Matt C. Abbott
Francis, Benedict, Viganò, Sipe, Abbott; Did Albany priests refer women for abortions at Planned Parenthood?; Cupich's recent remarks
By Matt C. Abbott
August 30, 2018

In his explosive 11-page letter (click here to read it) that has made headlines worldwide, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò cites the late Richard Sipe's 2008 letter to Pope Benedict XVI regarding Theodore "Uncle Ted" McCarrick's scandalous and abusive behavior. Sipe cited me in the eighth paragraph of his letter to the pope (click here to read it).

And the spiritual war rages on.

___________________________ recently featured a story (click here to read it) on the Catholic Diocese of Albany that includes the following item:
    In fact, [the late Father John] Minkler learned that diocesan officials enjoyed warm relations with Planned Parenthood and quietly allowed abortions at Schenectady's St. Clare's Hospital.

    'At least two Albany priests, Fathers Thomas Berardi and Christopher De Giovine, are known to advise pregnant girls to go to Planned Parenthood for abortions,' he reported. 'These priests make no secret of this, yet Bishop Hubbard appears not to correct it.'
Absolutely horrid, if true. (And that includes about everything else in the story.)

Several days ago, I emailed two officials of the diocese's communications office – which is standard protocol for a reporter who seeks comment or clarification from a diocese on a particular matter – asking if there's any truth to the aforementioned allegation.

Thus far I've received no response.


In a recent interview, Cardinal Blase Cupich dismissed Archbishop Viganò's letter, saying that Pope Francis has a "bigger agenda" and has "got to get on with other things, of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the Church." The cardinal also referred to the letter's contents as a "rabbit hole."

Wow. Those are cringeworthy remarks.

In response, canon lawyer Edward Peters tweeted:
    'Never tweet angry' means I will never tweet what I REALLY think about Cdl. Cupich's describing whether Pope Francis knew his promoter, McCarrick, was sexually abusing minors and/or seminarians, as a 'rabbit hole.' Still, for that outrageous statement alone, Cupich should resign.
Thomas R. Hampson, a seasoned investigator, child advocate, and founder of the Truth Alliance Foundation, quipped:
    Oh, yes. The environment and migrants are much more important than the sexual abuse of children by priests. After all, Jesus Himself said:

    'If anyone causes one of these migrants – those who believe in Me – to stumble, or harms the environment, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.'

    Or do I have that wrong?
More from the Catholic News Agency (click here to read the story):
    Cupich also implied that racism was a motivating factor behind the release of Viganò's letter and the ensuing criticism of the pope. 'Quite frankly, they also don't like him because he's a Latino,' said Cupich.

    Pope Francis was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to parents of Italian descent.
© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 "Unsolved" podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He is mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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