Saturday, July 28, 2018

Sir Roger Scruton on What It Means to Be a Conservative

By Madeleine Kearns
July 28, 2018

Image result for scruton conservatism tradition

Sir Roger Scruton is a writer and philosopher who has published more than 40 books in philosophy, aesthetics, and politics, and his work has been widely translated. He is a fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches in both England and America and is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Here, he talks to National Review about his latest book and the meaning of conservatism.

Madeleine Kearns: In your most recent book, Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition, you provide a distilled synthesis of modern conservative thought. First, I’d like to begin with your book’s last chapter, “Conservatism Now,” in which you reference William F. Buckley Jr.’s first book, God and Man at Yale (1951). In that book, which arguably launched the conservative movement in America, a 24-year-old Buckley wrote: “I believe that if and when the menace of Communism is gone, other vital battles, at present subordinated, will emerge to the foreground. And the winner must have help from the classroom.”
Do you think Buckley was correct? If so, what are these “other vital battles,” and what is happening in the classroom today to help or hinder conservatism?
Sir Roger Scruton: Yes, Buckley was right. There is the vital battle to defend fundamental institutions, such as marriage and the family, and to counter the censorship of all opinions that express an attachment to our cultural and political inheritance.
MK: The second half of God and Man at Yale’s title is “The Superstitions of Academic Freedom.” Is academic freedom a superstition?
SRS: No, but professors praise it without really believing in it. They do not grant freedom to those who threaten them intellectually or ideologically. This has been documented by people like Roger Kimball, and it has certainly been my experience.
MK: In the preface to your own book you explain, “freedom is not a set of axioms but an evolving consensus.” As far as possible, can you please explain the conservative approach to freedom?
SRS: Judged in absolute terms, my freedom threatens your freedom. There has to be an emerging civility, which prevents people from abusing their freedom in order to disrupt the consensus on which the general exercise of freedom depends. The rude, raw, “let it all hang out” freedom of the Californian hippies was in fact the most censorious and oppressive of societies that I have encountered. Just by being civil you exposed yourself to contempt as a bourgeois apologist.
MK: What are the main differences between classical liberalism and conservatism? 
SRS: Conservatives believe in unchosen obligations (pieties), whereas classical liberals think that the only source of obligation is choice.
MK: And yet they are, you observe, on the same side in today’s culture war. Why is that? 
SRS: Because there are so many people who wish to control us, and in doing so to wipe away the image of the past.
MK: Today, in Western countries, we live in mixed economies. You have said elsewhere, for example, that there are “socialist capitalists.” How and why has the relationship between conservative politics, capitalism, and free markets changed? 
SRS: We have come to see that, in a modern economy, with the abundance of provisions and the growth of people’s expectations, democracy can only be stable if the state plays an active part in distributing the product, in order to satisfy the needs of those who otherwise would have no share in it.
MK: What is the difference between a reactionary and a conservative? 
SRS: A reactionary is fixed on the past and wanting to return to it; a conservative wishes to adapt what is best in the past to the changing circumstances of the present.
MK: Was Edmund Burke a reactionary? If not, why not? 
SRS: He was not a reactionary, since he believed that we must “reform in order to conserve.” He reacted against the French Revolution, as most people would who saw, as he saw, what it would involve in the way of crime and destruction.
MK: You identify the temperamental differences between the left and right. Relatively speaking, the former is radical and active, the latter is obedient and passive. Why? 
SRS: Why not? The politicization of society, institutions, gatherings, aspirations, affections, tastes, and everything else from sex to sleep is part of what a true right-winger like me objects to. Leave us alone, for heaven’s sake!
MK: One of the things that makes conservatism difficult to market, you suggest, is that conservatism does not advocate for only one universal, standard political program. In the long run, is this good or bad?
SRS: In the long run it must be good to be open to the truth that different societies maintain equilibrium, order, and peace in different ways. The conservative is the one who understands his own society from within and loves and defends it.
MK: Your articulation of conservatism’s character resembles the donkey Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh: plodding along, destined to be ignored, though in some eyes, at least, endearing. What are the practical uses of pessimism?
SRS: The comparison is a caricature. Eeyore’s pessimism is the expression of inadequacy and fear. I distinguish the right kind of pessimism, which means simply recognizing the deep incompetence of human nature, from the wrong kind, which tells us to stop hoping.
MK: Why do many on the left consider conservatism to be inherently evil (rather than cuddly)? 
SRS: The principal reason is that people on the left have illusions about human nature and think they prove their virtue by broadcasting those illusions. Anyone who punctures those illusions is therefore not just a spoilsport but a threat. What the self-declared “virtue” of the left amounts to can be witnessed in what happens to ordinary humanity when the left takes power.
MK: Whittaker Chambers, in leaving Communism for conservatism, said he was consciously leaving the winning side for the losing side. Do you think conservatism is destined to lose? 
SRS: All the best people lose.
MK: Can one be a hopeful conservative without God? 
SRS: Yes, but it helps to believe in God, since then one’s hopes are fixed on a higher reality, and that stops one from imposing them on the world in which we live.
MK: Of all the conservative thinkers throughout the centuries — you cover too many in your book for me to list here — who has been most influential in forming your own thought? 
SRS: Hegel, because he understood the modern world.
MK: You mention a reluctance on the part of some conservatives to self-identify as such. Surprisingly, perhaps, you include George Orwell and Simone Weil in this category. Can you explain why they, too, belong to the “great tradition”? How can you spot a conservative? 
SRS: I try to explain this in my book. Conservatives reveal themselves through their care for ordinary human things, and their recognition of the fragility of decency and the need to protect it.
MK: Briefly, could you please explain the fundamental differences between British and American conservatism in origin and trajectory? 
SRS: No.
MK: You mention neither Donald Trump nor populism in your book. Why? 
SRS: Trump is an interesting phenomenon, but not an interesting thinker, supposing he is a thinker at all. “Populism” is a word used by leftists to describe the emotions of ordinary people, when they do not tend to the left.
MK: How is Islam to be best accommodated in Western democracies? 
SRS: By engaging Muslims in discussion and explaining to them that we live under a rule of law which is man-made, not God-bestowed.
MK: To bring us full circle, you wrote that National Review “remains the most convinced and convincing of the many conservative journals that have arisen in America since the war.” If I may be so bold, how can National Review best continue its legacy and keep the torch well lit?
SRS: It should attend to the themes that are fundamental to conservatism, and which practicing conservative politicians continually neglect: culture, literature, architecture, the city, the values of ordinary everyday American life.

MADELEINE KEARNS — Madeleine Kearns is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute. She is from Glasgow, Scotland, and moonlights as a singer.

Sharyl Attkisson: I Don't Think I Was the Only Reporter the Government Surveilled

July 27, 2018

Although investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson has strong forensic evidence that her home computer was remotely accessed by government entities, nothing has been done about it. The Department of Justice should be paying attention, because Attkisson believes she wasn't the only person who was improperly spied on during the Obama years.

Attkisson shared her story during a House Oversight and Reform hearing on Tuesday about H.R. 4382, the Free Flow of Information Act, which would enshrine journalist-source protection into federal law.

Reps Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) introduced the Free Flow of Information Act in November of 2017 "to protect the exercise of freely reporting critical information to the American public by establishing federal protection from compulsory disclosures for journalists."

Attkisson was reporting on the Benghazi scandal for CBS News in late 2012 when her computer records were surveilled by a government entity on multiple occasions. She is now the host of Full Measure, a Sunday public affairs program.

She told Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) at the hearing on Tuesday that there was no doubt in her mind that the government had intruded into her computer.

"There's an actual fingerprint on the software that is used for this that they recognize themselves -- or that can be recognized -- that it's very unique," she explained. "It's a government proprietary software. And not only that, they didn't just look at my computer records, according to forensics. They planted three classified documents in my computer, they had a keystroke monitoring program in there, they used Skype -- which was on my computer -- to secretly activate it to exfiltrate files and listen in on audio."

She noted that a lot of people, including her, didn't know that Skype could be used for such purposes, but it's just one of many tools spooks use to access your computer remotely.
"I don't believe I was unique in terms of the only journalist this happened to," she added. "I was just one who found out about it because I had intel sources."

Attkisson explained to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) that it had never occurred to her that the government would be spying on her, as it sounded "so wildly crazy." However, two different individuals in the intelligence community -- who didn't know each other -- had approached her with the information indicating that she was being surveilled. She said the intelligence sources told her that they were seeing practices being employed that "used to be strictly forbidden or controlled, but were now being done more liberally."

Attkisson continued: "With help of another confidential source, and a FBI unit chief who helped connect me, we were able to get the first forensics exam, and they were literally blown away, according to them, when they saw this evidence. They were so shocked because there was a time when this would never have been done."

She noted that she could not and would not reveal her source, but "it's a government-connected person who knows exactly what government surveillance software does and looks like," she explained.

Before she and her legal team were able to present all of the evidence in court, her case was dismissed, Attkisson said.

"We presented some overviews and it was considered at the time plausible and we survived many motions to dismiss along the way, but after we added a telephone company to the lawsuit a couple months back, there was new considerations and the case was dismissed."

But Attkisson encouraged interested parties to look at the forensics -- especially at the DOJ, "for the sake of trying to find who did it or identify for their own purposes. Because I think they should be concerned and I don't think I was the only one. I think they really ought to be on that, personally," Attkisson added.

Attkisson has good reason to feel frustrated.

In 2013, she turned to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz for help, handing over one of her personal home laptops to be examined. The investigation seemed to begin honestly and diligently, but over time became a half-baked exercise in obfuscation and stonewalling.
In a post at The Hill on March 1, 2018, Attkisson admits that she was advised by some of her intel sources not to trust the IG with her computer. She writes: “But I figured there was little downside. We already had our irrefutable forensics findings from our examinations. If the IG probe was competent and honest, as I expected it might be, then it could turn up names of the government actors responsible. If not, no harm done.”

When the investigation was complete, the IG’s office stonewalled Attkisson, refusing to let her see the final report. She was advised to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. She writes: “I did so; under the law, a response was due within about 30 days. It’s been years.”

The IG eventually released what Attkisson's attorney called a “wiped summary -- not the actual report or notes -- with spin that implied there had been no intrusion. This was quickly presented, publicly, by then-Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who had gotten a copy of the summary with lightning speed; and it was dutifully reported by some in an unquestioning press."

In late February of this year, Attkisson discovered that the hard drive of one of her personal computers was secretly switched out with another while it was in the custody of the Justice Dept. inspector general:
Attkisson explains:
Not long ago, my forensics team asked if I used that Apple computer after the IG returned it. My team was conducting a new exam. “No,” I replied, “it hasn’t functioned since before I gave it to the IG. I just stored it when they returned it. Why?” 
“Because -- that’s not your hard drive inside the computer they gave back to you,” they told me. “ … We know the serial number on the hard drive when you bought it. We recorded the same serial number on our earlier forensics exams. This is a different hard drive. Completely different serial number. Not even close.” 
I would never have known if we hadn’t gone back in that computer for additional forensics. 
In addition to somebody changing the scope of the IG investigation midstream, and the office withholding from me the notes and the report on my own complaint, somebody also switched out my hard drive before the IG returned it to me.
Attkisson asks: "What does all this mean to the integrity of the DOJ’s inspector general?"

Nothing good obviously, since the same IG botched its report on the FBI Hillary Clinton email investigation, and is currently investigating the FISA abuse scandal involving the FBI and DOJ.

Friday, July 27, 2018

How Far Will the Left Go? All the Way

July 27, 2018

Image result for far left protest

My colleague Victor Davis Hanson raised the question in these pages the other day: “Just how far will the Left go?” in its attempt to overthrow the government of Donald J. Trump? With his customary precision, Hanson laid out the catalog of enormities committed by the Left in its pursuit of Trump and of conservatives in general, among them the fatuous investigation led by Mr. Straight Arrow himself, the demonization of Trump-as-Hitler, their frustration over losing the 2016 election (which they thought would cement their hostile takeover of the American Republic) and their inability to mask their true anti-American natures any longer.
So let me provide an answer: As far as they can, for as long as it takes.
The Poison Behind “Youthful Idealism”
I first became aware of the deadly hostility of the American Left back in the early 1970s, during the height of the student protests against the Vietnam War (largely motivated by a fervent desire to avoid the draft), when they hitched their “youthful idealism” to two causes: anti-imperialism—you don’t hear much about that these days, but that was how the Vietnam War was mischaracterized—and anti-racism, a byproduct of the American civil rights movement. Since then, almost every cause the Left has espoused has combined some elements of America-as-predator (whether international or domestic) and America-as-racist-bastion.
Vietnam was ideal for both tropes. We were waging (in their eyes) and aggressive war against brown people, because we could. In their telling, the domino theory—a holdover from the aftermath of World War II—was merely a fictive fig leaf to conceal our country’s rapaciousness, belligerence, and innate hegemonistic tendencies. We had run out of Indians to kill, so now we had to venture abroad to find fresh victims. And we did it because they were brown. What happened to South Vietnam and Cambodia after the Communist victory was of no interest to them.
The 1960s-era leftists, many of them red-diaper babies themselves, were anti-Americans, of course. But there was also a significant element of self-loathing within them as well. “White people,” a liberal college classmate once wrote to me from his temporary domicile in Central America, “are the freaks and monsters of society.” At the time, I dismissed this as the ravings of the far-Left, but over time it has become among the dominant strains of thought, widely promulgated now as the triumphalist wing of the Democrat Party celebrates the Ted Kennedy-induced demographic transformation of the United States from a primarily European country into a Third World country. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, known also as the Hart-Celler Act, was passed at the height of the civil-rights movement and signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, whose campaign slogan in 1964 had been “All the Way with LBJ.” As the late Lion of the Senate said at the time:
There was much that was good and necessary about immigration reform in 1965, especially the opening to Asia, from which America has benefited enormously. But the cultural-Marxist proponents of essentially unfettered immigration, whether legal or illegal, took Hart-Celler and drove a truck through it, in honor of the Alinsky Rule No. 4: “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.” So what began as a well-meaning attempt to broaden the scope of international legal immigration turned into a stick with which to beat the dominant society into submission in expiation of its racist sins. The result is, we now actually have Democrats like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York actively calling for the abolition of ICE as she positions herself leftward for a possible presidential run (stop laughing) in 2020.Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area… In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think . . . The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.
If a political movement is willing effectively to abolish the country’s borders (but keep bleeding its productive class in order to fund its welfare/patronage system), what does that tell you about its ultimate aspirations? The American Left (a subsidiary of the International Left) has as its goal the “fundamental transformation” of the United States from a free-market capitalist, at least nominally Christian country of mostly European descent into something resembling the old Soviet Union, a place where “from each according to his ability” gleefully embraces the buggering of the taxpaying class in order to give “to each according to his needs.”
Discrediting the Founding, Accruing Power
Like an opportunistic cancer, the Left finds the weak spots and pounces, often retroactively. The Declaration of Independence says “all men are created equal,” and yet all men were manifestly 
not equal, and thus the American Founding is morally indefensible; that what the Founders meant were “equal in the eyes of God” and what the socialist Left means is “economically equal,” is passed over. Similarly, the reductive Left has transformed what we used to call Italians, Germans, French, English, Irish, Russians, Poles, Greeks, and other ethnic/national groups of European origin into “white people,” the better to identify them as the “other”—freaks and monsters—and pit them against Latin America, Africa, and Asia in a cultural-Marxist reboot of the class struggle, now crudely and reprehensibly racialized.
And so it goes. Each day brings a new outrage, a development enthusiastically promulgated by a brain-dead media that thinks a headline must contain the words “sparks outrage” or “comes under fire,” to be newsworthy. The foxes of anger and resentment have been set among the hens of political cohesion, and every day the squawking grows louder—as it will until that day comes when there are no more hens left to lay the eggs.
The key to understanding the Left is that it cannot stop. Once it has set itself on a path to power, it must have all the power. Once it has created a social program, it must run that program into the ground. Once it has identified an enemy, that enemy must be destroyed, no matter what the cost to itself. Like a shark, the Left must always keep moving—forward! And the end result is always the same.
How far will they go? All the way. “By any means necessary” is their slogan for a reason. They mean it.

Catholic Bishops Beg for a Clear Policy against Evil

By Michael Brendan Dougherty
July 26, 2018

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston says a Mass of Ordination in St. Peter's Basilica, Sept. 29, 2016. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston says a Mass of Ordination in St. Peter's Basilica, Sept. 29, 2016. (Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.)

A few cardinals have roused themselves to respond to the month-old press disclosures that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is a pederast, whereas before he was merely well known as a serial sexual harasser. Their response is depressing in the extreme and should make any Catholic or person of good will wish for their immediate, tearful confessions of fault, and their resignations of high ecclesial office.
Before mainstream media outlets finally reported on his lewd and criminal behavior, McCarrick was the face of the American episcopacy’s response to the sex-abuse crisis in 2002. His lewd behavior with seminarians was an open secret among priests and informed laity. Expert witnesses in priest-abuse cases, such as Richard Sipe, had long ago publicized what they knew of the behavior of “Uncle Ted.” A concerned group of laity and clerics pleaded their case against him in Rome before his elevation to the College of Cardinals. Churchmen across the country who didn’t call him “Uncle Ted” with affection or disgust had another nickname related to his proclivities: “Blanche.”
American bishops now facing questions about what they knew and when have had to choose between looking clueless or complicit. So far, they are choosing the former. They are not, however, very persuasive in presenting themselves as ignorant of the rumors.
So let’s review what these churchmen have said and ask some questions about their responses to these “revelations.”
First, there is Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who was a protégé of Cardinal McCarrick’s. Farrell shared an apartment with McCarrick for six years, years in which settlements were being paid out in New Jersey for McCarrick’s misdeeds. In a brief interview, Cardinal Farrell said, “I was shocked, overwhelmed; I never heard any of this before in the six years I was there with him. . . . I worked in the chancery in Washington and never, no indication, none whatsoever.” He didn’t mention his living arrangements. But nothing in Cardinal Farrell’s deportment suggests shock, disgust, or embarrassed bewilderment. His expression is one of a man getting through an unpleasant and official line on his actions.
Farrell was also once a senior figure in the Legionairies of Christ, led by sexual abuser, bigamist, and pederast Marcial Maciel. Farrell left, he’s said, over differences in philosophy. What a life! To have been twice put in the best place to know what, at that level, “everyone knows,” and yet to have known nothing. Why should such a clueless man be elevated to the office of cardinal and given a curial position? Why should a prelate whose sense of the Church is so deficient that he resoundingly declared of the abuse crisis in 2002 that it was “over” be in charge of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin this year? If anyone comes forward with credible evidence that Cardinal Farrell did in fact know about McCarrick’s relationships with seminarians, will he resign his offices?
Next there is Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley. Yesterday he issued a long statement about the matter. In part, read:
These cases . . . raise up that fact that when charges are brought regarding a bishop or a cardinal, a major gap still exists in the Church’s policies on sexual conduct and sexual abuse. While the Church in the United States has adopted a zero tolerance policy regarding the sexual abuse of minors by priests we must have clearer procedures for cases involving bishops.
In other words, he blames this on a policy that he and his brother bishops wrote to deliberately exclude themselves from accountability in 2002.
He continues:
It is my conviction that three specific actions are required at this time. First, a fair and rapid adjudication of these accusations; second, an assessment of the adequacy of our standards and policies in the Church at every level, and especially in the case of bishops; and third, communicating more clearly to the Catholic faithful and to all victims the process for reporting allegations against bishops and cardinals.
Specific actions: adjudicationassessment of standards, and communicating to Catholics a process for reporting allegations. The last implies that the problem with Cardinal McCarrick lies partly with the flock’s inability to bleat correctly while the wolves devour them. This is all bloodless bureaucrat-ese. Bishops knew about McCarrick and chose to do nothing. Confronted with the reality, they do not accept responsibility, they do not promise to boldly confront evil. They cry out for more policies that would help them avoid direct confrontation.
What is most shameful is how Cardinal O’Malley addresses his own state of knowledge. Father Ramsey of New Jersey, a priest in good standing, had written about McCarrick to O’Malley’s office for the Protection of Minors, and he received in return what amounted to buck-passing boilerplate about how offenses against adults aren’t handled by O’Malley’s office.
O’Malley writes of this event:
Recent media reports also have referenced a letter sent to me from Rev. Boniface Ramsey, O.P. in June of 2015, which I did not personally receive. In keeping with the practice for matters concerning the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, at the staff level the letter was reviewed and determined that the matters presented did not fall under the purview of the Commission or the Archdiocese of Boston, which was shared with Fr. Ramsey in reply.
Notice how lawyerly this language is. O’Malley says he did not “personally receive” the letter. An interesting bit of rhetoric. On the surface, it allows one to conclude that O’Malley simply never knew about it. But O’Malley does not say whether staff discussed with him the contents of the letter and the contents of his office’s response to the letter. In fact, it is preposterous to believe that a matter so sensitive as grave accusations against one of the most notable churchmen in his country would be handled entirely by staff without his knowledge.
O’Malley’s official reputation, the one he is anxiously guarding, is that he is punctilious about accusations of sexual abuse. His real reputation is one as a zealous micro-manager of his own reputation. O’Malley surely had heard of the rumors about McCarrick’s behavior with seminarians, and he surely knew that McCarrick chose to live his retirement on the grounds of a seminary, where he would have access to young candidates for the priesthood, when his office received these complaints. Did he do anything with the knowledge of the complaint besides send back a form letter washing his hands of the situation? If his judgement allowed him to wave away such a grave situation, what good will better policies do?

My office doesn’t have a policy against plunging hammers into the necks of my colleagues. But my co-workers would not excuse themselves from the duty to stop me from doing this by citing the absence of such a policy in a rulebook, or by explaining that their job description did not explicitly include language about hammer-wielding colleagues. O’Malley is blaming his lack of action on a lack of policy, when the problem is a fear of confrontation, insufficient zeal, or — most likely of all — his moral compromise and passivity in the face of a well-known culture of sexual abuse, blackmail, and moral impunity within the Catholic episcopacy.
He’s not the only one who has to answer tough questions. Cardinal Wuerl said last month that he had reviewed the records of the Washington, D.C., archdiocese. “Based on that review,” he concluded, “I can report that no claim — credible or otherwise — has been made against Cardinal McCarrick during his time here in Washington.”
Some questions for Cardinal Wuerl might go something like this. The Vatican’s representative in Washington, D.C., knew about the legal settlements for McCarrick in 2004; when were you informed of them? If you were informed of these settlements, did you take that into consideration when Cardinal McCarrick requested to live in different seminaries that train priests for your diocese? If you did not know about them, did Bishop Joseph Tobin or his predecessors in Newark have a duty to inform you of them, given McCarrick’s living arrangements? Why, near the end of the last decade, was McCarrick suddenly asked to leave the seminary at St. Thomas Woodley Park under Father Roderick McKee?

Further, you are the American on the Congregation of Bishops in Rome? It’s widely reported that McCarrick’s lobbying for certain candidates for elevation in the Church was important. How many times did you receive him for an audience on these matters? What was the weight of his word in your own recommendations for Joseph Tobin, Kevin Farrell, and Blase Cupich? If you knew of these settlements, why did his word have any weight with the congregation and with the Vatican?
Image result for cardinal farrell
 Joseph Tobin, Kevin Farrell, and Blase Cupich
I don’t expect answers to these questions. But as a Catholic, I would find it satisfying to at least watch these men squirm or sweat while they lie to us, rather than delivering their lines in great comfort and an atmosphere of deference.

Reporters could also cut to the chase. Do you know of bishops who are sexually active? Are you sexually active? They should dig through the same “everybody knows” rumor mills that had accurate information on Cardinal McCarrick. Ever hear anything funny about Cardinal Edward Egan? About parties that Cardinal Law hosted? About Cardinal Bernadin? What about the reputation of the Mundelein Seminary?
spokeswoman for the diocese of Metuchen said that she had spoken to Cardinal Tobin and that he “has expressed his intention to discuss this tragedy with the leadership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in order to articulate standards that will assure high standards of respect by bishops, priests, and deacons for all adults. ”
An expressed intention to articulate standards endorsing high standards. Let them eat standards. This is the moral imagination and moral vocabulary of Cardinal McCarrick’s peers in the Church. They need new policies to confront predators; the fear of perdition doesn’t move them to do so. Nor does respect for the seminarians or their congregants. Nor does self-respect. The reaction of the cardinals goes some way toward explaining how a man like McCarrick flourished in their ranks.