Monday, March 10, 2003

Remember Bishop McCarthy?

They say he's retired, but no one's really sure what happened.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Shrub Oak, where McCarthy served as pastor from 1996 until June, included a brief note about McCarthy's fate in its bulletin for this weekend's Masses. The note says Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, the Vatican's representative in this country, has informed Cardinal Edward Egan that McCarthy's official church status is now that of "retired bishop." ....

McCarthy's status has been the subject of steady speculation across the archdiocese since his stunning resignation in June as pastor of his parish and as an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese. He resigned at the end of a four-day period during which Egan received a letter from a woman saying she had an affair with McCarthy, McCarthy admitted to several other affairs and Egan suspended McCarthy from acting as a priest.

Since then, McCarthy has become a bit of an outlaw bishop. He refused directives from Montalvo to do penance for an indefinite period at an institution in the Midwest and to permanently leave his house in Hopewell Junction in Dutchess County, which is within the boundaries of the archdiocese.

Just last month, McCarthy visited the Vatican, where he met with Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who heads the Congregation for Bishops and is often mentioned as a possible future pope. Nothing was resolved in the meeting, according to McCarthy associates.

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