Seminary under McCarrick rife with secrecy, fear, ex-priest recalls


Reading some of the posts elsewhere, it suggests to me that some people only have a vague awareness of the Cardinal McCarrick scandal.

Seminary under McCarrick rife with secrecy, fear, ex-priest recalls

Aug 22, 2018

by Peter Feuerherd


The caller identified himself as Ed from Freehold. He claimed insider knowledge on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer’s radio talk show Aug. 6.

The topic on New York’s public radio that morning was the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic church, in particular the resignation of accused Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The program featured Heidi Schlumpf, national correspondent for NCR.

McCarrick’s proclivities were an open secret in church circles, Ed from Freehold said.

Ed told the radio audience about the regular invitations Archdiocese of Newark seminarians received to visit McCarrick at his Jersey Shore beach house. The then-archbishop would invite seminarians over for the weekend, with the proviso that there would always be a need for an extra bed, which would be shared by McCarrick with a favored seminarian.

“It was common knowledge,” he said, adding, “It is not a surprise to me. I am surprised that some of the cardinals have said they are surprised by this.”

He told of being invited, via a phone call from the then-archbishop’s priest secretary, and begging off, claiming weekend duties at a hospital chaplaincy program. That was a lie, he said, created to avoid a compromising situation.

Ed from Freehold is actually Ed Bognacki, a former priest who resigned from the archdiocese in 2000. At 63, he works as a substance abuse counselor in Freehold, New Jersey, and lives in a nearby town. He is now married to a man with whom he has been connected for two decades and describes himself as an occasional Catholic churchgoer who has largely left church life behind.

In 1987, Bognacki began seminary studies at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, where McCarrick was archbishop. Three decades later, he describes an atmosphere of secrecy and fear in which McCarrick’s powerful dominance permeated the culture, a situation he says was especially debilitating for men aspiring to the priesthood.

Bognacki is choosing to break his silence, but he says the culture of secrecy still exists for those men who remain priests in the archdiocese. Some who were at the beach house might feel embarrassed . . .


We had the Priest Crisis of 2002.
Now we have the Bishop Crisis of 2018.

We’ve done some good things to protect children from predator-priests and predator-laity.

  • Transparency about predator-laity = Good things came out of it

  • Transparency about predator-priests = Good things came out of it

  • Now transparency about predator-bishops = Good things WILL COME out of it

Now it’s time to do more good things to
protect our seminarians and our priests and our adult laity (in addition to protecting the children) from ALL people in positions of power (especially predator-bishops who abuse or remain silent while others do).

From our USCCB today (here) criticizing themselves for bishops exempting themselves from the Dallas Charter back in 2002 . . .

The members of the NRB have on numerous occasions pointed out the weaknesses in the Charter given its deliberate ambiguity and its lack of inclusion of bishops.

We need to protect our seminarians and priests and ADULTS (not merely children) from predator-bishops and all predators that we can reign in.

Protect . . .

  • Children

  • Lay adults

  • Seminarians (who are of course extra-vulnerable to predator-bishops)

  • Priests (who are also under the POWER of bishops and very vulnerable)

With dramatic proof of the effectiveness of its efforts, the church cannot go back. Indeed, the bishops will press forward, seeking to improve the effectiveness of child safety programs. History will report the horror that children experienced abuse at the hands of clergy, but it also will report that through their efforts to build and enhance safe-environment programs, the bishops dealt sternly with the problem. The terrible problem of child abuse may never go away in society at large, but efforts to make the church the safest place in town will go on.

Step 1 in alcohol addiction recovery includes admitting there is problem.

Step 1 in the recovery from propogation of what Bishop Morlino calls a “homosexual subculture” along with what Pope Francis also implicates as “clericalism” is going to necessitate admitting there is a problem here too.


From the article:

Sounds like part of the problem is that this guy was let into seminary in the first place…


Tis_Bearself . . .

Sounds like part of the problem is that this guy was let into seminary in the first place…

As you are blaming the victim here Tis_Bearself, are you ALSO . . . .

. . . going to blame the other seminarians that were victimized by McCarrick too?

How about the priests McCarrick allegedly abused?

Should we blame them too?

Is is reasonable to blame the children Theodore McCarrick abused as well?

Has it ever occurred to you that men like Cardinal McCarrick himself may be responsible (at least in part) for Bognacki being “part of the problem”?


Hey, you’re the one who posted an article extensively quoting a man who apparently had a 20-year relationship with another man who he then decided to quit the priesthood and marry, which isn’t morally permited by the Catholic Church. People have crucified Fr. James Martin on this forum for far less.

Also, was this man even abused by McCarrick? It sounds like he said no and went on his way.

I don’t think McCarrick is what turned him gay, at the age he would have been in the seminary.

Yes, McCarrick did bad things, but this guy is not exactly a shining example of what people want to see in our priesthood today.


Another victim of McCarrick’s. . .

Ciolek told the paper he felt unable to say no, in part because he had been sexually abused by a teacher in his Catholic high school – information he had shared with his Bishop McCarrick. “I trusted him, I confided in him, I admired him,” he added. “I couldn’t imagine that he would have anything other than my best interests in mind.”


OK, that’s a better article to support your points.


Tis_Bearself . . .

It sounds like he said no and went on his way.

This IS abuse Tis_Bearself.

You do not put young men under your care in the position of being “hustled”.

THAT IS abuse.


From the New York Times . . .

. . . But while the church responded quickly to the allegation that Cardinal McCarrick had abused a child, some church officials knew for decades that the cardinal had been accused of sexually harassing and inappropriately touching adults, according to interviews and documents obtained by The New York Times.

Between 1994 and 2008, multiple reports about the cardinal’s transgressions with adult seminary students were made to American bishops, the pope’s representative in Washington and, finally, Pope Benedict XVI. Two New Jersey dioceses secretly paid settlements, in 2005 and 2007, to two men, . . .


Ciolek said he could not speak publicly about the settlement until the church released him from a confidentiality agreement after McCarrick was removed from ministry.

McCarrick’s second alleged adult victim was a priest . . .


(CNN)The sexual abuse accusations against a prominent American archbishop reveal a “grievous moral failure” within the Catholic Church, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said on Tuesday.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the Catholic bishops conference, also said the conference “will pursue the many questions” about the accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick “to the full extent of its authority.”

“Our Church is suffering from a crisis of sexual morality,” DiNardo said. “The way forward must involve learning from past sins.”

DiNardo’s statement comes as the Catholic Church, including Pope Francis, is facing a quickly escalating sexual abuse scandal that has ensnared top church leaders on several continents… . .


As CNN has pointed out.

This issue is NOT merely a USA issue. It is an international (“on several continents”) problem within the Episcopacy (among the Bishops).

And (some of) our Bishops themsekves have asked help from the laity.

And Pope Francis just wrote as all a letter imploring the help of the laity.

Since we have no power over Bishops, prayer, fasting, communication, and awareness is about all we can do for now.

That may change if Pope Francis empowers laity (or laity along with clergy) to do a deep complete and transparent investigation here.

We know our priests and seminarians have been taking a proverbial beating (at least some of them).

It’s high time us laity help them out.

Fast. Pray, especially during the Consecrstion at Mass and when you are in full Communion with Jesus right after reception of Holy Communion. And spread the word and remain faithful to the Church.

Don’t blame the Church for these guys.

These guys are in trouble not for folliwing the Church . . . .

. . . . These guys are in trouble for NOT following the Church.

There are still many good priests and bishops and they need our help right now (with the grace of God of course).

Let’s “do it”. Let’s do what Pope Francis (and many good priests and bishops) have asked of us.


From USCCB statement . . .

. . . "In other ways, we have failed you. This is especially true for adults being sexually harassed by those in positions of power, and for any abuse or harassment perpetrated by a bishop. . . .


more cannon fodder, Great news. wait till you get the anti-Catholic gauntlet you must run to get into mass


more cannon fodder, Great news. wait till you get the anti-Catholic gauntlet you must run to get into mass

What do you want Roseeurekacross?

For me to be silent?

You don’t overcome anti-Catholicism with pretending this isn’t an issue.

Haven’t you listened to the Holy Fathers calls for transparency on this?

Haven’t you seen the good results from SOME of the work the Church has done in respect to the 2002 scandals?

Sure people left because of it.

But that is not the fault of the people being open and honest.

If you think it is, you are blaming the victim to a certain extent (we are all victimized by various forms of abuse).

It is the fault of the abusers.

Why not carry out the call of the Holy Father for transparency (among other things)?


Agenda posting is against CAF rules.


Roseeurekacross . . .

Agenda posting is against CAF rules.

Deal with the thread instead of the ad hominems Roseeurekacross.


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