Yesterday, Pope Francis welcomed Catholic dissidents who have previously been condemned by U.S. cardinals and bishops. He met for almost an hour with Sister Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways Ministry (NWM).
(When the pope commended the rogue entity at the end of 2021, I said he had been manipulated. I was wrong.)
Sr. Gramick was best friends with the most notorious serial child rapist priest in American history, Fr. Paul Shanley. She credited him with having “motivated her to activism.” More telling, after Shanley’s predatory behavior was made public, she said she “grieved for the man I had not seen in almost 20 years, but whose principles and whose advocacy for the downtrodden I had applauded for three decades.” That he molested the downtrodden didn’t seem to matter.
As I pointed out in my book, The Truth About Clergy Sexual Abuse: Clarifying the Facts and the Causes, journalist Maureen Orth (who was married to “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert) ripped Gramick for never once speaking to any of Shanley’s victims.
Fr. James Martin, who is holding forth in Rome at the Synod on Synodality—at the request of the pope—said in 2017 that he would like to “canonize” Gramick.
On December 15, 2021 I wrote to Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, about the propriety of providing a link to the New Ways Ministry webinar on synodality. After detailing some of the objections that the Catholic hierarchy have had with the dissident group, I asked, “Were all the senior members of the Catholic Church wrong about NWM? Or is the decision to welcome them to the synodal process wrong? They can’t both be right.”
He never replied.