The USCCB and the DNC: Strange Bedfellows

During the long Indian summer of 2018, Roman Catholics in the United States have been awash in a tidal wave of humiliation as a new batch of clerical sexual abuse revelations has emerged.

In late July, news broke that former Archbishop of Washington, D.C., Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was guilty of sexual abuse. The McCarrick scandal was met with the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report in August, revealing grotesque and horrifying sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, which was formerly under helm of the current Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald P. Wuerl.

While these revelations in many ways echo the earlier 2002 Boston Spotlight scandal, there are a number of key differences. First, the majority of the cases brought against Cardinal McCarrick, or “Uncle Ted,” as he signed himself in correspondence with those on whom he preyed, were cases of rape, molestation, and sexual harassment of Catholic seminarians by an older man. Thus, the Uncle Ted revelations demonstrated that the crisis of abuse was endemic even in the formation of young priests.

Second, the horrifically elaborate nature of the Pennsylvania abuse scandal revealed that it was not a few “bad apples” in the Church who were causing harm. Rather, there were networks of priests in some dioceses who traded and trafficked young men and boys. Further, the abuse scandal, thanks to a letter written by former Papal Nuncio to the United States, Carlo Maria Viganò, has drawn the ire of Catholics toward the current head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, who seems relatively unconcerned with the report, and who, according to the Viganò letter, is complicit in covering up the crimes of McCarrick and others.

What is most curious about the current clerical abuse scandal, however, is the politically motivated virtue-signaling by both the clerical and lay left wing of the Catholic Church in order to divert attention from the crisis.

When asked about the McCarrick revelations and the Viganò letter, Cardinal Blasé Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, historically one of the most important dioceses in the United States, told Chicago’s NBC 5, “The Pope has a bigger agenda. He’s got to get on with other things—of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the Church. We’re not going to go down a rabbit hole on this.”

Cardinal Cupich’s nervous attempt to deflect attention away from the Viganò letter (in which Cupich himself is named) is not very convincing. It further seems both strange and rude toward the victims of the abuse that His Eminence would be so dismissive. Finally, Cupich’s mention of the left wing causes célèbres, climate change and migrants, is downright bizarre.

It is even more bizarre that in the wake of the abuse allegations, Pope Francis explicitly stated that he himself would remain silent on the Viganò letter, and, like his ally Cupich, has also attempted to direct the attention of Catholics toward, you guessed it, climate change and migrants.

As the faithful in the United States reel from the revelations of a network of sexual predators who have functioned in the Catholic hierarchy for decades, Pope Francis has only escalated his endorsement of left wing politics in response.

His Holiness even met recently with aging U2 frontman, Bono, to discuss “the wild beast that is capitalism” and the U.N.’s “Sustainable Development Goals,” which the left wing Catholic publication Crux notes, “focus heavily on areas such as poverty, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, and environmental sustainability.”

Two of the goals include facilitating “orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies,” as well as integrating “climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.”

So it seems that Cardinal Cupich was correct that Pope Francis is much more concerned with making sure the flow of migrants to the West continued unabated and that economic and industrial restrictions were placed on Western nations in order to prevent the dreaded “climate change.”

Interestingly, the fifth goal includes ensuring “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences.”

“Sexual and reproductive health” is a not-too-subtle euphemism for abortion, which is supposed to be considered a grave sin by the Catholic Church.

Why, during the worse crisis of his papacy, would Pope Francis be meeting with an Irish rock star to discuss the controversial issues of climate change and migration and seeming to be giving his tacit support of abortion?

Perhaps the answer lies back in the United States. The U.S. Catholic Bishops, along with Pope Francis himself, may have less than noble motives for supporting migration and the elimination of “climate change.”

As their own website reports, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2014 received almost $80 million to welcome refugees into the United States. This $80 million was just a drop in the bucket of the much fatter sum of $1.6 billion the U.S. Bishops received from the Obama Administration between 2012 and 2015.

So it seems that the U.S. Bishops and the Vatican under Francis may be motivated by more than pure Christian charity in their support of the left-wing agenda of the Democratic Party, which includes both combating “climate change” as well as welcoming in millions of “migrants” into the United States regardless of whether or not the American people would benefit from this influx of foreigners.

Clearly, in their attacks on President Trump’s immigration policies as well as their weak-kneed support of pro-life issues, left-leaning U.S. bishops may well be thinking more about their pocket books than their Bibles and Catechism.

As an interesting aside, the disgraced Cardinal McCarrick wrote a letter to the Washington Post supporting the Obama Administration’s Iran Deal in 2015.

It seems that one good turn deserves another and the Obama Administration’s cash payouts to the U.S. bishops may have had some strings attached.

Packaging all of this dirty business together, it seems very likely that the protestations of Cardinal Cupich and Pope Francis—as well as a host of other left wing Catholic figures—that “migration” and “climate change” are more important than the abuse crisis in the Church right now was not simply an attempt to distract concerned Catholics.

It is very likely that the left wing of the U.S. Church as well as of the Vatican is signaling for help to their allies in the secular Left during this time of crisis. By protesting their loyalty to the leftist creed of open borders and radical environmentalism, the liberal Catholic leadership is in turn asking the liberal media to run cover for them.

These ties between the DNC as well as the U.N. and the left wing of the Church are signs that, contra Cardinal Cupich, there is a rabbit hole here that needs to be explored.

Photo Credit: Bill O’Leary-Pool/Getty Images

About Jesse B. Russell

Jesse B. Russell is a native of Livingston, Montana and has written for a variety of scholarly and popular journals including, Front Porch Republic, The Claremont Review of Books Digital, Touchstone Magazine, The American Spectator, and Crisis.

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