Closing in on corruption and cover-up
Today exactly marks the one-year anniversary of the revelations about Theodore McCarrick being a serial homopredator, and on this one-year anniversary, we are bringing you this exclusive investigative report.
Church Militant has been handed documents from personnel in the archdiocese of Chicago who are fed up with the lies and cover-ups.
The papers were kept in the secret vault in the Chicago archdiocese and detail allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by former Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.
Church Militant has also learned that
Cardinal Blase Cupich is now under scrutiny by state and federal law enforcement agencies for failing to report.
These documents obtained by Church Militant are just a small sampling of various letters, correspondence, court records and emails we have been given revealing what has been rumored for decades — that Joseph Bernardin was a sexual abuser of both minors as well as adult males.
These specific papers are from 1993–1995 and provide explicit details of accusations against Bernardin stemming from a 1957 sexual assault, including rape of a minor, while he was a priest in Charleston, South Carolina, five years after his ordination.
The documents reveal that the archdiocese of Chicago, the U.S. papal nuncio, the Vatican Secretariat of State and even the papal household all knew of the allegations and yet failed to act on them.
According to the documentation, the sexual assault happened on the property of St. Mary's parish in Greenville, South Carolina and involved both then-Fr. Bernardin and Bishop John J. Russell and was part of a satanic ritual involving desecration of the Holy Eucharist.
The victim eventually contacted the archdiocese in April of 1993, first by phone and later in writing, to report the rape by Bernardin.
The sexual assault involved both then-Fr. Bernardin and Bishop John J. Russell and was part of a satanic ritual involving desecration of the Holy Eucharist.Tweet
As can be seen in this document, the victim had ongoing communication with archdiocese of Chicago Professional Fitness Review Administrator Steve Sidlowski.
The victim even signed and sent a registered letter written directly to Bernardin making the serious accusations and asking him to go public and repent.
A copy of the registered mail receipt, along with the original letter, was also provided to Church Militant. The receipt is signed for by Cardinal Bernardin's office and dated April 8, 1993.
According to the cache of secret documents provided to Church Militant, the victim even twice wrote directly to Pope John Paul II, a fact acknowledged in a letter from Monsignor Leonardo Sandri from the Vatican Secretariat of State to the victim dated Sept. 4, 1993.
It is not known if the letters were ever actually presented to the Pope, but the official letter acknowledging receipt is part of the record.
Having received what could be best described as the professional runaround from Chicago for close to two years, and no substantial response from the Holy See, the victim actually traveled to Rome in 1995 and appeared in person at the Vatican Congregation for Bishops after having written them twice and received no satisfactory response.
As can be seen in this April 3, 1995 letter to the victim from then-U.S. Papal Nuncio Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan, the correspondence with the charges against Bernardin was even assigned a case number by the nunciature — N. 17. 598.
Like when the victim reported to Chicago and Rome, nothing was ever officially pursued by the nuncio.
Officials from the time that Church Militant spoke with say the charges were viewed as not credible, but no records or notes of any investigation appear to exist. Nothing in the file indicates that any formal investigation was ever begun.
Additionally, the existence of any formal investigation seems extremely unlikely because, as the victim points out to Sidlowski in this 1993 letter, members of any investigative board "are not competent or permitted to" investigate such charges against a cardinal.
Church law restricts the convening of such investigations solely to the pope, and no record anywhere exists suggesting any such investigation was ever convened by Pope John Paul.
What the archdiocese of Chicago tried to do was to trick the victim into revealing all relevant facts so they could discover exactly what the victim knew and then provide the information to Bernardin — an accusation leveled by the victim in the same letter.
All of this documentation was in the secret files of the archdiocese and yet was not reported to then-Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan despite Cupich's claim that the archdiocese was fully cooperating with the state investigation.
In December of last year, Madigan's office stunned the investigative world by reporting that bishops in Illinois — including Cupich — had deliberately failed to hand over the files and names of more than 500 accused priests.
Officials are now looking into charges directly related to Cupich's tenure in Chicago involving financial misappropriation and corruption.Tweet
The excuse from Cupich and brother bishops was that names were withheld because the allegations had not been investigated.
Madigan charged the bishops with duplicity:
By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois.The failure to investigate also means that the Catholic Church has never made an effort to determine whether the conduct of the accused priests was ignored or covered up.
The dilemma now facing Cardinal Blase Cupich is clear: Either produce these documents of which Church Militant was given copies or be charged with destruction of evidence because the documents did, at least at one time, exist.
Additionally, last month, Church Militant sent a media inquiry directly to Cardinal Cupich and multiple staffers asking for a response to what we knew. We received no response.
Law enforcement officials now tell Church Militant that what certainly appears to be a cover-up by Cupich and the archdiocese to protect America's most prominent homosexualist cardinal is only the tip of the iceberg.
In addition to abuse of minors, failure to internally investigate and covering up Bernardin's deeds, officials are now looking into charges directly related to Cupich's tenure in Chicago involving financial misappropriation and corruption.
And while those possible criminal actions are being pursued, as we said at the top of the report, Church Militant has come into possession of much more damning information about Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and accusations against him involving sexual crimes.
On this one-year anniversary, to the day, of the McCarrick revelations, what is now coming into sharp focus is that the Church in America as now constituted was engineered and designed and brought into existence by not one, but two homosexual predators who advanced the careers of multiple bishops who are are still currently serving in senior posts.
We will be rolling all that out in upcoming special reports.