I'm thinking of a word that begins with H

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 12, 2010

Three years after he was quoted as saying that it would have been “grossly unfair” to bar the ordination of Daniel McCormack—who would go on to notoriety as a convicted serial molester—Bishop Gerald Kicanas has reacted with some asperity to a National Catholic Register columnist’s suggestion that his handling of the case might prove embarrassing when (as seems inevitable) he is elected later this month as president of the US bishops’ conference.

In comments to the Register, Bishop Kincanas says that he would never have advocated McCormack’s ordination if he knew that the man would be accused of molesting dozens of boys. Well, yes. But did he have any reason—back when he was rector of Mundelein seminary—to suspect that McCormack might have troubles with sexuality?

At no time while McCormack was a seminarian at Mundelein did I receive any allegation of pedophilia or child molestation against him. I never received any allegation, report or concern about McCormack during his seminary years at Mundelein that involved sexual abuse of anyone.

Right. Understood. At the time, he was not a certified abuser. But was he troubled?

I never received any allegation, report or concern about McCormack during his seminary years at Mundelein that involved sexual abuse of anyone.

The Register correspondent, Tim Drake, poses the obvious question in an interesting way:

You said, “I was more concerned about his drinking.” You were more concerned about his drinking than what? Your statement seems to indicate that there were other problems/issues, more than just McCormack’s drinking.

No response.

Finally, after roughly 1,000 words, Bishop Kicanas divulges the information that there were concerns about McCormack’s behavior. There were reports of—can you guess?—consensual homosexual activity, which apparently took place only after McCormack had been drinking. Thus the rector was concerned about the young man’s alcohol consumption. But there was never a hint that McCormack would be unfit for the priesthood, because—let’s hear it one more time--

While he was at Mundelein, no allegation or report or concern of sexual abuse of anyone was ever made against McCormack.

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Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Defender - Nov. 13, 2010 4:10 PM ET USA

    I said it but I didn't mean it? You didn't understand what I meant? I didn't know what I meant to say? I said that? Pick one, two or all the above.

  • Posted by: voxfem - Nov. 12, 2010 7:11 PM ET USA

    Why won't Bishop Kincanas in a gesture of humility and for the greater good of the Church step aside voluntarily? I know there is no one who is perfect but men (and women) who insist that they have the right to be in positions of responsibility and leadership even when being in such a position casts a shadow on the organization they propose to lead, are more concerned about themselves than anything else. Poor leadership material.

  • Posted by: filioque - Nov. 12, 2010 6:17 PM ET USA

    what's missing is any sense that Bishop Kicanas, or the other bishops, now have serious misgivings about the adequacy of all their reviews and counseling. I still don't see or hear anything that makes me think they have absorbed the tragedy to abused people, their families, and the entire Church that they and their predecessors enabled for years.

  • Posted by: rpp - Nov. 12, 2010 5:58 PM ET USA

    I am certain there are many good priests who struggle with alcohol. Seal issues, however, is a completely different issue. This is particularly true when it is male-on-male sex.

  • Posted by: Ken - Nov. 12, 2010 3:41 PM ET USA

    The USCCB as an organization must die. It is an evil organization that continues in its scandolous behavior. It is times like these that make me ashamed to say I am Roman Catholic.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 12, 2010 2:41 PM ET USA

    Actually, I'm thinking of a word beginning with "L" (and it's not the female version of the "H-word" either). I read the Register article this morning, and I was struck by all the legalistically worded, non-answer answers provided by Bishop K. It was only after he was backed into the corner by the interviewer that he actually answered the real question. Yes, there were demonstrable reasons not to ordain this person. And, no, they were NOT primarily related to alcohol consumption.