March 5, 2021 (Steven O’Reilly) – I have previously written of ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s trip to China following his meeting with Pope Francis in June of 2013 (see here). Archbishop Vigano in his Testimony regardomg McCarrick seemed to suggest that the Pope’s rehabilitation of McCarrick was a reward for McCarrick’s significant role in Bergoglio’s election in March 2013. The significance of McCarrick’s role has been told in more detail in The Conclave Chronicles.
Roma Locuta Est has also called attention to the fact that the McCarrick Report failed to report on McCarrick’s meeting with a seemingly mysterious visitor, described by McCarrick as an “influential Italian gentleman” (see here, here). McCarrick’s meeting with the “influential Italian gentleman” must have been known to the McCarrick Report investigators — as it was included in Vigano’s Testimony to which they were in part responding. Yet, there is no mention of this meeting in the McCarrick Report (NB: The full report may be found here). This exclusion cannot be a simple oversight (see Glaring Omission in McCarrick Report: What about the “Influential Italian Gentleman?”), as it was such an obvious point to follow up on given Vigano’s suggestion that Francis rewarded McCarrick for his significant part in electing him pope. Yet, the McCarrick Report is oddly, and suspiciously silent on this point.
A careful investigation would have certainly revealed McCarrick had in fact “talked up, Bergoglio” (see here), and had in fact claimed “we did it” following the election to another prelate (here), who in turn understood at the time these words to mean McCarrick had campaigned for Bergoglio. So why didn’t the investigators do so, or why, if they had, didn’t they report their findings? One cannot help but wonder if it was because the inclusion of the account would prove Vigano’s suspicions correct, i.e., that Francis did reward McCarrick for helping to elect him; as well as the possibly the account would confirm suspicions the St. Gallen mafia and others campaigned for Cardinal Bergoglio’s election — possibly contrary to the rules of UDG governing conclaves.
Anyway, McCarrick was rehabilitated by Pope Francis following the election. He met with Pope Francis in late June 2013, and then traveled to China. Curiously, just a few weeks later in mid-July, McCarrick met at the White House with Denis McDonough, President Obama’s Chief of Staff. We commented on that meeting in a recent article (see Why did McCarrick visit the Obama/Biden White House in July 2013?). I wrote in part:
McCarrick met in the White House with Denis McDonough on July 18, 2013. At the time, McDonough was President Obama’s Chief of Staff. Previous to this post, McDonough had worked on the staff of the National Security Council as Deputy National Security Advisor. Vigano’s Testimony suggests McCarrick traveled to China on June 21, 2013; and the McCarrick Report states the ex-cardinal briefed the Pope “upon his return.” Consequently, given the timing, in all probability, McCarrick discussed his China trip with Denis McDonough later in July.
But here is the interesting thing. McDonough’s name is found only once in the McCarrick Report (p. 331), the reference being to McCarrick forwarding a report of a January 2009 meeting with McDonough to the Nuncio in Washington D.C. Yet, no mention is found in the McCarrick Report with regard to the July 18, 2013 meeting at the White House, nor of any similar such report of McCarrick’s discussion with McDonough — a senior White House official — being forwarded to the Nuncio in July of 2013. Why not? Did McCarrick not forward a report of this meeting to the Nuncio? If not, why not? If so, why no mention of it in the McCarrick Report? Did McCarrick deem the nature of the meeting so sensitive that he only reported back on its proceedings directly to Cardinal Parolin or to Francis? If this is the case, did Pope Francis send McCarrick to discuss China/Church relations with the Obama Administration? If so, why? Did the Vatican under Pope Francis seek support/help from the Obama Administration on its new China policy? What role did the Obama Administration, or then Vice-President Biden — as the Obama Administrations point man on China — play in supporting the Vatican’s deal with China?
Then again….perhaps McCarrick didn’t report back either to the nuncio or to Rome. In which case, we may wonder: what was he doing, and who was he doing it for?
McCarrick, per the report, seems to have written up his meetings and submitted them at least to the nuncio. Why did the McCarrick report fail to mention this, like it failed to mention the “influential Italian gentleman”…almost bookends to Vigano’s suspicion? Odd.
McCarrick’s Meetings at the White House
But, now being curious about McCarrick’s meetings at the Obama/Biden White House, I did do some additional research by looking at the Obama administration visitor logs. Between December 2009 and March 2016, McCarrick visited White House officials about 31 times for what appears to be official business. I’ve excluded from the count, and the list below, very large group meetings, and or holiday receptions (e.g., Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Inauguration festivities, etc).
I am not necessarily insinuating anything nefarious about these meetings. It is known, for example, that McCarrick did have some role in the Obama administrations negotiations with Cuba, e.g., being a go between with the Vatican. Naturally, some of these White House meetings certainly involved Cuban policy. McCarrick is also known to have traveled elsewhere on behalf of the United State Government. The point here though is simply to lay out “for the record” the extent of the official meetings at the Obama/Biden White House.
It appears McCarrick had one on one, or small meetings with Vice President Joe Biden at least three times at the White House or the Vice President’s residence. Aside from that, McCarrick is known to be close to Biden and his family. What did Biden and McCarrick discuss at the White House? Biden was the Obama Administration’s point man for China. Did Biden discuss China with McCarrick, possibly the Vatican’s secret negotiations with the CCP?
McCarrick also met with Obama’s Chief of Staff, William Daley, at least three times. Whether Obama sat in on the meetings cannot be ascertained from the Visitor Logs. McCarrick most often met with Denis McDonough over this whole period. Between October 20, 2010 and January 20, 2013, McDonough served as Deputy National Security Advisor. While on the NSC staff, he met McCarrick eight times over a roughly three year period. Between January 20, 2013 and January 20, 2017, McDonough served as White House Chief of Staff. As White House Chief of Staff, McDonough met McCarrick 13 times over three and a half years. The July 18, 2013 was referenced in a prior article (see Why did McCarrick visit the Obama/Biden White House in July 2013?). The timing of this meeting, so soon after McCarrick’s trip to China, might suggest this trip was discussed.
Other McCarrick meeting contacts included Robert Malley. At the time McCarrick met with him, Malley was involved in Middle East, North African, and Gulf Region affairs. In November 2015, Malley was later named the “ISIS czar.” Another McCarrick contact was John Bisognano. Bisognano served at the White House “as the Associate Director for Public Engagement for labor and progressive groups. He comes to the White House from the Democratic National Committee, where he served as the Executive Director of the Association of State Democratic Chairs.” McCarrick also met with Melissa Rogers, who was Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships for Obama. President-usurper Joe Biden reappointed her to the same position in his regime.
For the record, here is the list of McCarrick’s visits to the White House. Most appear to be one on one, i.e., McCarrick is listed as the only invitee. While I’ve include 2-3 larger meetings of a couple dozen or so invitees, I’ve excluded McCarrick’s visits to the White House for official receptions (e.g., Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Inauguration festivities, etc).
12/09/2009 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
12/15/2009 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
02/22/2010 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
04/19/2010 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
09/29/2010 – McCarrick as part of a group of 19 meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
04/18/2011 – McCarrick meets in the Chief of Staff’s office in the West Wing of the White House
09/28/2011 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
10/14/2011 – McCarrick meets with William Daley in the White House West Wing
11/08/2011 – McCarrick has lunch at the Vice President Biden‘s residence
01/12/2012 – McCarrick meets with William Daley in the White House West Wing
02/28/2012 – McCarrick, one of a group of 21, meets with Vice President Biden
08/02/2012 – McCarrick apparently meets one-on-one with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
08/06/2012 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
04/26/2013 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
07/18/2013 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing (notation seems to indicate they had breakfast together in the White House mess)
01/15/2014 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
06/06/2014 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
08/07/2014 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
08/19/2014 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House, first floor
08/25/2014 – McCarrick and someone else apparently meet with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
11/24/2014 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
01/16/2015 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
01/21/2015 – McCarrick meets with Vice President Biden in the White House West Wing
04/10/2015 – McCarrick and one other apparently meet one-on-one with “Malley” in the Old Executive Office Building, Room 226. Malley appears to be Robert Malley.
05/21/2015 – McCarrick as part of group of 27 meets with “Angela” in the Old Executive Office Building, Room 210
06/30/2015 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
07/27/2015 – McCarrick in group of 17 meets with “Bisognano” in the Old Executive Office Building, Room 210
10/09/2015 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
10/15/2015 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
03/14/2016 – McCarrick meets with Melissa Rogers in the Old Executive Office Building, Room 170
03/29/2016 – McCarrick meets with Denis McDonough in the White House West Wing
It would be interesting to compare the degree of McCarrick’s interaction with Republican White Houses vs. Democrat controlled White Houses over the years. McCarrick’s political leanings certainly seemed to be leftwing, and he seemed to want to shield Democrats from being denied communion because of their stands on abortion. It is unfortunate that a number of McCarrick’s proteges, who share his theological and political leanings, have risen to high positions in the Catholic Church in the US, and enjoy the favor of Rome (e.g., Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington DC, Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, and Cardinal Blaze Cupich of Chicago).
Whatever the case, seeing the number of times that McCarrick met Denis McDonough between 2009 and 2016, it is curious that the McCarrick Report only referenced the very first meeting at the White House with McDonough, and all the others — including the July 2013 meeting following McCarrick’s China trip — are passed over in silence. That, and the failure to comment on McCarrick’s admission he was solicited to campaign for Bergoglio’s papal election (see here, here) are two of the glaring omissions of the McCarrick Report.
Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta with their family. He has written apologetic articles and is author of Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms. (Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions. He can be contacted at StevenOReilly@AOL.com or StevenOReilly@ProtonMail.com (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA or on Parler or Gab: @StevenOReilly).