Woke up this morning to learn of the death at age 94 of Angelo Cardinal Sodano. The cardinal was Secretary of State of the Vatican during the 1990’s. He it was who proffered the patently false third secret of Fatima. He it was who appeared in Malachi Martin’s Windswept House under the name Cardinal Graziani. And he it was who appeared at the seminary where I was a young seminarian at the turn of the century.
Let’s back up. In 2000 yours truly was entering second theology at a seminary (do a Google search) in New Jersey where my ordinary was a now-layman named Teddy McCarrick. None of us knew why the Vatican Secretary of State was visiting our humble abode. I’m sure McCarrick had some financial and immoral scheme at hand. I shook his hand and said hello and that’s about all I remember.
But when I think about it now I realize that these birds of a feather definitely flocked together. I also met the then-Vatican Nuncio to the US, Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo. You see, Teddy knew I was a smoker. Still am. Other than the state of my lungs, the reason that matters is that McCarrick abhorred smokers. He wouldn’t dream of coming near me. Thank God! Didn’t know it at the time. You know who did? The Blessed Mother. My own mom had asked me to pray a Memorare every day when I entered seminary. She said, “Mary will protect you.”
Boy was she right.
It’s a nasty habit but it kept me safe. There was one moment when Teddy approached me while I was on campus sucking down some nicotine. I was nervous because he had asked me to quit many times. This time, he came up to me almost with a pleading tone. “Do you have a light for the Nuncio?” Of course I did. The Nuncio was a smoker, as many Colombians are. McCarrick needed something from me.
Years later I wondered how deep all the ties went. How far did all the connections run? McCarrick knew them all. Montalvo. Sodano. You name it.
Blessed Mother kept me very safe with a few tar sticks. I love my mother (earthly and Blessed). But these men?
See my last post about drinking a gin and tonic and waiting for the end times.
Meanwhile, prayers for Sodano. The glory of the world passes. Judgment is eternal.
Mother of the Crucified, pray for us!