Creepy Cardinals and Cover-Ups: An Interview With George Neumayr

By John Zmirak Published on September 14, 2018

George Neumayr, former editor of Catholic World Report, has spent the past several years digging into the political agenda of Pope Francis. (To hear his 2017 interview on The Eric Metaxas Show with Stream Senior Editor John Zmirak about Pope Francis’ politics, click here.)

Neumayr has been the most tireless reporter digging into the sex abuse crisis engulfing the Church in many countries. Neumayr was one of the earliest critics of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl. He is one of the few journalists to try (doggedly) to track down both that elusive cardinal, and the widely accused sex abuser (ex-) Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The Stream interviewed him about the spiraling crisis inside the Catholic Church.


Please remind our readers about the Cardinal McCarrick case, and what the evidence tells us about when Cardinal Wuerl and when Pope Francis knew about 1) His Harvey-Weinstein-style abuse of young seminarians, and 2) His molestation of a boy he’d baptized himself.

McCormick’s reputation preceded him everywhere. Even the lowliest seminarian knew he was a gay predator. They knew to stay away from this blarney-spewing sicko. Wuerl’s claim that he learned about McCarrick’s lunging at seminarians through the newspapers is risible.

Is it any wonder Archbishop Viganò says Wuerl lies “shamelessly”? Wuerl, for one thing, has an army of aides who flag unfavorable articles about the archdiocese of Washington. His aides would have seen Richard Sipe’s decades-old articles and letters detailing McCarrick’s predation.

Wuerl has admitted that he cancelled a meet-and-greet-style event involving McCarrick and seminarians in light of a Viganò request. But he claims that he hadn’t the faintest idea why Viganò made the request. Right.

Were any of this true — and there is no reason to think so — Wuerl should be forced to resign on cluelessness and incompetence alone.



How credible do you find Abp. Viganò’s claim that Pope Benedict put private sanctions on McCarrick? That Pope Francis knew about them? That he lifted them after his election, in return for McCarrick’s support for pope?

Viganò’s story is one hundred percent true. By the way, I once went to Viganò with info on the Gay Mafia in the DC archdiocese. I told him I was going to wait in the nunciature parking lot until I got a meeting. This was sometime around the end of 2015. While Viganò didn’t grant me a meeting, he authorized, evidently, his right-hand man, a monsignor from Uruguay, to invite me into the nunciature for a meeting. For a good hour or so, I detailed to this polite and sympathetic Viganò aide everything I knew about the corruption of the McCarrick-Wuerl regime. The Vatican probably has a recording of the meeting.

One of Wuerl’s security goons tailed me after I visited the chancery. That goon seemed like he was trying to get me clipped by the car behind me. It was a scary enough move that I called 911.

I doubt Viganò would have even allowed an aide to meet with me unless he already suspected or knew that my bill of indictment against McCarrick and Wuerl was true.

That Benedict would approve sanctions and then not bother to enforce them is all-too-believable. The tip-toeing around McCarrick, with all these pathetically ginger communications. … It’s infuriating to hear about. Benedict was miscast for that role. Recall he asked John Paul II twice if he could return to Germany and become a librarian!

It is obvious that McCarrick knew he could exploit the ambiguities created by Benedict’s passive pontificate. He had two successive Vatican secretaries of state in his pocket, to boot. McCarrick was just biding his time until Bergoglio arrived. It is creepy to think about his global trotting as a “papal envoy” under Francis. In that capacity, he visited Saudi Arabia more times than Michael Jackson. Remember all of his drivel about Islam as a “religion of peace”? I suspect what he really liked about Islam is its laxity toward over-the-hill pederasts like himself.

Wuerl was a longtime beneficiary of the Pittsburgh elite’s protection. Here’s one of his creepy practices during his long tenure in Pittsburgh. He would force his seminarians to dress up as waiters. Then serve at his tony parties with the Scaifes, the Heinz family, the Rooneys, etc., which Wuerl would hold at his mansion.


You’re a longtime critic of Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. He had portrayed himself as a solid theological conservative. As a reformer devoted to rooting out clerical sex abuse. What did we learn from the Pennsylvania AG report about the Cardinal Wuerl? Please talk about the case of George Zirwas. That priest produced sadistic child porn with a boy inside the church, and got a stipend for 10 years from Wuerl which appears to have been hush money.

Wuerl played musical chairs with molesters for decades. That “zero tolerance” myth? It was created by a Pittsburgh religion reporter in his pocket named Ann Rodgers. She was Wuerl’s stenographer and PR agent for years under the guise of “objective reporting.” She produced countless pieces on his supposedly stellar approach to stopping abuse. It was all BS. Later, she confirmed her status as Wuerl’s stenographer. How? By leaving her newspaper job and taking a job at the chancery — as spokesman for Wuerl lackey Bishop Zubik, a job she managed to snag even without being a Catholic!

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Wuerl was a longtime beneficiary of the Pittsburgh elite’s protection. Here’s one of his creepy practices during his long tenure in Pittsburgh. He would force his seminarians to dress up as waiters. Then serve at his tony parties with the Scaifes, the Heinz family, the Rooneys, etc., which Wuerl would hold at his mansion. One priest told me, “It was incredibly demeaning.” He noted that he had a doctorate, yet found himself passing out cocktail weenies to Wuerl’s friends from Pittsburgh’s powerful business and media circles.

Out of that cozy relationship between Wuerl and the Scaifes, among other media barons, came absurdly flattering coverage. That conferred upon him a wholly unjustified reputation as a “proactive” bishop on abuse. In reality, Wuerl was just as derelict as any other dismal U.S. bishop. And in some cases worse. Just look at his hideous handling of the Zirwas case. Then the ghoulish hero’s funeral Wuerl threw for that monster after he pegged out at the hands of a gay prostitute in Havana. Wuerl lamented the lost “potential” of Zirwas. Maybe had Zirwas lived to old age he too might have joined Wuerl and McCarrick in the American episcopate.


You’ve been personally trying to track down and interview both McCarrick and Wuerl. Please recount how you’ve been treated by Church personnel. How about that private security detail of Wuerl’s, and its link to the Obama Secret Service?

I have detailed the mistreatment on Facebook and Twitter. Anyone interested can read my many postings. The most recent egregious examples of Wuerl trying to short-circuit my reporting? He put me, Willie Horton-style, into a Most Wanted poster. Then circulated it among security staffers at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. There I was amidst crazies and criminals. All because I had employed standard journalistic techniques in covering Wuerl’s corruption. This was a blatant violation of canon law. Orthodox Catholics who “make a mess,” to quote Pope Francis, are excluded.

Wanted posterAnother Wuerlian outrage. One of his security goons tailed me after I visited the chancery. That goon seemed like he was trying to get me clipped by the car behind me. It was a scary enough move that I called 911. A cop came out and encouraged me to file a restraining order against Wuerl and his shadowy representatives. I discovered that Mark Sullivan, Obama’s disgraced Secret Service Director, was working for Wuerl during his meltdown. It is possible that the tailing goon who tried to run me into a crash comes from Sullivan’s private security firm GSIS.


Wuerl has already submitted his required resignation, on reaching age 75. But Pope Francis has so far insisted on leaving him in place.  Now Wuerl is going to Rome. What do you make of that?

Wuerl is gone, finally. It is clear from this week’s announcement. The pro-forma letter which has been gathering dust on Francis’s desk will be accepted in the coming days. That brings his reign to an end. His character ends in fitting ignominy. Stripped of his power, Wuerl will have a hard time hoodwinking people anymore. 


Pope Francis has explicitly compared his silence over Apb. Viganò’s charges to Jesus’ silence before Herod. He recently described those asking to see the evidence of whether he knew about McCarrick to Satan, “the Great Accuser.” How do you respond to that?

Pope Francis is obviously blowing smoke. It is exactly the kind of posturing one should expect from a guilty man. He won’t say anything about the McCarrick scandal because he has nothing to say, by way of a defense at least. Francis knew McCarrick was a habitual abuser. He overlooked that out of gratitude in part to McCarrick for helping to elect him. He also no doubt liked McCarrick’s amnesty activism and labor politics. Ideologically, they were too peas in a pod.

That he is now trying to cast the laity as the Great Accuser takes this sick farce to a new level.

political pope

William Gorman is now Chief Operation Officer of the Franciscan University of Steubenville. There he’s pushing a much-touted school response to the “MeToo” movement. What can you tell us about Gorman’s long years of service to Cardinal Wuerl?

William Gorman is a Wuerl henchman who has been sent in to Steubenville by the Francis faction to liberalize the school. And to sack its conservative faculty. Gorman was also a two-faced enforcer for the abominable Barry Knestout. That man who received the plum bishopric of Richmond after many years of service to the Gay Mafia under McCormick and Wuerl. Gorman would do Knestout’s bidding, smiling in your face while driving the knife in your back. He once delivered to me a letter written by Knestout. It promised to sic the police on me if I continued to investigate Wuerl’s Embassy Row Penthouse lifestyle. That included, among other things, an alleged “personal chef” who would park his white Mercedes not in the employee parking lot but in Wuerl’s personal garage.

How can readers help support your investigations?

Please support my independent journalism by going to my GoFundMe page, George Neumayr’s Journalism Fund.


George Neumayr is author, most recently, of The Political Pope.

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  • Chip Crawford

    THY Kingdom come; THY will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven …
    Looking for God … Anybody seen GOD in here … Hey you, have you seen God in church lately? You — seen God; has he been here lately ? You over there – seen God? Know where we might find him? I came to church to find him and … the devil was there …

    • Madeline MSG

      God has not abandoned us. He is still in the Bible. Always has been and always will be.

      • Chip Crawford

        That is elementary, but it works when we operate according his ideas expressed in the Bible, and getting them off the pages into our lives. I hope God is in you through receiving Jesus personally, as I know he is in many Catholic brethren. He is not on automatic pilot; he responds to those who are responding to him. James 4:8 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. …”

        • Once more, your ego is not God. Talking to your ego is not talking to God. Getting permission from your ego is not Divine Will.

          • Chip Crawford

            Aw, shut up

          • Patmos

            Ever notice how NIGELTEAPOT never uses scripture? Dead giveaway he has no idea what he’s talking about.

          • Chip Crawford

            And he accuses those who do of misusing it. He can’t face its truth and the way it wreaks havoc on the structure he relies on. He turns himself into a pretzel denying the long standing sex scandal. He just needs the Lord, but so stubborn and afraid to let go of that shell he’s clinging to. Many Catholics do know the Lord and are much better adjusted and strengthened in this crisis in their lives.

          • Cody

            He meaning NIGELTEPOT is as lost as a goose in a snow storm. I am not judging him its by his own words he thinks the church can save him, little does he know but all believers are the church and the church is saved through Jesus Christ only.

          • Cody

            your right,Nigeltepot should shut up he has no idea what he is talking about, the church can’t save anyone only Jesus can.

        • harveydude

          “Receving Jesus personally.” You mean the Eucharist!

          Oh wait, non-Catholics don’t receive Jesus in that most intimate way. (Too bad — please read John chap. 6.)

      • There is no salvation outside of the Church. The Bible cannot correct you when you are wrong and misuse it.

    • In your head, poor reprobate? God is at the head of the Church.

  • Hmmm…

    The prayer warriors are no doubt forming focused groups for a dedicated, steadfast, unrelenting petition for revival among the leaders. This will bring the needed change like nothing else.

  • Deacon Keith Fournier

    The comments concerning my Bishop, Barry Knestout, are absolutely without support.

    I sincerely hope THE STREAM, read his recent pastoral letter. It is powerful and worthy of an article. I am truly disappointed in this interview, John Zmirak.

    I have been one of your great defenders. You are brilliant, courageous, and a faithful son of our Catholic Church.

    This interview contains a serious error of judgement. I am following this as closely as anybody! I am a member of the clergy of the Catholic Church. I know the diabolical roots of this crisis.

    But, for an ecumenical outreach of sincere Christians, THE STREAM, founded by my friend, the great Christian apologistfor our coming unity, James Robison, this article is beyond the pale.

    So sad you published this.

    • Zmirak

      Why don’t you take it up with George Neumayr who said it? I simply asked a question and accurately transcribed (without censoring) the answer. We’ve had more than enough censorship of bishops’ critics for a lifetime.

      • Deacon Keith Fournier

        I’m a constitutional lawyer. Censorship involves the government. You and George are NOT the government. You are my fellow Catholic Christians’. Do not use loaded language.

        Yes, lay men and women need to rip the scab off this evil.But, they must be men and women of prudence. The comments on my Bishop we’re beyond the pale.

        • JohnnyCuredents

          I don’t dispute what you say about Knestout; I don’t know the first thing about the man. But censorship needn’t involve the government necessarily. Today we see newspapers like the NYT and WaPo regularly exercising censorship in their newsroom. Ditto for CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS,Twitter, FaceBook, and a host of other non-governmental agencies. And, as an assiduous reader of diocesan publications, I can almost guarantee all of them undergo some form of censorship before they arrive in parishes; there’s simply no way that kind of soporific material would ever appear otherwise.

        • Hawaii Dave

          Comments on Bishop Knestout beyond the pale? Why? He was priest-secretary to Hickey & McCarrick, and made auxiliary bishop under Wuerl. Yet he is another one who claims to have known nothing. And he chose lgbt over Holy Mother Church when he chastised Fr. Guarnizo and uplifted the lesbian activist Barbara Johnson. Mr. Neumayr is a careful and thorough journalist, a skilled writer, and a dutiful Catholic. Are you certain that your bias toward Knestout is not coloring your judgement in this instance? Might you not learn much, perhaps, if you rang up Mr. Neumayr for a pint and a conversation? Hasn’t this all gone on quite long enough, and aren’t we all on the same team?

      • Stephanie Reese

        Irresponsible reporting. This reminds me of what Diane Feinstein did to Kavanaugh. Reporting an accusation without evidence of something that may or may not have happened years ago in an attempt to ruin the character of a bishop. If someone is guilty by association then we are all in a lot of trouble. You and George do great work. You both have a lot to offer. Please don’t turn this into a witch hunt. There is too much at stake. Those guilty, proven by evidence and truth must be brought to justice.

  • Jennifer Hartline

    If Neumayr is going to level a charge like that against Bishop Knestout, then he must produce this letter he says Knestout wrote. Prove it.
    We, the faithful, are not interested in slander or gossip, but evidence and truth. We love the Church, and our aim must be to expose the darkness for the sake of purifying and restoring Her.
    Let’s be careful not to help the enemy.

    • Zmirak

      As to this comment and the one below: I knew nothing about Bishop Knestout when I conducted this interview, and merely reported George Neumayr’s answers accurately. However, I’ve done some digging since.

      Why did Knestout obey Cardinal Wuerl in stripping the priestly faculties of Rev. Marcel Guarnizo, for quietly denying Holy Communion to someone who publicly presented herself as a lesbian Buddhist? Google “Deserting Christ: Cdl. Wuerl” by Christine Niles. (Church Militant). You’ll find the link to Knestout’s letter in paragraph 18.

      As to the letter from Knestout to Neumayr, if he wishes to produce it, I’d be happy to publish it with his commentary, and any response by Bishop Knestout.

      • Jennifer Hartline

        John, this question is neither to support or criticize Knestout, but simply to get a basic fact: Was Knestout obligated to do was Wuerl ordered? Does a bishop have the right/power to disobey his superior? To ignore such an order if he wanted to?

        • Zmirak

          A priest is not obliged to obey a bishop’s order if it violates Canon Law, or if he regards it as an immoral one. Hence if McCarrick orders you to cover up his hot-tub activities, you don’t have to obey him. In fact, it’s a sin if you do. Likewise, Wuerl was SUSPENDING this priest for obeying Canon Law–and worse, for refusing to commit sacrilege against the Blessed Sacrament. A principled priest would have said so to Wuerl, and refused to sign such a letter. Either Knestout agreed with Wuerl, or his ambition overrode his principles, it seems to me. Neumayr will soon provide much more information on this, I am reliably informed.

      • Faithr

        I remember this incident! They stripped the priest of his faculties!!!! That’s nuts!

  • Jesus is Lord

    Lord Jesus, convict their hearts of sin and may they be sorrowful for the victims.

  • Jerry Brickley

    Could someone please get Bishop Zubik to resign…please!

    Of course, there isn’t any bench at the Pittsburgh Chancery. Just the same old collection of liars and nitwits.

    Twenty-eight years of Wuerl and then Zubik has cut the number of Catholics in half.

  • john

    There is no excuse either for Benedict’s neglect to enforce his alleged sanction nor Francis’ apparent decision to overlook the matter. But I don’t understand how helpful McCarrick could have been in electing Francis given that he was too old to participate in the conclave that elected Francis. I’m also not sure why the author refers to McCarrick as a “gay predator.” Does that make Harvey Weinstein a “heterosexual predator?” It’s an odd juxtapositioning.

  • jcsmitty

    Are my eyes deceiving me or was this article not proofread? Who is “McCormick?” Often the writer says “McCormick” when he probably means “McCarrick.”.The two names sometimes mix within the same sentence.

    • Zmirak

      It was an autocorrect error. Fixed now, thanks.

      • Dr_Grabowski

        John, sir! Love you, you have important work to do, so I feel petty and academic sending ye chasing down more boring old typos, but as of now it’s still ‘McCormick’ in paragraph 4, also near the end we have PF and McCarrick as “too peas in a pod”. Finally, Gorman’s title at Steubenville seems to be Chief Operating Officer. Hi to Eric M.

        • Zmirak

          Okay, thanks! Will fix.

  • James

    Fascinating news regarding Steubenville. This need be far more widely reported and analyzed. If they are undermining contemplative communities they surely are seeking the same deconstruction for the few remaining faithful institutions of higher learning.
    Then we have the recent nonsense out of Jim Towey at Ave Maria.
    It is a cancer.

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