go to confession. Confess everything sincerely. Don’t hold anything back.

Absolution from the priest is God’s own cleansing pardon that removes the stain of sin from your soul. You will have the memory of the sin, but the sin is gone, removed, cleansed. It is no more. Though your sins were as red as scarlet, they will have been washed white by the Blood of the Lamb who was slain for those sins precisely so that YOU could receive forgiveness, adoption as His son or daughter, and then membership in the Kingdom of Heaven.

How long has it been since you heard those words of absolution and felt that freedom as a child of God?

Please share!

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5 Responses to McCarrick resigned from the College of Cardinals. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

  1. Nice news, but too bad it wasn’t all the problem cardinals, followed by their boss.


  2. johnhenrycn says:

    “Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the cardinalate and has ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, together with the obligation to remain in a house yet to be indicated to him, for a life of prayer and penance…”

    Exactly what I hope for:“…to remain in a house yet to be indicated to him, for a life of prayer and penance”…” Much kinder than being placed in a general prison population where no one would be charmed by his Irish patois. But I’m not an Irish priest who masturbated boys; so to live the rest of my life in a monastery free of charge is not something I expect Pope Francis will ever grant me.

    Let’s hope that Francis doesn’t give him a place and a job in Vatican City, like was given to Cardinal Law (RIP). I forget who it was that gave Cardinal Law a place and a job in Vatican City.


  3. Mary Salmond says:

    Strong words. Much mercy needed!


  4. DonnaLiane says:

    I once saw a documentary about a horrible serial rapist/ torturer/killer. Son Li. I realised how much I loathed his evil acts but I also thought about what makes someone be like that. He must have been starved of love at some stage, of guidance, of correction, of warmth. I felt that whatever I wished for him or any human being would become my own sentence. If you wish hell on others, you will deserve it. You may receive the sentence you pronounce. So pray for the charity of Christ to fill your soul because only God can do that in the face of grave evil and then pray for those who have been bitterly deceived by Satan to act for him. Because it is likely very few if anyone is praying for that soul.


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