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