Defrocking McCarrick, by Stephen Wynne

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By Stephen Wynne, ChurchMilitant, February 11, 2019

James Grein reflects on laicization debate, purification of the Church

Reports indicate the serial sexual predator Theodore McCarrick may be defrocked in the lead-up to the Feb. 21–24 sex abuse summit in Rome.

On Sunday, Church Militant spoke with McCarrick survivor James Grein about the ex-cardinal’s possible laicization.

Grein said he is “delighted” that the hierarchy is at last imposing a measure of justice on the former D.C. archbishop, but pointed out that the crisis is far bigger than just McCarrick. Defrocking the ex-cardinal, he said, is a small first step, but the entire Church must be cleansed.

“McCarrick may have started a lot of these things, he may have lived the lifestyle, but he … made so many priests,” Grein observed. “He was in the pulpit for 50 years, speaking and spewing his doctrine throughout the Catholic Church.”

Grein told Church Militant that his expectations for the upcoming abuse synod are very low: “They’re going to meet for three days. They met for five days in Baltimore and did nothing. I believe they’re going to do nothing again in Rome.”

He went on to say that in spite of the magnitude of the crisis besetting the Church, he sees the hand of God in the unfolding purification.

God, Grein reflected, is in the process of reclaiming His Church.

He called on Catholics to make their voices heard, to join the fight to rid the ranks of the clergy of filth and heterodoxy. He encouraged the laity to remain faithful, pointing out that the current troubles allow every Catholic to become a saint.

Grein’s testimony helped kick off last year’s “Summer of Shame”; he stepped forward to tell his story in July, just weeks after The New York Times revealed McCarrick had — for decades — sexually assaulted altar boys as well as his own seminarians.

Watch the panel discuss James Grein’s reflections on McCarrick’s downfall in The Download—Defrocking McCarrick.