FAITHFUL CATHOLICS OF MD/DC, INC.

PO BOX 2192

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, MD 20886-2192

                                                                                                    September 3, 2004

 

His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick                                                                                           Archdiocese of Washington                                                                                                                                 PO Box 29260                                                                                                                                        Washington, DC 20017-0260

Your Eminence,

We are faithful Roman Catholics who reside in the Archdiocese of Washington. We strive to live in accord with the Magisterium of the Church by fidelity to the Sacraments, modeling our personal lives with the Church’s spiritual and social teachings, and by our financial support for the Church’s work. We are also dedicated to the pro-life cause, often putting ourselves at great inconvenience and even physical risk to reach out to abortion-minded women in front of the death mills euphemistically referred to as abortion clinics.

It is our right under Canon law (Canon 212 § 3), as well as our duty under the law of charity, to bring some serious matters to the forefront. We have been puzzled, even disappointed, by a number of practices that indicate that the Holy Father’s emphasis on the Culture of Life is not being given the priority that is its due. To wit…

  1. It is way too rare in parish homilies to hear unambiguous preaching about the Church’s teaching regarding sexual ethics. Very seldom do we hear that abortion, contraception, fornication, adultery, masturbation, homosexual acts, and irregular marriages (second marriages attempted without proper annulment of previous marriages) constitute mortal sin. With the poor catechesis that many have received, the pulpit may very well be the only place where true doctrine may be heard. Unless bishops, priests, and deacons fearlessly proclaim not only these truths but the resultant need for confession if such sins are committed, they will be jeopardizing the salvation of their flocks. In thus acting in dereliction of their own duties, these same bishops, priests, and deacons may also be sealing their own eternal fates. (Note: Thankfully, there have been exceptions to the above; some priests do speak fearlessly and truthfully. For their protection, these priests will not be named in this letter.) Now the following should be obvious, but it should be said. If it’s rare to hear the aforementioned sins described as sins and things to be avoided on pain of eternal damnation, it’s even all the more rare to hear from the pulpit that each and every Catholic has the solemn obligation to actively confront these heinous sins, both privately and in the public square.
  2. The Archdiocesan Child Protection Policy was released in March 2003. It is touted as a major step to correcting and eradicating the sexual abuse committed by aberrant bishops and priests. However, there is no acknowledgement in this document that the overwhelming number of statutory rapes has been committed by homosexual clergy against adolescent boys. Indeed, the word "homosexual" does not once occur in the entire document. The denial of the homosexual nature of the scandal is both foolish and very suspect. Other words not once mentioned in this supposedly seminal document include "sacrament", "sin", "repent", "repentance", "seminary", "penance", "salvation", "heaven", "hell". (Note – these findings were the result of downloading the Policy from the archdiocesan website, then doing word searches using Acrobat’s word-search function.) In other words, there is no discussion at all about the guilty bishop’s or priest’s need for penance and the Sacrament of Reconciliation to be absolved of his mortal sins, no talk of the need to assure that he doesn’t suffer the fires of hell and that he will be once again be allowed entrance into heaven. Moreover, there is no discussion about the requirement, set forth in Papal decrees, to ensure that homosexuals are not admitted to the seminary and are not ordained. Indeed, it is not unreasonable to conclude that this document is not much more than a flimsy attempt at "damage control" and truly not a sincere attempt to honestly address the deadly roots of this scandal.
  3. On two occasions, one in Montgomery County and one on the Maryland state level, legislation was enacted to put homosexual relationships on the same par of true marriage by granting sinful partners rights to family benefits at taxpayer expense. Faithful Catholics and others of good will attempted to defeat these bills by petitioning them to referendum. Your office, on both occasions, needlessly delayed allowing us permission to collect signatures on Church property until it was too late. Your office then compounded the insult be demanding that original petition sheets be submitted to your office "for inspection". Needless delay was created that caused our efforts to be defeated by a very slim margin of 1500 signatures.
  4. In February 2003, the Catholic Charities Gala featured as one of its hosts John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO for the past eight years. Under his leadership, the AFL-CIO has consistently supported candidates to office who support legalized abortion. Moreover, the AFL-CIO passed a resolution at its last convention demanding that all union-negotiated health plans cover prescriptions for contraceptives. Both are in clear violation of Church teaching and contribute directly to what the Holy Father rightly calls the Culture of Death. We petitioned your office to have this designation rescinded, to no avail. In fact, you appeared at the gala with him, as co-host! You saw many of us outside that evening, demonstrating against that unfortunate situation.
  5. In June 2003, at the Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (an ostensibly "Catholic" school), Kathleen Kennedy Townsend gave the commencement address to that school’s graduating seniors. As Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, Ms. Townsend used her authority and influence to promote pro-abortion and pro-homosexual legislation, and to thwart pro-life legislation. Again, we petitioned your office to help have her invitation rescinded. Again, you turned a deaf ear towards us, and allowed her poor example of Catholic womanhood to scandalize those young women. Why?
  6. Also in June of 2003, Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria gave the commencement address to the graduating class of Georgetown University. His Eminence gave an address truly worthy of a Prince of the Church. He clearly urged the graduates to beware of the dangers to true family life, including abortion, homosexual behavior, etc. For such courageous and straightforward preaching of the True Faith, His Eminence was shamefully treated by many members of the Georgetown faculty. Your Eminence, we find no record of your making any sort of public defense of your brother Cardinal, even though this insult occurred within the borders of the Archdiocese of Washington. Why?
  7. On July 7, 2003, you hosted, at the John Paul II Cultural Institute, a summit entitled "The Church in America: The Way Forward in the 21st Century". The bevy of dissenters who were invited to this meeting included John Sweeney, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (both mentioned previously in this letter), Monika Hellwig, R. Scott Appleby. All these, and most of the other attendees are probably the least qualified of any Catholic to counsel the hierarchy on anything pertaining to the Church, owing to their divergence from the Magisterium on key Church teachings (adherence to Humanae Vitae, ordination of women, etc). Why were precious Church resources wasted in seeking error from these people?
  8. On September 17, 2003, the Center City Consortium, a coalition of inner-city archdiocesan schools, conducted a fund-raising dinner. One of the co-chairs was the notoriously pro-abortion Catholic politician Senator Ted Kennedy, whose life is the antithesis of all for which Catholic schools stand. Many faithful Catholics called your office in an attempt to have this ill-advised invitation rescinded. We were disappointed by the complete lack of response from the chancery. Many of us picketed that debacle of a dinner to raise a true Catholic voice there. Your Eminence, we were most disappointed when you walked into that affair. Your response to a demonstrator was even more appalling: "We are not honoring him (Kennedy), we’re here for the children." Your Eminence, were you then admitting that you were using Kennedy’s ill-gotten fame to raise the proverbial "30 pieces of silver"? If so, you are affirming him in his sin; where is the true bishop’s concern for his immortal soul, let alone those souls for which he was providing abundant scandal?
  9. During the November 2003 bishops’ conference, a committee was drawn up to address the problem of pro-abortion politicians who call themselves Catholic. When queried, you replied that you would not deny them Communion. Again, where’s the pastoral concern for their souls? You would allow them to risk making sacrilegious Communions rather than help them ascertain their status of being in Sanctifying Grace? We take this opportunity to salute the nobility, courage and fidelity of Bishop Raymond Burke, now of St. Louis. We hope and pray that all bishops will follow his exemplary example.
  10. During January 2004, it was learned that Georgetown University, a Jesuit institution, was conducting research on embryonic cells. When queried about this, you replied that Georgetown was now aware of the moral problems and that the matter was settled. In the January 30th issue of the Washington Post, we read that such was not the case. We won’t go into all the convoluted and lame attempts of theirs to justify evil, but their Hitler-esque research still continues. The Post reports that you are COMFORTABLE with Georgetown’s flim-flam. How can a Prince of the Church be "comfortable" with the bodies of tiny murdered children being used as guinea pigs? The Fuehrer would also have been quite "comfortable" with that!
  11. As stated in item 4 above, we picketed outside the Capital Hilton to protest the ill-advised choice of John Sweeney as chair of a Catholic function. On April 18, 2004, he was rewarded for chairing the function that we picketed. The Patricia Wallace Caritas Service Award was bestowed on him. This makes at least twice now that a head of a pro-abortion organization was honored at a Catholic function – with you in approving attendance! At St. Patrick’s that day, April 18, you were presented with a paper explaining our reasons for our concerns. Your Eminence, did you read it at least once?
  12. In regards to being "comfortable" (see item 10), on April 27, you stated that you "have not gotten to the point where I’m comfortable in denying the Eucharist" to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. How is it that you are "comfortable" with both violations of Canon 915 and immoral embryonic research at Georgetown University? These seem to be strange "comforts" for a Prince of the Church!
  13. Over the past several months, a great many Catholics within this archdiocese have been writing letters to the Catholic Standard to express concern and dismay over your stance regarding the giving of Communion to dissident politicians and the variance of your stance with that of Cardinals Ratzinger and Arinze. To date, not one of these letters has been allowed to be printed. The imposed silence has been deafening, and for that reason, the cause of such silence has been all too obvious. Why is the chancery afraid to print at least some of these letters?
  14. In June of 2004, the bishops of the U.S. met in Denver to discuss, among other matters, this most serious question of offering to pro-abortion Catholic politicians the opportunity to commit sacrilege. We were disconcerted to learn of the vote to make the enforcement of canon law a matter of personal option. As head of the task force to study the matter of pro-abortion politicians and Communion, you were influential in that vote. You had also intimated that such was the wish of Cardinal Ratzinger. We are outraged to hear that Cardinal Ratzinger made plain to both you and Bishop Gregory, PRIOR TO the meeting, that such dissident politicians MUST be denied Communion. His Eminence made plain that such protection of the Eucharist is not optional. Why were his directives not made clear at the Denver meeting?

Your Eminence, this toadying to the "politically correct" secular society is unconscionable. Many of us, in our consciences, believe that we cannot continue to financially support the archdiocese. Recall that the one of the Precepts of the Church is to "support the work of the Church". Does the "work of the Church" include kowtowing to the homosexual lobbies? Does the "work of the Church" include groveling at the feet of dissenters simply because they may be wealthy and/or influential? Does the "work of the Church" include silence on key Church teachings? The answer, of course, is an emphatic "NO!" Until such times as these situations and the underlying philosophies behind these aberrations are corrected, we are diverting all funds that would have been given to the "Archbishop’s Appeal" and "Forward in Faith" to other charities that are indeed doing the work of the Church in adhering to her teachings and working for the Magisterium and the Culture of Life in unabashed manners. Whining from the chancery has abounded, regarding the reduction of donations this past year. Could your apparent abdication of your duties as shepherd, particularly in regard to pro-life matters, be the reason why many of us are "not comfortable" (to borrow an oft-used phrase of yours) with contributing to archdiocesan coffers?

Items 13 and 14 particularly may be harbingers of schism in the Church: the United States from the Roman Magisterium. We are forwarding a copy of this letter to the Vatican to advise them that there are many, many concerned and faithful Catholics within the Archdiocese of Washington who are aware of what is truly transpiring and who are loyal first to Rome.

We respectfully yet urgently implore you to take our concerns into serious consideration and to speedily rectify the most grievous ills described in the above fourteen points. We eagerly await your response. Thank you.

 

Faithful Catholics of MD/DC, Inc.

Cc:

His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger                                                                                                         Prefect – Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith                                                                                         Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11,                                                                                                                                  00193 Roma, Italy

His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze                                     Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo                            Prefect - Congregation for Divine Worship                             Apostolic Pro-Nuncio                                        Piazza Pio XII, 10                                                                  3339 Massachusetts Ave., NW                       Vatican City (Europe) 00120                                                 Washington, D.C. 20008-3687