The McCarrick Report and the need for new protocols (Part 1)

I told the Congregation of Bishops about Theodore McCarrick’s disturbing behaviors and some of my account appears in The McCarrick Report. But there is more to be said.

Pope Francis greets then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 19, 2013. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

On June 5, 2019, I spoke to JL, who was working on the McCarrick Report, and who was referred to me by a priest friend.

Father told him that I had made a report to the Congregation of Bishops in roughly 1996 on the inappropriate grooming behaviors of Theodore McCarrick toward a seminarian whom I was treating.

The history on my former seminarian patient, given for the McCarrick Report

McCarrick had, in the mid-1990s, invited this seminarian out to dinner in Manhattan at a restaurant, where they met several other men. The seminarian felt very anxious at the table because he suspected these individuals might have criminal connections. “Why,” he wondered, “is an Archbishop meeting with these men?”

After dinner, he was informed that they would not return to the seminary but would instead stay in Manhattan in McCarrick’s apartment. When he discovered that it was a one bedroom apartment, he became very anxious. McCarrick gave him pajamas to wear that night. Although nothing happened sexually, the seminarian had a restless night because he thought he was being groomed for later sexual activity.

Not long after that night, the seminarian received a note from McCarrick, who identified himself, in which he stated that one of men they had dinner with had been shot and killed shortly thereafter. McCarrick wrote, “Thank God we didn’t go to dinner on Saturday night! We’d have been in the middle of a gangland rub-out.”

In a subsequent note, McCarrick wrote, “You stick with your uncle and you’ll really meet exciting people.” In a final note, he wrote, “We have an almost full house (at McCarrick’s shore home), and by tomorrow the couches and maybe the floor will be taken — but we would have made room even for a big guy like you…” In a sign of possible desperation, he added: “P.S. Do you even get my letters?”

As a psychiatrist with an extensive background in working with priests and seminarians and a desire to protect my patients and the Church, I was profoundly troubled by McCarrick’s behavior. I shared with the seminarian my thoughts of reporting McCarrick’s for boundary violations to the Congregation for Bishops even though I would not reveal his name because of his intense fears of McCarrick. He gave me permission to speak with this Congregation and to maintain patient confidentiality.

Msgr. James Cassidy, a psychologist colleague in New York, recommended that I meet with then-Msgr. Daniel Thomas, now Bishop Daniel Thomas of Toledo, with whom he had spoken. After listening to McCarrick’s behaviors, Msgr. Thomas asked me to submit a report to the Congregation, which I gave to him before I left Rome.

To the best of my recollection, this seminarian was the only patient whom I have ever treated who reported boundary crossing or abuse by McCarrick. While I do not have perfect memory, I have no recollection of treating a priest who reported sexual abuse by McCarrick and who then went on to abuse adolescent males. JL refused to give me the name of another priest whom he alleges that I saw, nor did he allow me to see the editing that I did on our phone conversation. He wanted me to trust him without seeing the final editing, which I refused to do because of numerous things he wrote that were untrue.

This history of McCarrick’s extremely aggressive grooming behaviors associated with the story of someone they met being murdered may not have been true, but rather used to frighten the seminarian into silence. I was disappointed that my description of McCarrick’s grooming behaviors was not in the final Report (see pages 82 and 177ff).

The author also ignored my request to put into the history I gave him a citation of an August 2019 Associated Press news article by Vatican reporter Nicole Winfield. The article included photos of some of the ex-cardinal’s hand written letters to a seminarian—letters that were almost identical to the McCarrick communication that I presented to the Office of Bishops more than 30 years previously.

The present Report’s references to my work as a psychiatrist contain falsehoods and fabrications that I will address in an upcoming CWR essay. (I mention some of this in a November 10, 2020 interview with Al Kresta, beginning at the 22 minute mark.)

My opinion, based on over forty years of experience working with priests and religious (experience affirmed by an appointment as a consultant to the Congregation for the Clergy at the Vatican, 2008-2013), is that the massive cover-up of the homosexual abuse of minors, seminarians, and priests by those in authority positions in the Church, such as Theodore McCarrick, is present in a major way in the McCarrick Report.

Contrary to the Executive Summary, significant credible evidence has been presented in this Report from laity, seminarians, priests and members of the hierarchy that Theodore McCarrick engaged regularly and repeatedly in intense grooming behaviors and physical boundary crossing of adolescent males and seminarians.

Such behaviors are most often the result of an earlier lack of secure attachment in male friendships. In my professional opinion, McCarrick has significant but unconscious psychological wounds due to the lack of a secure father relationship (resulting from the death of his father when McCarrick was three), the lack of a secure mother relationship (because of her need to go back to work to support the family), the lack of a secure sibling relationship (not having a brother or sister), and questionable secure attachments in male friendships. These should have been identified when McCarrick was young—uncovered and treated, both psychologically and spiritually.

The need for a new protocol to prevent further abuse

When the numerous accusations began to come into the Apostolic Nuncio early in McCarrick’s episcopal ministry—such as from mother one who described serious homosexual grooming and physical boundary crossing of her teenage sons by McCarrick—he should have been referred to an independent Catholic mental health professional who was not in the employment of the treatment centers. This is because the staff and directors of treatment centers would have been afraid of him because of his influence.

The Report should have clearly criticized this psychological negligence and emphasized the need for new protocols whereby an Apostolic Nuncio could order a bishop to undergo a mental health evaluation when found to be engaging in grooming, serious boundary crossing or sexual behaviors, or excessive anger against loyal priests.

The constant and compulsive need to share a bed with seminarians and younger men was an indicator of severe inner loneliness and a lack of a secure attachment with male friendships and male insecurity as a youth. “Uncle Teddy” wanted to share a bed with young men, in part, because he was lonely for male friendships. After all, he did not share a bed (or attempt to do so) with female friends. He was crying out for help unconsciously and no one responded. The healthy aspect of his personality wanted treatment; the unhealthy and sinful aspect is now becoming well-known.

Had Bishop Theodore McCarrick been properly evaluated while in Metuchen, the recommendation would have been a leave of absence from his episcopal ministry and several years of psychological and spiritual treatment. This treatment would have addressed his lack of secure attachment with his father, mother, siblings and male friendships, as well as his compulsive sexual behavior of grooming and sleeping with young men. With his notable intellectual gifts, he might have been able to live a life of prayer and penance in or out of prison, and no longer been an abusive, scandalous, and deviant model for other seminarians, priests, and bishops. Too many clergy, unfortunately, have followed a similar and corrupting path by holding back from upholding the truth on sexual morality while deeply harming the authentic teaching of Christ and His Church on chastity and sanctity.

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About Richard Fitzgibbons, M.D. 5 Articles
Rick Fitzgibbons, M.D. is the director of the Institute for Marital Healing outside Philadelphia, has worked with hundreds of couples over the past 40 years and authored Habits for a Healthy Marriage: A Handbook for Catholic Couples (Ignatius Press, 2019). In 2019, Forgiveness Therapy: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope (APA Books, 2014), which he co-authored with Robert Enright, Ph.D., received the Benedict XVI Award for Expanded Reason in Research. He has written a number of articles on the crisis in the Church.


  1. Couldn’t disagree more. These men should have been jettisoned from the priesthood immediately without all the mumbo jumbo. More importantly so many of them should never have been admitted to the Seminary in the first place. Catholic clergy a Gay Man;s men club.Only question is for how very long it’s been going on. I am a practicing Catholic and throughly disgusted with Clergy!

    • Let me say this as clearly and definitively as possible: If McCarrick winds up spending eternity in hell, his fate will also be shared by all those who knew something and said nothing.

    • Dan,

      In a time of the severe sexual crisis in the priesthood and Episcopacy, the evaluation of candidates for the seminary has not changed to protect the Church from those who are psychologically vulnerable, as was McCarrick, of acting out sexually later because of a lack of secure attachment to a father and male friendships in childhood. I will be address the proper evaluation in part 2, as well as the need for new protocols to evaluate deacons before ordination and priests before episcopal ordination.

      • I am a psychiatrist also.

        I am glad to see you point out what may have been McKarrick’s cries for help. Most com boxes demonize him.

        Based on my experience growing up Catholic and following the last 20 years of “outing” of the high incidence of homosexuality in the clergy, I wonder if the reason these types of “cries for help” may continue to not be heard is the difficulty the church has acknowledging homosexuality as anything other than a developmental/psychological disability. How many of the 10 to 40% (depending on the study) of “same sex attracted” clergy would be willing to acknowledge to themselves their desires. Most people resist being labeled sick—particularly if their is shame attached to the condition.

        • I am not a psychiatrist but a simple reality person and even I know that all of us have deep need that is satisfied only in GOD as St. Augustine so famously reminded us. And I have have intelligence enough to know that destroying other’s lives and futures not to mention our widow’s mite being used to pay off victims is not OK because I cry out in some hidden way and others dont pay attention to me. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!! You need to get your Bible out and read. Many heroic people rose in our church because of right handling of sad circumstances, MANY.

        • Let me see if I understand you–for man to want to be engaged in a romantic/sexual relationship with another man is simply a normal part of the human reproductive process? Because that is what sex is for–the creation of a new human being/soul.
          It’s bit difficult to create a new human being if one insists on inserting one’s generative organ into the, um, elimination of solid waste orifice of another human being.

          • You do not entirely understand me.
            I did NOT say man-man sex was a normal part of reproduction.
            There is evidence though, that romantic/sexual functioning involves both the brain and the genitals. Generally those match. In about 2 to 3 per cent of the population, they don’t—likely due to intrauterine (later born boys) or genetic factors with unknown social contributions.
            These persons are unlucky because whatever they do will be unnatural. If they have same sex relations, the genital parts don’t really go together and the mating is infertile. If they join with the opposite sex, the anatomy is right—and often fertile—but the psychology (ie brain—which is just as natural/physical as the rest of the body) doesn’t match/make for union. Some homosexual men describe having to fantasize about other men in order to sexually function with their wives. This is unnatural from the romantic/affective point of view. Of course these individuals could avoid sexual activity altogether, which requires repressing large portions of their emotional life. This is also unnatural, unless perhaps the person has a “calling” to celibacy.
            Thus no matter what they do or don’t do, it will be less than ideal.
            Given that reality, I try to assist a patient who must choose what course to take.

        • Julia,
          Good meeting you.
          A number of issues are important here with the leading ones being in my experience over the past 40 years:
          -the failure of Bishops and priests to teach morality, particularly sexual morality, that has resulted in their not being fully configured to Jesus Christ and which then results in selfishness and in weaknesses in fighting sexual temptations
          -the subsequent growth in the homosexual network in Cardinals, Bishops and Priests
          -lack of understanding of the importance of strengthening male confidence in a world with growing hostility to the teaching of Jesus Christ so that he can be a protective spouse to the Church and to his spiritual children and give the warning when he sees the wolf
          -too much “winking” at homosexuality in seminarians and clergy by members of the Heirarchy.
          -lack of understanding of homosexuality and the success of the Courage program with its focus on friendship with the Lord and chaste same sex friendships.
          Finally, Julia, the Fatima message of prayer and mortification has never been more important.
          All the best,

          • Your item #2 partly explains item #1, surely (not only “subsequent”). The homosexual seminary staff are disinclined to teach sexual moral theology…which has been very much the case from the pulpit as well for the past half century. Instead, the decapitated gospel of only the beatitudes.

            And, incidentally, the late Dr. Joseph Nicolosi’s (RIP 2017) early material on homosexual promiscuity (prior to the discipline imposed by AIDS) seems to have been scrubbed from the Internet by the overseers of public consciousness: “Almost half of the white homosexual males. . . said that they had had at least five hundred different sexual partners during the course of their homosexual careers” (Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (Bloomington, Indiana: University Press/Kinsey Institute, 1978, pp. 82, 85). The finding is based, I think, on surveys done by Nicolosi in the San Francisco area in 1969 and 1970. Used to be available on the internet. Likewise, his book on Reparative Therapy, removed from the Amazon website.

        • Having read The Chemistry Between Us, I get what you are saying. And as former porn user, I am not unsympathetic to the problems of homosexual men.
          The reality is penal-anal “sex” is not normal. For a man to want to engage in it, to burn for the romantic attentions of another man, maybe hundreds of other men, is not normal. It is disordered.
          Some may over come it–others may not, but it is not, and will never be, normal. The Universe is not set up that way.
          That the Church offers nothing more to homosexuals than Put Up with It is a travesty.

      • Dr. Fitzgibbons, It seems that not just psychological help but spiritual intervention such as deliverance ministry might have been helpful for Cdl. McCarrick (and certainly others including victims). You practice outside of Philadelphia, do you not know Neal Lozano and Heart of the Father ministry for deliverance? He is based in Ardmore, PA.

        • Terry,
          Had Theodore McCarrick been properly evaluated as a young man applying for the seminary the lack of secure attachment with his father would have been identified and I would think lack of secure attachment with a brother and possibly male friendship. The compulsive need to take young men to bed would support the latter.
          In my experience successful treatment of those deep emotional wounds of loneliness and male insecurity are addressed in spiritual direction in the seminary by a focus on building the relationship with God as Father and St. Joseph. Over the course of a number of years in spiritual direction this approach can help fill the inner void that drove his compulsive behaviors.

          Next, working in spiritual direction also on a deeper friendship with Jesus Christ could fill the void for a loving brother and healthy chaste male friendships. Growth in friendship with the Lord and in chaste male friendships contributes to the success of the Courage program in the Church.
          Also, the role of forgiveness therapy is often essential to help resolve the anger associated with experiences of rejection by male peers or brothers related to the lack of athleticism that is often present.
          Finally, deliverance is the ministry of priests with approval by their Bishop, not the laity.

          • Having read the article and comments, I am left flabbergasted. Why are everyone referring to the “sexual abuses,” as homosexual activities or inclination when you state that mccarrick’s issues are due to family issues,which isn’t about homosexuality, but failure with families. Sexual abuse is about control, dominance,not about attraction to the same sex. Also, the major denial of these facts, the abuses are blamed on homosexuality and this is not addressing the real problem, stop blaming and using homosexuality as scapegoats to the clergy problem, it’s known as sexual abuses escapism by criminal heterosexual males.

        • Dr. Fitzgibbons is a consultant to exorcists. Rest assured that by the term spiritual treatment, he does include deliverance ministry and exorcism whenever appropriate. He is just being discrete in not being more explicit because modernist clergy will use their own heterodox notions on these valid ministries in order to dismiss and discredit the rest of his astute analysis.

          • The faithful son of St. Dominic does not have accurate information. I am not a consultant to exorcists.
            I have expertise in the treatment of excessive anger associated with every psychiatric illness in adults and youth. The treatment of this anger associated with secure attachment weaknesses with father, mother, siblings and same sex peers facilitates healing and releases to a degree being an emotional prisoner of one’s past (See Forgiveness Therapy, APA Books, 2014. Fortunately, work with a spiritual director can fill the inner void and over time help resolve infidelity to the Lord as one’s spouse and one’s marital spouse.
            Infidelity in Marriage and in the Priesthood – Catholic World …
   › 2019/02/14 › infidelity-in-marriag…

      • In 1995 Father George Realmuto wrote a book entitled “Psychological Problems of Priests and Seminarians” which wasn’t well received by the Church. In fact, I think he was castigated in some fashion, demoted maybe. Surely he wasn’t the only one in all the thousands of religious who raised those issues that fell on ears in denial. May God help us all. I’m a revert, trying to build up my faith in the One True Church. This situation is a really hard one to set aside. Oremus pro invicem.

  2. Bravo Doctor Fitzgibbons!

    The report contains “fabrications and falsehoods” as well as serious omissions.

    The authors are lying…again.

  3. Thank you for the compassionate sharing ; good to see the focus on need for spiritual healing as well – ? of the kind from the ministry of deliverance .

    The kind of help that is mentioned as needed – years of help – an area that is likely beyond the reach for many of the afflicted and we thus see the push for the agenda to even silence the need for help .

    Fr.Ripperger talks about the family of ‘death spirits ‘ – ? from even every thought of fear about life , such as through contraception on down ,as well as generational spirits ..? Freemasonic ties that include abundance of such , including curses and yet , many of the healthcare systems under such , even openly ..

    One very bright Sun , in the midst of all the darkness seems to be the revelations of the Gift of Divine Will – a devotion that can be made accessible to most because of its simplicity for beginners as well as means to reach more profound depths for those who so desire .

    Interesting mention by priests as to how they came across same , by ‘accidently ‘
    finding booklets around .

    With many among the priests and religious getting older , the readings and related prayers could be a very effective and powerful manner for them to spend time , to trust in His Ocean of mercy ,to invoke same , along with the Mother , as mentioned in the endearing book – Virgin Mary in The Kingdom of Divine Will , by the same S.G .Louisa –

    Sleep problems , along with a whole lot of other health issues , caused by low Magnesium levels , easily and inexpensively correctable , yet very much neglected in medicine , which too is low in the ‘saltiness ‘ of purity in desire to live in The Divine Will …

    Diets with excess animal protein and alcohol worsening the deficiency ..

    Mg Chloride as salt water massage on the body , easy and inexpensive means to correct and to help with the virus as well .

    Advocating the use of Far UVC light in all indoor spaces , including medical spaces – a puzzle as to the lack of even a peep in the media about same as well – ? our ears and hearts having become deaf to the whisper of The Spirit .. – Another excellent remedy given to us by The Lord , through the same , simple source , to help bring healing to many in our wounded times as is well recognized by the Holy Father .

    ? Melinda Gates – could come up with a few millions , to make such as above available to all around and help the hubby as well as others to come back to the glorious Catholic faith . 🙂

  4. Thank you, Dr. Fitzgibbons, for sharing the truth with us, something bishops never do.

    I was a seminarian on the East Coast from 1993-1999, McCarrick’s heyday in Newark. We all attended John Paul II’s Mass in the pouring rain at the Meadowlands on October 5, 1995. It was McCarrick’s great moment of triumph. I was 21 and the perfect target for “recruitment” by my superiors. The message to the young men of my generation was: “This is a great institution for you to give your life to! Trust us and be close to God like we are!” But in fact, we were being manipulated by men who did not care about us. It is debatable to what extent John Paul II was manipulated by McCarrick. But the bishops who ran and still run the US system – McCarrick’s men – simply did not care about us. Is it any wonder that so many of us fell into dysfunctional, sinful behavior as priests (behavior that harmed many other people, to our shame) and were then discarded by the men who never cared about us in the first place?

    The only reason McCarrick ever got “caught” was that an accusation against a minor surfaced. What dozens of anecdotes contained in the newly-released McCarrick report make overwhelmingly clear is that homosexual behavior and a homosexual culture among the adult men who are seminarians/priests/bishops/cardinals is presumed, accepted, and normal. The Report lays to rest any lingering wishful thinking that it’s “only a few bad priests.” I used to argue that way for years, defending the institution I served loyally. But it’s wishful thinking. The homosexual network is the predominant model. It’s the default assumption. Seminarians and priests are the “playground” for McCarrick’s men, who still run the joint. Bishops do not love the young men who give up their lives to serve them. They are simply useful pawns, who, once they are no longer useful in one way or another, are summarily discarded.

    The evil is still being hidden from the eyes of most believers, because McCarrick’s men presume – correctly – that believers don’t want to confront how bad it really is. Let me assure you that it is far, far worse than most can conceive of, even those who think they know.

    A final, important question: We all know that Bergoglio is one of McCarrick’s men. So, as often as you or I go to Mass and the priest says, “In union with Francis our Pope,” he is saying, “In union with McCarrick’s men.” Until good Catholics and good clergy have the courage to confront our bishops as to why our Church is still being run by McCarrick’s men, who do not care about us, the Catholic Church remains a church of lies that is, unexaggeratedly, a criminal organization.

    Peter Mitchell
    St. John Neumann Residence, Riverdale, NY 1993-94
    St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, PA 1994-99
    Ordained 1999, Laicized 2017

    • You are very courageous to inform us laity the truth. Although those of us who have been watching over the years know very well it is a prevalent sick institution running amuck in the true Church founded by Christ through Peter. Sad. Thank you.

    • Why do all of your public statements reference the failures of others? What about you, Peter? You’re much quieter on that front. I mean, it’s just… hard to take. Your story is, over and over… “I did what I did… because of the GAYS”.

      Does your victim believe that?

      I keep reading more and more about your story, and I keep looking for a way to say, “Okay, I get it, Peter just made some personal mistakes, just like all of us. But he’s trying to do better.” But I can’t. Because that’s not even the story you tell. All I see is “Peter blames others for his own failures.”

      Come on, man. I thought you were better than that. Aren’t you? Can you try?

      What I’ve found is, if I really admit my own failings to myself… really take them to heart, without pointing fingers… I learn compassion and understanding for others who have also failed. Aren’t compassion and understanding important parts of the job you were trying to do? I always thought those were supposed to be important. You know, in Christianity. I kind of thought you Christians were supposed to let God do the judging, and worry about how you’ll look when you’re judged.

      What the heck, Pete?

  5. The Mafia called it ‘Our Thing’. Psychiatrist Richard Fitzgibbons’ alleged exposure of “massive” coverup in the Report appears why it was designed to indicate a “Massive System Failure” (G Weigel). As an insider commenting on the Report Fitzgibbons offers us valuable insight on McCarrick, “The healthy aspect of his personality wanted treatment; the unhealthy and sinful aspect is now becoming well-known”. What it indicates is that McCarrick apparently protected by the ‘Network’ was not an integral part, [likely because of his openly predatory behavior for purpose of keeping the network’s more clandestine abuse of seminarians under cover] of the homosexual network within the Church, a Network of high ranking as well as lower echelon homosexuals mentioned previously by Cardinals Raymond Burke and Walter Brandmüller, “The plague of the homosexual agenda has been spread within the Church, promoted by organized networks and protected by a climate of complicity and a conspiracy of silence”. It offers feasible explanation why, as previously mentioned that in 2018 prior to the 2019 Summit Cardinal DiNardo pres USCCB arranged for the Conference to meet and address this problem in US seminaries and his efforts were quashed by Pope Francis. DiNardo was then humiliated by the Pontiff who effectively replaced his leadership placing Cardinal Blase Cupich in charge of US affairs [DiNardo became understandably ill in the aftermath]. Cupich is an advocate for reevaluation of homosexuality. Pope Francis appears in agreement assigning clergy James Martin SJ Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Farrell previously closely associated with McCarrick both strongly in favor of that reevaluation to key positions. Dr Fitzgibbons gives all the right procedures that should have followed his 1996 report to the Congregation of Bishops, and cites JL’s devious role, the anonymous member of the Report’s manufacture team. Metuchen was engineered to end the discussion. It’s individuals within our Church right up the chain of command that keep the Network alive and well likely awaiting the day when their abominations, mutual adult homosexual relations are considered normal. With Our Lord’s help may that day never come.

    • Couldn’t agree more. I remember very well the clear statements of Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Brandmuller.
      The rise and embrace of James Martin is a disgrace to the faithful and a slap in the face of the millions of Catholics who remain faithful to the church’s teachings on the sinfulness of practised homosexuality. There are reports in media that a very high percentage of American Bishops have an allegedly homosexual inclination. Many say that’s why Bishops were never subjected to the same scrutiny as priest my bir got away. Together with Mc Carrick.
      Rhe faithful whether clerics or lay people can draw their own conclusions by the report; from what is declared and even more so from what is omitted.

  6. I understand what you guys are saying about treatment being an inadequate response. However, let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture presented in this article. Dr. Fitzgibbons is saying that the McCarrick Report is part of the cover-up, which we all suspected would be true. Dr. F is making very specific charges that they misrepresented his testimony. This is a serious discrediting of the Report and is very important testimony.

  7. These clergy just simply do not believe in Jesus. His words are
    ‘if anyone love me he will keep my commandments andmy FATHER and I will come and abide with him ” They simply stopped believing scripture. The article and responses do not mention Jesus and the tearing open of HIS heart when such sinfullness is lived. All of us need to get on our knees and heartfully beg forgivness. Protocals are way down the line from love of God, Trinity, Jesus, simplicity as a child. The need isn’t for protocols without the genuine simple life of way truth and life. I am at a loss for words

  8. Why, precisely, was it that the highly significant figure of Archbishop Vigano was not interviewed by lead investigator attorney Jeffrey Lena? The Archbishop is cited by name nearly as often as the putative subjects of the investigation: 1) former Cardinal McCarrick and 2) the Prelates supposedly empowering McCarrick’s promotions and power. Although my personal experience has been in secular investigative work (not cases involving the Church) the omission mars the this work materially in my opinion. This failure is further underscored by the clear attack on Vigano the Report makes.

  9. “Uncle Teddy” wanted to share a bed with young men, in part, because he was lonely for male friendships.”
    When I read the first allegations against McCarrick I thought he sounded rather pitiable. Cuddling up to folks & sharing beds is creepy & inappropriate but not necessarily sexually motivated. But further revelations showed him in a different light.
    I expect many deviant behaviors begin in similar ways. We’re all looking to connect with others but things can get completely skewed in the wrong direction. That’s why moral codes, if followed, keep us safe. Parroting moral codes whilst not following them endanger us & create hypocrisy & scandal.

  10. As the McCarrick Report has now revealed JPII’s colossal mishandling of the clergy homosexual predation sex abuse crisis that surged during his papacy, the Polish Pope should be decanonized or desainted. The USCCB meeting next week should start the procedure by petitioning the Vatican.

    • Lan,

      The Catholic News Agency reported on 11/10/20 that allegations about McCarrick had been sent by Cardinal John O’Connor, then the archbishop of New York, to apostolic nuncio Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo in a letter on Oct. 28, 1999. That letter was subsequently shared with John Paul II, the report states.
      In response to those allegations, at the request of John Paul II, letters were sent to Bishops Vincent Breen and Edward Hughes of Metuchen, and Bishop John Smith of Trenton on May 12, 2000, asking for the truth about McCarrick. Bishop James McHugh of Rockville Centre was contacted separately about the same question.
      “Three of the four American bishops provided inaccurate and incomplete information to the Holy See regarding McCarrick’s sexual conduct with young adults,” the report concluded.
      The bishops presenting false information were Hughes, Smith, and McHugh.
      Had they reported to Pope John Paul II McCarrick’s groping sexual behavior of a young priest which they saw, McCarrick would have been removed from active episcopal ministry by Saint John Paul II.
      The massive coverup is documented in the Report but not fully admitted by its authors.

      • Since Pope John Paul II had lived under both the Nazi tyrants and the Communist tyrants, he was very familiar with the way that they used propaganda and false accusations against the church.
        The wicked and disgraced Maciel knew the kinds of lies he needed to use to effectively deceive Pope John Paul. Maciel claimed that all the accusations against him were false, and part of a Communist conspiracy against him. He said the Communists feared him because he and his new order were quickly growing because they were “so orthodox”–unlike those ordinary, liberal orders who lacked vocations, and who envied Maciel. WHAT A PACK OF LIES!
        I’m sure that’s what Maciel told Pope John Paul II, because that’s what Maciel told US. I used to teach at a school run by the L.C. I was at a convention when Maciel came to speak to the faculty and staff. He was bragging about how the bishops “should have listened to HIM!” He said that if the bishops had listened to him, they wouldn’t have had all that trouble with sexual abuse! And they’d have more vocations. WHAT A FILTHY LIAR!
        Certainly McCarrick and Co. used the same lies.

  11. Thank you for your courage and honesty in preparing this article, Dr. Fitzgibbons. I look forward to your suggestions for correcting this scandal. Perhaps this and your next article(s) may provide constructive discussion at the upcoming USCCB Fall conference. They do seem to have need of professional help.

  12. Your presentation is interesting and very sad, until it reaches the point of analyzing the reasons for McCarrick’s behavior, which are entirely theoretical and, as they apply to homosexual behavior, at best questionable. McCarrick was homosexual. He had young men in bed for the thrill the situation provided, that is, will this young man run away or will we be able to take the next step for a higher thrill. A similar situation is that of a married man or woman who is emotionally very close to, and develops an attraction for, someone of the opposite sex, experiences a nervous thrill when being physically very close to that person, and, by the grace of God, and , unlike McCarrick, by his or her own reason, chooses not to take that next step. One must wonder how many of those bedmates who did fall, because of their own inclinations, are still around in the priesthood, his protectors and enablers over the years. If Vigano was indeed not interviewed fort the Report, the latter is of little worth.

  13. Lan,

    The Catholic News Agency reported on 11/10/20 that allegations about McCarrick had been sent by Cardinal John O’Connor, then the archbishop of New York, to apostolic nuncio Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo in a letter on Oct. 28, 1999. That letter was subsequently shared with John Paul II, the report states.
    In response to those allegations, at the request of John Paul II, letters were sent to Bishops Vincent Breen and Edward Hughes of Metuchen, and Bishop John Smith of Trenton on May 12, 2000, asking for the truth about McCarrick. Bishop James McHugh of Rockville Centre was contacted separately about the same question.
    “Three of the four American bishops provided inaccurate and incomplete information to the Holy See regarding McCarrick’s sexual conduct with young adults,” the report concluded.
    The bishops presenting false information were Hughes, Smith, and McHugh.
    Had they reported to Pope John Paul II McCarrick’s groping sexual behavior of a young priest which they saw, McCarrick would have been removed from active episcopal ministry by Saint John Paul II.

  14. “Presenting false information” are strong words. I did not know and did not know of Bishops Smith and Hughes. I did know of Bishop Mc Hugh and was at one time a member of his diocese. I believe he was a solid individual. He represented the Vatican at the Cairo conference in the 90’s, where he defended the rights of the unborn and, together with others, successfully fought those who wanted to liberalize abortion practices in the developing world. I understood him to be highly respected. It is curious that these three bishops are deceased and not able to defend themselves. It would be interesting to read exactly what they reported.

  15. GRS – Dr F links to the article that actually details “exactly what they reported.” It IS interesting to read, and I encourage you to read that article. They reported that McCarrick was innocent, that they had never been made aware of “credible” complaints, despite personally witnessing the events, and Hughes specifically went on to attack the moral character of victims while simultaneously ignoring affirmation from therapists of victims.

  16. One other question comes to mind about McCarrick’s past. Dr. Fitzgibbons mentions McCarrick’s “intense grooming behaviors and physical boundary crossing” explaining that “Such behaviors are most often the result of an earlier lack of secure attachment in male friendships. In my professional opinion, McCarrick has significant but unconscious psychological wounds . . .”

    According to 2001 Comparative Data Study (Tomeo et al) “Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation.”

    Given this high percentage, could it also be likely, along with McCarrick’s family structure as described, that McCarrick was himself a victim of homosexual molestation? And the logical follow-up question, ie was he molested by a cleric?

    This would seem to point to a vicious cycle of grooming and molesting within the priesthood. The need to cover-up here and continually cover-up seems more than obvious.

  17. There is a view that homosexuality is an act of love. I cannot say. But how much is conquest rather than a caring for the other person, in many cases where it is a stalk and pounce, one cannot help but recognize animal behavior towards prey. Evil is a challenge for all, especially for those who deny themselves voluntarily the same feelings that drive all others so as to focus themselves totally on giving of themselves are to be admired. But to be despised are those who hide the victimization of the helpless. It is those who must be defrocked first as they deceive the aggressor into thinking that he is covered and the victim that he is helpless. Thus the Church is dead lest it casts out those who hide or make possible predation by men whom we and our children turn to for guidance in a spiritual path. When they know— with certainty— that no one will condone or cover these heinous crimes, then the Church will be seen as the clean place where one can be alone and safe directly in contact with God. It is then that the predators will go away so the sacrifice of the pure and saintly can be appreciated by the faithful. But first and foremost the merchants and facilitators of evil must be chased out of the Church so that the predators know that they, not their prey, are helpless in the house of God. But first, those who covered or violated their duty to protect good for predation by eb must be chased out of the Church so that the children can receive Jesus openly into their hearts. Any official of the Church who shirks that duty should be cased from it he Church and it’s grounds so that the purity and cleanliness that draws us to our priests is impervious for the predators. Satan is for all clergy a devil driven away by light. Those who provide shade are to be chased off of the Chirvhes grounds. It has to be that way as it is the only way in which those with holy hearts and those seeking to make holy their hearts can meet to cleanse their sins, be forgiven anx join in celebration the u out of love for Jesus. He who knows but keeps silent is the first to be cast out of the House of the Lord. Forgiveness for us sinners was assured to us by Jesus. But fascinators of evil must always be the first to be chased away. This is the challenge the Church faces now.

  18. ‘ Love You and thank You Lord , with the love with which You took upon Yourself , every thorn for every angry / prideful thought of mine and forgiving me for
    same ‘ – the format of meditations from the highly acclaimed Hours of Passion given through S.G .Louisa –—publication-orders.html

    Such means when used enough and widely , to help bring forth healing in families as well as other realms and the Holy Father too likely trusting enough in such measures , reminding us often enough how The Church is a hospital for sinners .

    Myself very much a new comer in all this and glad to have come across another little leaflet that describes the Gift of the Divine Will in a simple manner for beginners ( hopefully free of errors ) – may all such measures bring good , effective and speedy enough help for many .

  19. As a New Jersey convert Catholic residing in the Diocese of Trenton, the McCarrick saga pains me greatly. My disappointed heart breaks for McCarrick, who now seems like a tortured soul. Disordered sexual development is a very powerful force. Rick Fitzgibbon’s insights into McCarrick’s likely father hunger make sense. They form a basis for pitying the pathetic McCarrick, but also praying for his salvation. It is hard to undo that which results from a significant lack from long ago. Perhaps had he been better directed while in Metuchen, as Rick suggests, he would have achieved a far better personal recovery–and avoided for the Church this horrific scandal.
    But my blood boils from the apparently massive and pervasive cover-up by certain figures in the Church hierarchy. At the local level, I am particularly thinking of my own diocesan bishop, the late John Smith, whom I met a couple of times. Bishop Smith seems to be one of the significant cover-up figures who actually saw McCarrick acting inappropriately, but then when specifically asked, did not mention what he saw. At the Vatican level, I am wondering how Cardinal Sodano managed to recommend McCarrick’s appointment after JPII at first declined it. And, as a devote to JPII, during whose reign and by whose influence I became a Catholic, I am deeply chagrined about JPII’s own apparent complicity. St. John Paul II, after initially declining to appoint McCarrick as Bishop of Washington, somehow reversed his decision after McCarrick’s personal letter to him. I want to believe that JPII didn’t know about McCarrick’s homosexual activity. But that conclusion seems now impossible in light of the O’Connor letter and surely the many other signals about McCarrick from so many quarters.
    I personally appreciate Rick’s fearless faith in the Church to present his case so openly and honestly. His heroic forthrightness puts in my mind a couple of points. First, the Church is managed by sinners, even at the highest ecclesiastical levels. How I wish we could have better exemplars, but alas Church leaders are flawed humans, too. But, second, the Church is more than the sinners who lead and belong to it. This reminds us that we must ever cling to Jesus Christ as the Church’s guiding spirit, keeping our focus on Him, first, foremost, and always. As we do so, third, we should remember and reinforce the idea that the laity is now called to sanctify the Church again. This herculean task falls to each of us individually. We cannot overly distress the diabolical intrigue of a McCarrick and his ilk until and unless we first commit to purify our own hearts. Finally, to deal with the distress, disappointment, and even anger engendered by such willfully sinful humanity within the Church, we should recall Rick’s parallel psychiatric insight for resolving anger and restoring hope, namely, forgiveness. This will take some time. We mustn’t indulge in cheap grace. But, as we should do in all our relationships, we laity should embark on the task of rebuilding this Church with the expectation that, at the right time, this too we must be prepared to offer.

    • Tom,

      Had the New Jersey Bishops told Pope John Paul II the truth
      he requested from them, McCarrick would have been removed from
      episcopal ministry.


      • Tom,

        Also, on April 23, 2002, in a meeting on the crisis in the Church, St. John Paul II told the American delegation of two cardinals and two bishops led by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, “We must be confident that this time of trial will bring a purification of the entire Catholic community, a purification that is urgently needed if the Church is to preach more effectively the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all its liberating force. Now, you must ensure that where sin increased, grace will all the more abound (Romans 5:20). So much pain, so much sorrow must lead to a holier priesthood, a holier episcopate, and a holier Church.”

        May his prophetic words, so vitally important now in the face of so much more filth and deception that have surfaced, lead to a sincere commitment to pursue holiness in the priesthood, episcopacy and Church rather than ongoing narcissistic self-indulgence.

  20. “Had Bishop Theodore McCarrick been properly evaluated while in Metuchen, the recommendation would have been a leave of absence from his episcopal ministry and several years of psychological and spiritual treatment. ”

    It sounds like he should have been shown the door and his priesthood annulled.

  21. What a bunch of dribble! With all due respect to your education and standing in the medical community I think you write a lot of hog wash, sir. How many people in the world have lost a parent or two, have no siblings, and have had to overcome great life obstacles and yet still manage not to become serial predators of any human being. I don’t know what this clergyman’s problem and frankly I don’t care. The bottom line is he used his power in the church to corrupt young men and boys. Period. You take great pains to describe his affliction and the possible contributing factors, however, as usual the focus is on the predator and not the young men who are forever scared because of him.

  22. “The present Report’s references to my work as a psychiatrist contain falsehoods and fabrications that I will address in an upcoming CWR essay.” What? Francis is lying? Again? I’m shocked, shocked, mind you!!

  23. This report is specific to McCarrick’s criminal behavior and it is well that this is being featured in this venue.

    Also, what needs seriously to be burst open is Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin handling of abusive clergy cases:

    “The documents show that those at the highest levels of the nation’s third largest archdiocese moved accused priests from parish to parish while hiding the clerics’ histories for the public. The documents, released through settlements between attorneys for the archdiocese and victims, describes how Cardinals John Cody, Bernadin and Francis George, the current archbishop often approved the reassignments.” And now there is Cupich, the Pontiff’s pipeline.

    as well as, the continuing effect on the present Pontiff’s view and direction:
    Pope Francis breathes new life into Bernardin’s contested legacy
    Oct 26, 2013

    This article shows out the present line of thinking in the Vatican and the influencing members of our USA hierarchy.

    In my view, all this taken together explains in part what is influencing some of the bishops(and the Vatican’s) tip toeing around the Eucharistic consistency issue. Accepting sexually disordered behavior as normal would make it difficult for these bishops to be decisive about Eucharist consistency, because by accepting the sin of sodomy they would not be able to honestly defend the Eucharistic God from sacrilege.

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