Cardinal Wuerl apologizes to priests, McCarrick victim, says he forgot he knew about harassment allegations

File under:  Are you freakin’ kidding me?  Insulated, monolithic, callous, tone deaf church power structure!

 

Cardinal Donald Wuerl speaks to media at St. Matthews Cathedral in Washington on Feb. 11, 2013.

By Michelle Boorstein

D.C.’s embattled Catholic leader, Donald Wuerl, under fire in recent days for untruthful statements regarding what he knew about the alleged sexual misconduct of his predecessor, Theodore McCarrick, apologized late Tuesday, saying he forgot he knew about the allegations and that it was “never the intention to provide false information.”

Wuerl apologized to former priest Robert Ciolek in the evening and then sent a letter to the priests of the archdiocese, where Wuerl is the acting administrator. Pope Francis received Wuerl’s retirement as archbishop earlier than expected last fall as the cardinal was being pummeled by criticism over his handling of abuse cases when he was the Pittsburgh bishop, and also by suspicions that he was not being fully honest about what he knew of the McCarrick scandal.

[Cardinal Wuerl’s letter to the priests]

In the letter, Wuerl said he forgot he was told in 2004 about Ciolek’s complaint against McCarrick. Wuerl in 2004 then took the complaint to the Vatican.

The ex-priest, in testimony then to the Pittsburgh Diocese’s Review Board, had said McCarrick pressured seminarians to sleep in double beds with him, requested and gave the subordinate unwanted back rubs and caused Ciolek trauma because he knew that Ciolek had been abused by clergy as a teen.

When Ciolek first went public last week with evidence that Wuerl had been untruthful since the scandal erupted last summer, Wuerl’s office issued a statement saying he had only been trying to protect Ciolek’s confidentiality. Then in a Saturday letter to the archdiocese’s priests, Wuerl repeated his claim that he was protecting confidentiality and said he had denied knowledge only as it pertained to allegations that McCarrick had abused children.

In the Tuesday night letter, Wuerl repeated versions of those defenses but said it didn’t matter.

“Nonetheless, it is important for me to accept personal responsibility and apologize for this lapse of memory. There was never the intention to provide false information,” the letter said.

He noted he had apologized to Ciolek, whose requests to meet Wuerl were rebuffed for several weeks prior. Ciolek had asked repeatedly to meet but was told no after negotiating with the archdiocese’s lawyer, who had suggested limits on the talk, such as no “interviewing” Wuerl, no recording and no note-taking, Ciolek told The Post. This was in the days before Ciolek went public with the fact that Wuerl knew in 2004.

“I wanted to apologize for any additional grief my failure might have also brought the survivor,” he wrote.

[Despite denials, D.C. Cardinal Donald Wuerl knew of sexual misconduct allegations against Theodore McCarrick and reported them to Vatican]

Ciolek Wednesday said he was up much of the night pondering what he said was a 45-minute talk with Wuerl. He wanted to take the call, he said, because he was still “holding out hope” that Wuerl would offer a frank admission and apology that would help heal Ciolek and restore some of Catholics’ distrust.

“In the end, it’s lacking in truth and substance. I do not believe for one moment that he forgot. I do not,” he said. Wuerl expressed what Ciolek called sincere sorry and regret for the clerics who abused and harassed him. “But substantively it doesn’t all add up. He’s shown himself to be better at expressing sorrow for actions of others. But he remains unable or unwilling to ackowledge the truth of his own actions.”

The married lawyer reached a settlement in 2005 with several New Jersey dioceses over abuse and harassment he says he suffered by three clerics as a teen and then in seminary. One of them was allegedly McCarrick.

The reaction of the D.C. Catholic community, weary after six months of scandal alleged by their current and last archbishops, wasn’t easy to predict.

Wuerl over the years was seen as an efficient and moderate, if bureaucratic, leader of the healthy, diverse archdiocese — until last summer, when McCarrick was suspended after allegedly groping an altar boy and questions arose about widespread rumors that McCarrick had been sexually harassing seminarians for years. Wuerl was also painted in a report by a Pennsylvania grand jury as not fully reliable in his handling of sex abuse. The report looked at hundreds of clerics.

A Washington Post investigation about the grand jury report found that while Wuerl built a reputation as an early advocate for removing pedophile priests from parishes, at times he allowed accused clerics to continue as priests in less visible roles without alerting authorities or other officials.

[Why don’t Catholic leaders who screw up just say they’re sorry?]

Wuerl’s apology comes at a key time. The Vatican is hoping to wrap up things related to the D.C. scandals before a first global meeting next month about clergy sex abuse and how to hold bishops and cardinals more accountable. Allegations that McCarrick abused several children and harassed many seminarians are being heard by a Vatican administrative trial, and some church lawyers think he might see his priestly status stripped. It’s possible Francis will decide a penalty, if any, for McCarrick. Wuerl’s successor is also to be named.

While Wuerl’s denials have centered on his claim that Ciolek requested confidentiality, documents from the time challenge the cardinal’s framework.

In 2004, Wuerl’s office asked Ciolek for permission to take his complaint about McCarrick to the Vatican. Ciolek wrote back that he would be fine with that but to please keep his name out of it, if possible. Either way, Ciolek wrote in approving the specific request, he was fine with his experience being told to church officials.

The Pittsburgh and D.C. dioceses in the past week have said this proves Wuerl was unable to come forward. But Ciolek’s 2004 request for his name to be kept out of it was specific to the request made by Pittsburgh. Church officials never asked him again for permission to speak publicly about his allegations, even in a general way, without his name. Wuerl issued several denials about having heard even rumors about McCarrick, even after Ciolek went public in July about his experience.

“Were you aware of rumors Cardinal McCarrick was having relationships with other priests?” CBS asked Wuerl in August. “No, no,” he says.

Complete Article HERE!

Women strive for larger roles in male-dominated religions

By DAVID CRARY

Women have been elected heads of national governments on six continents. They have flown into space, served in elite combat units and won every category of Nobel Prize. The global #MeToo movement, in 15 months, has toppled a multitude of powerful men linked to sexual misconduct.

Yet in most of the world’s major religions, women remain relegated to a second-tier status. Women in several faiths are still barred from ordination. Some are banned from praying alongside men and forbidden from stepping foot in some houses of worship altogether. Their attire, from headwear down to the length of their skirts in church, is often restricted.

But women around the world in recent months have been finding new ways to chip away at centuries of male-dominated traditions and barriers, with many of them emboldened by the surge of social media activism that’s spread globally in the #MeToo era.

Millions of women in India this month formed a human wall nearly 400 miles long in support of women who defied conservative Hindu leaders and entered an important temple that has long been off-limits to women and girls between the ages of 10 and 50.

In Israel, where Orthodox Judaism has long restricted women’s roles, one Jerusalem congregation has allowed women to lead Friday evening prayers. Roman Catholic bishops, under pressure from women’s-rights activists, concluded a recent Vatican meeting by declaring that women, as an urgent “duty of justice,” should have a greater role in church decision-making.

Many feminist scholars are challenging the rightfulness of long-standing patriarchal traditions in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, calling into question time-honored translations of verses in the Bible, Torah and Quran that have been used to justify a male-dominated hierarchy.

Social media is seen as a big catalyst in boosting activism and forging solidarity among women of faith who seek more equality. The #MeToo movement has been evoked — even in the ranks of conservative U.S. denominations — as a reason why women should expect more respectful treatment from male clergy, and a greater share of leadership roles.

“Women are looking for opportunities to have their voices heard and be more effective in their religious traditions,” said Gina Messina, a religion professor at Ursuline College in Ohio who describes herself as both a feminist and a Catholic theologian. “Using social media is an opportunity to say what they think.”

She co-founded a blog called Feminism and Religion that has scores of contributors around the world and followers in more than 180 countries. She also co-edited a collection of essays by Christian, Jewish and Muslim women explaining why they haven’t abandoned their patriarchal-leaning faiths.

“The perception seems to be that it is a feminist act only to leave such a religion. We contend that it is also a feminist act to stay,” the three editors write in their foreword.

Here’s a brief look at the status of gender equality in several of the world’s religions:


ROMAN CATHOLICISM

Catholic doctrine mandates an all-male priesthood, on the grounds that Jesus’ apostles were men.

A decades-long campaign for women’s ordination has made little headway and some advocates of that change have been excommunicated. Women do play major roles in Catholic education, health care and parish administration

While the recent meeting of bishops at the Vatican produced a call to expand women’s presence in church affairs, no details were proposed. The seven nuns who participated along with 267 male clergy were not allowed to vote on the final document.

Earlier this year, a Vatican magazine published an expose detailing how nuns are often treated like indentured servants by cardinals and bishops, for whom they cook and clean with little recompense.

At the University of Dayton, a Catholic school in Ohio, religion professor Sandra Yocum says some of the young women she teaches “are having a hard time seeing where they fit in” as they assess the church’s doctrine on gender roles and its pervasive clergy sex-abuse scandals.

“They have a deep concern for the church,” she said. “They want to respond in some way and take a leadership role.”

Messina sometimes engages in “small acts of dissent” to show displeasure with patriarchal Catholic traditions. At the recent funeral for her grandmother, she changed a Bible reading to make the passage gender-neutral.

“We have to continue to push — regardless of whether it’s in our generation or five generations from now.”

Rose Dyar, a senior at the University of Dayton, says she’s determined to team with other young Catholics to help the church overcome its challenges. The ban on female priests isn’t enough to drive her from Catholicism, but it dismays her.

“I absolutely support women’s ordination,” she said. “Unfortunately I don’t foresee it happening anytime soon, and that breaks my heart.”


ISLAM

Some of the most important traditions and practices of the Prophet Muhammad were preserved and carried forth by the women closest to him— his wives and daughters. But as with many other major faiths, women in Islamic tradition have largely been relegated to supporting roles throughout recent history.

Women in Islam do not lead prayer or give traditional Friday sermons. In larger mosques where women are welcome, they are almost always segregated from men in the back or allocated spaces on other floors with separate entrances and exits.

In Saudi Arabia, a male-dominated interpretation of Islam bars women from traveling or obtaining a passport without the consent of a male guardian. Only this year did the kingdom allowed women to drive.

Changes are happening elsewhere. In Tunisia, President Beji Caid Essebsi has proposed giving women equal inheritance rights with men — a much-debated topic around the Muslim world. In the Palestinian territories, Kholoud al-Faqih became the first female Shariah court judge in 2009, in part to help women beset by domestic violence.

Some women are challenging interpretations that state only men must attend traditional Friday prayers. A few have chosen to create their own prayer spaces, like the Women’s Mosque of America in California where women lead the services and female scholars share their knowledge.

The bylaws for that mosque were drafted by Atiya Aftab, who teaches Islamic Law at Rutgers University and is chair of the board at her mosque — a first for a woman in New Jersey. She says moves in the U.S. to expand women’s roles in the Islamic community have sometimes been met with conservative backlash, but the momentum for change seems strong.

In Texas, Muslim women recently formed a group that has investigated and publicized instances of sexual, physical and spiritual abuse committed against women by Muslim community leaders.


JUDAISM

The gender situation within Judaism is markedly different in Israel and the United States, which together account for more than 80 percent of the world’s Jewish population.

The largest U.S. branches, Reform and Conservative, allow women to be rabbis, while the Orthodox branch does not. In Israel, the Conservative and Reform movements are small, and Orthodox authorities hold a near monopoly on all matters regarding Judaism.

One major source of contention: the Orthodox-enforced policy of prohibiting women from praying alongside men at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the holiest site where Jews can pray. Numerous women protesting the policy have been arrested, and several American Jewish groups were angered last year when Israel’s government backtracked on plans to expand a space where both men and women could pray.

However, there have been moves to expand Orthodox women’s roles in religious life. A Jerusalem congregation, Shira Hadasha, has adopted a liberal interpretation of Jewish religious law that incorporates women’s involvement in services, such as leading Friday evening prayers and reciting from the Torah on the Sabbath.

An Orthodox organization called Tzohar is trying to advance women in roles where social custom, not religious law, has excluded them — such as teaching Jewish law or certifying restaurants’ compliance with kosher standards.

“If Jewish law does not say that something is prohibited, but just because of social or cultural reasons women were not involved, we see no reason that they should not be involved, said Tzohar’s chairman, Rabbi David Stav.


MORMONISM

Women in the Mormon church are barred from being priests, leading local congregations or holding the top leadership posts in a faith that counts 16 million members worldwide.

The highest-ranking women in the church oversee three organizations that run programs for women and girls. These councils sit below several layers of leadership groups reserved for men.

The role of women in the conservative religion, officially named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been a subject of debate for many years, with some members pushing for more equality and increased visibility for women.

The church has made some changes in recent years; women’s groups say they mark small progress. In 2013, a woman for the first time led the opening prayer at the faith’s semiannual general conference in Salt Lake City. Later that year, a conference session previously limited to men was broadcast live for all to watch.

Mormon women are still expected to wear skirts or dresses to worship services and inside temples, but the religion has loosened its rules in recent years to allow women who work at church headquarters to wear pantsuits or dress slacks and to let women serving proselytizing missions to wear dress slacks.

The church shows no signs of budging on women’s ordination. Kate Kelly, the founder of a group called Ordain Women that led protests outside church conferences, was expelled from the faith in 2014.

“We’re in it for the long haul,” said Lorie Winder Stromberg, 66, a member of Ordain Women’s executive board. “I think women’s ordination is inevitable — but I have no sense of the timing.”


HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM

The gender-equality situation in these two Asian-based faiths is difficult to summarize briefly. Neither has a single supreme entity that enforces doctrine, and each has multiple branches with different philosophies and practices.

In Buddhism, women’s status varies from country to country. In Thailand, a Buddhist stronghold, women can become nuns — often acting as glorified temple housekeepers — but only in 2003 won the right to serve as the saffron-robed full equivalents of male monks, and still represent just a tiny fraction of the country’s clergy.

India’s Sabarimala temple had long banned women and girls of menstruating age from entering the centuries-old house of worship. Some Hindus consider menstruating women to be impure.

The Supreme Court in September lifted the ban, and violent protests broke out after women entered the temple. Earlier this month, women formed a human chain spanning than 600 kilometers (375 miles) to support gender equality.

“The Hindu temples at present have almost 99 percent male priests,” said women’s rights activist Ranjana Kumari, director of New Delhi-based Center for Social Research. “Things have to improve.”


SOUTHERN BAPTISTS

While many Protestant denominations now ordain women, the largest in the U.S. — the Southern Baptist Convention — is among those that don’t. It advocates that women submit to male leadership in their church and to a husband’s leadership at home.

Southern Baptist leaders say this doctrine aligns with New Testament teaching. One passage they cite quotes the apostle Paul as writing, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man.”

A recent statement from SBC leadership insisted that Southern Baptists “are not anti-woman.”

“However, because Scripture speaks specifically to the role of pastor, churches are under a moral imperative to be guided by that teaching, rather than the shifting opinions of human cultures.”

Cheryl Summers, a former Southern Baptist who has challenged the church to improve its treatment of women, describes this gender doctrine as “tortured logic” — especially given the accomplishments of SBC women in the secular world.

“There’s tremendous cognitive dissonance for a woman of faith who is leading professionally or through volunteer efforts when she experiences the glass ceiling and walls in her place of worship,” Summers said via email.

For the past year, the SBC has been roiled by a series of sexual misconduct cases involving churches and seminaries, prompting some activist women to demand new anti-abuse policies.

Complete Article HERE!

McCarrick accuser cooperates with NYC prosecutors on abuse

In this Nov. 14, 2011, file photo, then Cardinal Theodore McCarrick prays during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual fall assembly in Baltimore. A lawyer says the key accuser in the sex abuse case against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has met with New York City prosecutors, evidence that the scandal that has convulsed the papacy is now part of the broader U.S. law enforcement investigation into sex abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church.

By NICOLE WINFIELD

The key accuser in the sex abuse case against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has met with New York City prosecutors, evidence that the scandal that has convulsed the papacy is now part of the broader U.S. law enforcement investigation into sex abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church.

James Grein gave testimony last month to Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Sara Sullivan, who is investigating a broad range of issues related to clergy abuse and the systematic cover-up by church superiors, Grein’s attorney, Patrick Noaker, told The Associated Press.

The development is significant, given that the Vatican investigation against McCarrick has already created a credibility crisis for the Catholic hierarchy including Pope Francis, since it was apparently an open secret that McCarrick slept with adult seminarians. Grein’s testimony, however, includes allegations that McCarrick, a former family friend, also groomed and abused him starting when he was 11.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office launched a hotline last year and invited victims to report even decades-old sex abuse, saying it would pursue “any and all investigative leads” to ensure justice.

Grein met with Sullivan before Christmas after filing a compensation claim with the New York City archdiocese alleging that McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, first exposed himself when Grein was 11 and continued abusing him for some two decades, including during confession, Noaker said. The church’s compensation procedures require that victims notify the district attorney of their allegations, which Grein did on Nov. 1.

Noaker, however, said Grein’s testimony to Sullivan went beyond the required pro forma notification and covered issues related to a broader investigation.

On Dec. 27, Grein testified to Vatican investigators as part of the Holy See’s internal probe against McCarrick. That investigation has now finished and shifted to Rome, where a final verdict is expected within weeks, Vatican officials say.

McCarrick, who has also been accused by two other men in the Vatican investigation, faces possible defrocking if Francis determines the accusations against him are credible.

Criminal charges in New York City against McCarrick are unlikely for any actual abuse, due to the statute of limitations, Noaker said. But Grein’s testimony could still prove useful as prosecutors investigate patterns of abuse, conspiracy and cover-up over decades by Catholic leaders.

A law enforcement official familiar with the New York City investigation said it was separate from the one announced in September by then-New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood, who subpoenaed all eight dioceses in New York state. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation.

Underwood, who has since been replaced, took action along with prosecutors in a dozen U.S. states after a Pennsylvania grand jury alleged that more than 1,000 children were molested by 300 priests over 70 years in six dioceses of that state alone.

The state attorney general’s office is pursuing a civil investigation but has also reached out to local prosecutors authorized to convene grand juries or pursue criminal investigations.

Separately, the U.S. Justice Department has told every Catholic diocese in the country not to destroy documents or confidential archives relating to abuse investigations and the transfers of priests.

McCarrick was ordained a priest in New York City in 1958 and served as an auxiliary bishop to New York’s then-Cardinal Terence Cooke before being named bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey, in 1981. It was during his years as a New York City priest — in the early 1970s — that he allegedly groped a teenage altar boy in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. That accusation launched the internal church investigation.

After the New York City archdiocese found the accusation credible and announced that McCarrick had been removed from public ministry, Grein and former seminarians came forward to say that McCarrick molested them as well. Francis removed McCarrick as a cardinal in July.

McCarrick denied the initial groping allegation of the altar boy and has said, through his lawyer, that he looks forward to his right to due process.

A former priest from the Metuchen diocese, Robert Ciolek, has also publicly accused McCarrick of inappropriate behavior while he was a seminarian and formalized the accusation in a 2004 complaint to Pittsburgh church officials.

In the past week, the archdioceses of Pittsburgh and Washington confirmed that then-Pittsburgh Bishop Donald Wuerl forwarded the complaint to the Vatican embassy at the time — disproving Wuerl’s claim that he hadn’t heard of allegations against McCarrick until last year.

Francis recently accepted the resignation of now-Cardinal Wuerl as archbishop of Washington after his credibility suffered as a result of the McCarrick scandal and allegations about his tenure in Pittsburgh in the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

Complete Article HERE!

Opus Dei paid $977,000 to settle sexual misconduct claim against prominent Catholic priest

Father John McCloskey of the Catholic Information Center, talks in 2002 with a priest at the University of Notre Dame, not pictured, about sex scandals within the Catholic Church on NBC’s ”Meet the Press” in Washington.

By Michelle Boorstein

The global Catholic community Opus Dei in 2005 paid $977,000 to settle a sexual misconduct suit against the Rev. C. John McCloskey, a priest well-known for preparing for conversion big-name conservatives — Newt Gingrich, Larry Kudlow and Sam Brownback, among others.

The woman who filed the complaint is a D.C.-area Catholic who was among the many who received spiritual direction from McCloskey through the Catholic Information Center, a K Street hub of Catholic life in downtown Washington. She told The Washington Post that McCloskey groped her several times while she was going to pastoral counseling with him to discuss marital troubles and serious depression.

The guilt and shame over the interactions sent her into a tailspin and, combined with her existing depression, made it impossible for her to work in her high-level job, she said. She spoke to him about her “misperceived guilt over the interaction” in confession and he absolved her, she said.

“I love Opus Dei but I was caught up in this coverup — I went to confession, thinking I did something to tempt this holy man to cross boundaries,” she said. The Post does not name victims of sexual assault without their consent.

The disclosure of the complaint and settlement were not made public by Opus Dei until Monday but behind the scenes, the ministry of the well-known priest had been sharply curtailed. Many Washington-area Catholics have wondered for years what happened to McCloskey, who was the closest thing to a celebrity the Catholic Church had in the region.

One other woman told Opus Dei that “she was made uncomfortable by how he was hugging her,” Brian Finnerty, an Opus Dei spokesman said Monday night. He said Opus Dei is also investigating a third claim — so far unsubstantiated — that he called potentially “serious.” He declined to provide details but said the woman “may have also suffered from misconduct by Father McCloskey” at the D.C. center, which is a bookstore, chapel and gathering place for conservative Catholics in particular.

In a statement, Opus Dei Vicar Monsignor Thomas Bohlin said McCloskey’s actions at the center were “deeply painful for the woman” who made the initial complaint “and we are very sorry for all she suffered.”

Bohlin’s statement, which came after the woman requested Opus Dei go public in an effort to reach other potential victims, said McCloskey was removed from his job at the center a year after the complaint, when it was found to be credible.

“All harassment and abuse are abhorrent,” Bohlin wrote. “I am painfully aware of all that the Church is suffering, and I am very sorry that we in Opus Dei have added to it. Let us ask God to show mercy on all of us in the Church at this difficult time.”

After leaving Washington after the complaints, McCloskey was sent to England, and then Chicago and California for assignments with Opus Dei. The woman in the settlement said she was told by church officials in Chicago when he was sent there that McCloskey would not be allowed to “get faculties” — or permission to fully function as a priest — and would be put on a very tight leash.

She became worried last year when she came into contact with someone else who knew about McCloskey and heard he may have been working as a priest in California.

In the statement Monday, Opus Dei said that after the settlement, McCloskey was told to only give spiritual direction to women in the confessional — meaning separated physically from them. In Opus Dei, a traditional community of Catholics, that is the norm for priests working with those they are counseling. McCloskey had an unusually public, free role at the Information Center.

In interviews in 2014, McCloskey was identified as working in “spiritual direction and pastoral ministry.” In a 2014 piece for the Jesuit magazine America, he said he was a “spiritual consultant.”

As a result, the woman in the settlement said, a lack of clarity about McCloskey’s role all these years haunted her, and she wants to be sure any other women potentially harmed by the priest know they aren’t alone and can get help.

McCloskey, who is now in his 60s, recently moved back to the D.C. region, where he has family. Opus Dei said Monday that he “suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s. He is largely incapacitated and needs assistance for routine daily tasks. He has not had any pastoral assignments for a number of years and is no longer able to celebrate Mass, even privately.”

The woman, who remains close to Opus Dei and participates in some of their spiritual activities, said Monday she was grateful to them for going public. She is now in her mid-50s, and was 40 when the incidents with McCloskey occurred.

“I’m very happy with how it’s being handled right now. They listened,” she said.

When she first reported McCloskey’s actions in the early 2000s, she said, she did so in a confessional with an Opus Dei priest in Virginia. The priest told her not to tell anyone else, including any other priests, “so he could fix it,” she said.

Later, an Opus Dei priest tried to help her, she said, encouraging her to seek medical and legal assistance.

Finnerty said the settlement for McCloskey is the only sexual misconduct settlement Opus Dei has ever paid out in the United States. The group received a special contribution specifically for it, he said. He would not name the donor.

Before becoming a priest, McCloskey worked for Citibank and Merrill Lynch on Wall Street, according to media reports. He was ordained a priest of Opus Dei in the early 1980s. He went on to become a successful author and religious commentator on television and radio, including the Catholic station EWTN.

In a 2011 piece by the Catholic News Agency celebrating 30 years as a priest, McCloskey said God had used him “as an instrument in spite of myself to bring dozens of vocations to the priesthood, religious life and to the new ecclesial movements, and all this with my evident faults and human failings.”

Complete Article HERE!