By Shawn Boburg and Robert O’Harrow Jr. WASHINGTON POST.

In the years before his removal from ministry, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick secretly gave nearly $1 million to a controversial group of Catholic missionaries and supported leniency for its founder after the Vatican punished him for sexual wrongdoing, internal church documents show.

From 2004 to 2017, McCarrick sent the Institute of the Incarnate Word dozens of checks — some as large as $50,000 — from a charitable account he controlled at the Archdiocese of Washington, according to ledgers obtained by The Washington Post.

During those years, Carlos Buela, who founded the group decades ago in Argentina, repeatedly defied Vatican sanctions for alleged sexual misconduct with seminarians, according to a confidential Vatican order. The group “systematically obstructed” Vatican efforts to oversee its activities, the document shows.

On Feb. 16, the Vatican announced it had defrocked ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick after finding him guilty of sexual abuse while in the priesthood. (Reuters)

A Post examination found that the financial and personal ties between McCarrick and Buela’s group were far more extensive than previously known. At a time when the Catholic Church is facing questions about the motives behind financial gifts from clerics accused of sexual misconduct, the examination reveals a highly unusual flow of money from one accused church leader to a group led by another. The church declined to explain the purpose of the gifts.

In the early 2000s, McCarrick aided Incarnate Word as it expanded into the United States, and in 2005 he gave the group control of church-owned property to open a small seminary just outside Washington. A letter expressing gratitude for the gift illustrates the high regard Incarnate Word members had for the Washington archbishop.

“You have been a true father to our religious family, looking out for us and guiding us,” an Incarnate Word leader wrote to McCarrick and copied to Buela. “Once more Your Eminence, I sincerely wish to thank you.”

McCarrick, who was once one of the most recognizable figures in the U.S. Catholic Church, last year became the first cardinal known to be defrocked for sexual abuse, over incidents that occurred decades earlier. The Vatican is finalizing a long-promised report examining how he rose to the highest levels of the U.S. Catholic Church and remained there despite complaints of misconduct that reached the Vatican as early as 2000.

In December, The Post reported that over nearly two decades McCarrick sent more than $600,000 from the “Archbishop’s Special Fund” to senior clerics in Rome and elsewhere, including Vatican bureaucrats, papal advisers and two popes. Some of the recipients were responsible for assessing sexual abuse claims against him.

Ousted Cardinal McCarrick gave more than $600,000 to fellow clerics, including two popes, records show

The Archdiocese of Washington declined to provide details about the nearly $1 million in contributions to the institute, the largest single recipient of money from McCarrick’s fund. A spokeswoman, Paula Gwynn Grant, said McCarrick himself raised the money for the fund — more than $6 million in tax-deductible contributions, the ledgers show — and he spent it as he chose. “Therefore, any information needed about these donations, including the specific amount, must be asked of Mr. McCarrick,” Grant said.

Grant said the archdiocese knows of no complaints or allegations from Incarnate Word members about McCarrick.

McCarrick recently moved from a Kansas friary, where he had been living since 2018, to an undisclosed location. Through his attorney, he declined to comment.

In response to questions, the Vatican said in a statement that it has issued multiple orders to Buela because of his “laxity in carrying out the provisions” imposed on him in 2010 for inappropriate conduct with seminarians. Buela was ultimately ordered to a monastery in Spain in 2016, the statement said. Buela has denied wrongdoing.

The Vatican also disclosed for the first time that it recently named a cardinal to examine “the Institute’s issues and reorganization.”

More than three dozen Incarnate Word officials did not respond to requests for comment in recent weeks. Efforts to reach Buela, who remains a priest, were not successful.

Buela formed the institute in Argentina in 1984 to spread conservative Catholic ideas in line with an earlier era. The group said it was committed to the “evangelization of culture,” and its teachings often decried the evils of modern society.

The institute grew quickly, in part as a result of campaigns to recruit young people and its willingness to assume responsibility for parishes in economically distressed areas. It formed a related group for women, called the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, and an organization for lay people called Third Order.

On its website, Incarnate Word claims to have priests, monks and seminarians in 88 dioceses in 38 countries.

 From the start, Incarnate Word was controversial in Argentina. The country’s Catholic leaders worried that Buela placed too much emphasis on “ultraconservative Catholic” tenets, according to Verónica Giménez Béliveau, an Argentine sociologist who has studied the group.

The organization also was sympathetic to Argentina’s military junta of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and it believed the church was “being invaded by Marxists,” said Giménez Béliveau, who interviewed Buela as part of her research.

As his group grew, Buela instilled the notion that it was oppressed by mainline factions in the church, routinely claiming that dark forces in the Vatican were aimed at thwarting its mission, according to interviews with current and former members.

Six current and former members of Incarnate Word said McCarrick was celebrated internally for using his influence to protect the group.

They said multiple members had warned church officials about alleged sexual encounters between Buela and seminarians. They also complained to church officials that institute leaders stifled internal criticism and punished dissenters.

“You cannot dissent or disagree. Everything is black and white. You’re with us or against us,” said Raul Monfort, who left Incarnate Word and the priesthood in 2001. “They act like a cult.”

Other senior clerics in Argentina in the late 1990s asked Pope John Paul II to shut down the group’s seminaries, according to Página 12, a newspaper in Buenos Aires. Among the most prominent critics was Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, who in 2013 became Pope Francis. He and other senior clerics refused to ordain Incarnate Word seminarians for at least three years starting in the late 1990s.

At the time, the group was expanding to parishes in the United States with large Spanish-speaking congregations, including in San Jose and New York City. Giménez Béliveau said Incarnate Word leaders told her McCarrick was instrumental in that expansion. “They couldn’t have been there without McCarrick’s help,” she said.

In Massachusetts, they were welcomed to Fall River by then-Bishop Sean O’Malley, now a cardinal and archbishop of Boston. Not long after the group sent priests to Fall River, O’Malley began hearing reports that Buela had sexually abused seminarians in Argentina, O’Malley spokesman Terrence Donilon said in a statement.

O’Malley notified the Vatican’s ambassador in Washington and church officials in Rome and Argentina at some point in the 1990s, Donilon said. At the time, O’Malley became convinced that Buela “should be expelled” from the priesthood, Donilon said.

It is not clear how McCarrick and Buela first met. In a letter to an Incarnate Word seminarian, McCarrick said he traveled to Argentina every few years in the 2000s. The Post obtained the letter.

In 2004, three years after he became cardinal in Washington, McCarrick invited Incarnate Word to place priests at a parish in suburban Mount Rainier, Md., according to church records. That same year, McCarrick gave Incarnate Word a donation of $10,000, the first of more than 80 checks.

In 2005, he gave Incarnate Word the property in nearby Chillum, Md., to launch a small seminary.

McCarrick retired the following year, but he continued to raise and spend money through the fund at the archdiocese.

He gave lavish contributions to Incarnate Word, donating more than $200,000 from 2006 through 2009, a time when Buela was facing growing pressure inside the Vatican for alleged sexual wrongdoing.

In 2009, McCarrick led a celebration of Incarnate Word’s 25th anniversary at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, according to an Incarnate Word newsletter. He spoke of “the abundant growth that our religious family has experienced,” according to the newsletter.

At the time, the Vatican was investigating sexual misconduct claims against Buela. Church officials in 2010 privately approved sanctions against him, citing the “quantity of witnesses and the logic and coherence of their statements,” according to a translation of a Vatican decree. The decree, handed down in January 2010 but never released publicly, contains no details of Buela’s alleged misconduct but describes it as “morally inappropriate behaviors with the Institute’s young people.”

Buela forcefully asserted his innocence, arguing the allegations were fabricated as part of a plan coordinated by bishops in Argentina to destabilize the institute, according to the decree.

His claim was found to lack merit, the Vatican decree states. The decree also alleges that the work of three Vatican commissioners sent to examine Incarnate Word was “systematically obstructed.”

He was ordered to step aside and live under close supervision in a monastery in France “until further notice,” the decree states.

Incarnate Word publicly described Buela’s departure that month as a retirement, without mentioning the allegations against him.

Later in 2010, McCarrick traveled to Rome and met with a top Vatican official about Incarnate Word and Buela. McCarrick cited the meeting in a follow-up letter to the official days later.

“On behalf of so many of our American Bishops — those who are so grateful to God for the presence of the Institute of the Incarnate Word in their dioceses — I thank you for your care of this important and most apostolic community,” McCarrick wrote on April 20, 2010, to Cardinal Franc Rode, the official in charge of religious orders and institutes.

McCarrick wrote that he was pleased to hear that Incarnate Word’s governance structure would not be altered as a result of the turmoil and that punishment for Buela, who he referred to as “Father General,” might be eased.

“I was also very happy to learn that the decisions concerning Father General may allow both the shortening of the period of time for his residing in a monastic setting” as well as a change in location, McCarrick wrote on Archdiocese of Washington letterhead.

Behind the scenes, McCarrick himself was facing allegations of sexual misconduct with seminarians. By 2007, church officials in New Jersey had privately paid legal settlements totaling $180,000 to two former seminarians in the Diocese of Metuchen. The seminarians claimed that McCarrick touched them inappropriately in the 1980s, when he was bishop there.

In 2010, McCarrick moved to the Incarnate Word seminary in suburban Washington. He lived in one of five houses Incarnate Word purchased in Chillum. He generally lived with two seminarians and a priest secretary, who were assigned to him by the group, according to interviews with current and former Incarnate Word members.

In its statement, the archdiocese acknowledged that McCarrick lived in the Incarnate Word house and that the archdiocese paid the group to provide McCarrick with a priest as a personal assistant. The archdiocese declined to specify the dates he lived at the house or the address of the home, citing security reasons.

Buela, meanwhile, remained active as a leader and inspiration despite the sanctions, according to correspondence among church officials.

Buela was to have “no interference in the government and management of the Institute,” a Vatican cardinal wrote in a May 15, 2013, letter to a bishop in Argentina who had raised concerns about Buela’s ongoing involvement.

The Vatican intervened again in 2016, after Francis received reports that Buela was still directly involved with Incarnate Word. Among other things, Buela had created his own website on which he was promoting himself as the founder of the group and posting videos about his teachings.

The Vatican ordered him to another monastery, this time in Spain, and prohibited him from making public statements or appearing in public.

“Fr. Carlos Buela is absolutely forbidden from having relations with IVE members,” states an April 2016 decree by Francis, using the acronym for the Spanish-language name of the group.

With that decree, the Vatican’s previous findings about Buela’s conduct were announced publicly for the first time, and officials said it involved only adults. The Vatican had substantiated allegations against Buela that involved “actions in sexual matters which harmed religious and seminarians of the Institute,” church officials announced.

McCarrick continued to give money to the group — more than $73,000 from January 2016 to October 2017, the internal ledgers show. McCarrick was removed from public ministry in 2018 amid allegations of misconduct decades earlier with a 16-year-old altar boy, and he was defrocked last February.

Incarnate Word continues to extol Buela on multiple websites as its founder, with no mention of the sanctions for alleged sexual misconduct.

Stefano Pitrelli in Rome and Dalton Bennett in Washington contributed to this report.


It seems that McCarrick had his fingers into every aspect of sexual abuse everywhere in the worldwide RCC.

And he poured big sums of money into the accounts of abusers of all kinds.

This particular abuser priest just happens to be from Argentina – Pope Francis’ bailewick?

I wonder if there is any connection to be drawn there?

We know that McCarrick and Argi Frank are close.

Frank lifted Benedict’s restrictions on McCarrick.

Argi Frank sent McCarrick to do the China deal for him.

The Chinese government must have been over the moon when McCarrick arrived.

I wonder how many Chinese “chickens” did McCarrick gobble up during his China trips?

McCarrick covered up his 50 year abuse career by splashing millions of dollars on all kinds of shady people.

McCarrick was basically using church money to buy himself, and others, boys and young men.

McCarrick is a perfect example of all that’s wrong with the RCC clergy and hierarchy.


Irish priests get between 20,000 and 35,000 per annum plus some allowances.

In 1982 Cahal Daly said he needed £ 120,000 per annum to cover himself and his two auxiliaries.

Bishops, archbishops and cardinals do not publish their income.

Men like McCarrick became multi millionaires.


“Cardinals EARN!” Now there’s a revelation!
Behold the sheep, they flock in herd,
behind the clergy: quite absurd.
They’re quite content to ‘eat the grass’.
while clerics, figuratively, “kick their ass!”


I suppose nowadays, Bp Pat, the +Aul Doll’s “auxiliary” expenses will apply to Rory Coyle, for example.


Does “plus some allowances” include free board and lodgings, Council tax and water charges, heat and light, TV licence, telephone and broadband, clothing and vestments, and non-contributory pension? I wonder.


I was looking up the very limited financial statement on our parish website, and I was surprised to see under expenditure ‘vehicle expenses’ of over 3,0000. I assume this must be car insurance etc for the three priests. so its free board, free electricity, heat, broadband, TV, car insurance and we also pay their VHI. €20,000 salary plus stipends. I’m in the wrong job


it is a big sin massive to say bad things about the HOLY PRIEST thr HOLY GOD will not forgave this big sin saying sorry wont help


Dear Anon@ 6:32. On once again, for the umpteen time, seeing you repeat this reference to holy priests and holy God, I’d be greatly obliged if you could :
A) Describe the nature of being holy and define what you mean by a holy priest, and
B) Enlighten us about your God, and what makes him, her or it holy.
I’m interested in your personal perceptions, and to consider how they measure up to the perceptions of other blog users.
Thank you for your response which I’m sure will enlighten us all.


the HOLY PRIEST is HOLY because he is a priest this makes the HOLINESS the HOLY GOD is HOLY because the BIBLE says it somwhere HOLINESS is always thinking HOLY thoughts


Scroll down through the comments of the laity on the above video on the
YouTube platform to get a flavour of the views of the laity on McCarrick et al.


a player in the game. absolutely everyone in the whole wide world. every man and woman….a human touch, someone who will be there…..and after everybody breaths…..please were no different all the same players in the game…….everybody needs everyone…..


out of curiosity, what ever happened to Fr Coyle. is he in a parish? or is on permanent leave of absence. is he being paid despite not actually working. any updates?


his salary wont be published and you can’t ask for details as you are a peasant lay person. all you need to concern yourself with is paying the money and keeping things ticking over. I wont be going to Rome on my holidays for free, but your parish priest likely will.


£ 120,000 in 1982 is £ 450,000 today.

It was to cover the salaries and expenses on Daly himself and two assistant bishops.


You are very poorly informed. I am not squatting. I reside here with the full permission of Noel Treanor the Bishop of Down and Connor and have spent countless of thousands on the property during my 36 years here.

Liked by 1 person

Bishops seem to go to Rome a lot. I wonder are they given free board at the Irish College. Also, bishops are not accountable to anyone. They are absolute monarchs in their own diocese.


Briefly, genuine laypeople ran dioceses, and advocated for prayer to be requested for bishops and the diocese’s ministries. Somehow that kind of constructive and heartwarming frankness didn’t make its way through the PR filter. Since then, the merrygoround of functionaries have consolidated their stranglehold.

If bishops decide to secede, the major Catholic church can continue taking steps towards health. The pre-JP II system of pro-nuncios whose diplomatic involvement was nominal, was more wholesome.

Otherwise, anyone approaching ordination and the recently ordained should now be asking for resettlement. Priests weren’t told that what they thought they were letting themselves in for, wouldn’t be it at all. Surely VDs and seminary trustees and faculty – of all people – knew in advance things were coming to this pitch.


Pat, did you even read the article before you wrote about Pope Francis in the terms above? The article states that Bergoglio was one of Buela’s biggest critics in Argentina.


It seems very much the case McCarrick’s, and various other individuals’, influence over local municipalities and Interdepartmentals has suffered a deafening blow. Has their filthy, sticky little grip on the levers of power and control slipped? Has there been a tectonic shift?
******* SHAKESPEARE’S SISTER *********
********* OFFICIAL RESTRICTED **********


Paul Taylor visited his home in Gran Canaria last week. He did not self-isolate upon return. The Archbishop was informed and did NOTHING because Taylor has all the DIRT on him.



In the name of full transparency can you ask Diarmuid Martin to release his expenses on this blog? I think you might be very surprised by the costs that he has incurred for the Archdiocese of Dublin. I have been informed by an insider working in Drumcondra that his expenses (i.e hotels, dinners and flights) are “vast and immoral”.


If Diarmuid wants to publish his income and expenses he can. Legally he is only bound to reveal them to the tax man.

I always heard Diarmuid was more of a home cook?


That McCarrick one seems a right horror, I’m only imagining how many more McCarrick’s there out there — even more so where there are registered social workers and law enforcement officials possibly assisting in covering up.
…. If ordinary PPs are protected so ferociously, then it is most concerning indeed!
That’s where the public need to keep their eyes open and act where necessary.
Shout, kick and scream; whatever it takes, really, to protect victims.
Anybody who sits around and turns a blind eye to modern slavery or abuse of an innocent needs to keep an eye over their soldier.
The head of the local municipality must have known what was going on, I point blank refuse to believe otherwise! Point blank!
If it means doing damage, say to break down a door a wall in order to get to a vulnerable who is in danger, then do it.
That’s what the Police do, isn’t it?


So, McCarrick was ‘reduced to the lay state,’ (interesting use of language which says it all), or so we are told.
Any paperwork to verify and confirm his ‘reduction’? On what grounds was he (reduced) liaised? Was their a canonical trial? Why is McCarrick apparently living in Church property, him now being a mere layman, although a rich layman by all accounts?
For services rendered?


Funny isn’t it how the supposedly good priests go quiet when you post things like this.
I think of them more and more as being like the other police officers who didn’t actually kneel on Floyd’s throat – they could and should have done something about the institutional abuse but didn’t. Instead they just keep going ‘We’ re not like that’.
Yes you are – if you are a member of the RC church you are as guilty of abuse and corruption as anyone else.


They go quiet because there are no good priests; just moral cowards.
Anyone who contributes financially to these men is complicit in their cowardice and corruption.
These men are emblematic of evil.


1.53: Kerp on wondering, like…..I guess you’d love to place him in the stocks for public stone throwing. You could bring your boulders of rock.


Wrong. We are not living in the middle ages, although, some in the catholic church seem to think otherwise. Justice is meted, through court proceedings, including prison if found guilty. That’s the way the judicial process operates in the 21st century.


1.34: Count yourself lucky Pat like the test of us…our houses are given to us. While we pay all our bills and certain maintenance works, imagine having a mortgage on our salary…or a partner….. you included? We’d all be in tin huts in a garden. So we must be always grateful for what we have and never, ever complain about finances. You are fortunate to have a partner to shoulder costs. Enjoy your dwelling place. Life is too short for begrudgery of any kind.


I am not complaining. I am very grateful to have a home, a car, a livable income, relatively good health, people who love me etc.

Of course I realise that everything I am and have is thanks to God.


I didnt think it was necessary to allow you to publish a full list of my ailments 😝

Thankfully all my ailments are “chronic” and not terminal and therefore very manageable.

Should I not be grateful that to date I’ve been spared cancer, heart attacks, brain tumours etc.

You refer to walking difficulties you have spotted on my walking on my Oratory webcam.

I have inflammation of the facet joints in my lower back and because of Covid have not been able to get my yearly injections. But I will solve that soon.


you do tend to shuffle a little pat. I do the same no more than yourself. its our age. were not spring chickens as my wife keeps reminding me.


Pat, you seem very bothered by the comment. let these things go and forget about them. replying to people like that is letting them know you are very bothered and gives them one up.


3 25: Pat, your health problems are yours and are private. No one should ever mock anyone’s ill health. It’s a horrible, nasty thing to do. It is most unkind, unforgiving and un-Christ-like. I wish you well. At 2.56 I was merely stating that we priests ought to be grateful for what we have and what we receive, however difficult, changeable and challenging life is in these times.


Sure wasn’t Uncle Ted only a wee tare doing a bit of sinning on the side and he might have been bad at the sums thinking six went before five not after and wasn’t he gifted with the gab so Uncle Ted could talk the talk to whoever wherever whenever so he could sell oil to the Arabs coal in Newcastle and chopsticks to the Chinese while eating chop suey and wasn’t he chosen and not just called and didn’t he give away so much charity monies and didn’t his bosses know how he went about his business and didn’t he ordain so many priests and didn’t he ordain so many bishops and wasn’t he backing Cardinal Bergoglio to be the next pope and didn’t he do his time in penance and fasting and didn’t Pope frank give Uncle Ted the all clear after Pope Benny clipped his wings and didn’t he wine and dine with presidents and…….sure he was only doing a bit of sinning on the side…the little tare….


7:12 The only fake one here is you. You’re so busted G, too scared to post under your real name and instead use the name to a former seminarian.
The good thing is that you confirm my post @ 4:55 to be true: Wonersh has its own McCarrick. Including little McCarricks in training. You’re one of them!


7:12 is a Wonersh seminarian / formation staff alert.
A reminder about what we told you a few days ago when you were posting false statements in other people’s name:
You are definitely not the one you say you are. We have seen you posting under false names for weeks now, using the full names of former seminarians. At the same time you accuse others for being fake. You seem obsessed with the P*** B***** and the other ex seminarians you pretend to be.
We know who you are. You have caused enough trouble in peoples life, both before you became a seminarian, and now as a seminarian.
Is this what they teach you at the seminary, pretending being a false person and not true to your words? Shame on you!
Get a life, get out and leave before it is to late and you’re ordained, it certainly will be the best for everyone. You will end up in deep trouble and shit if you don’t stop this behavior ones and for all.
If you are someone else writing on behalf of the particular seminarian, maybe one of the priests, formators or even the rector at his seminary – even more shame on you!
And again, in case you wonder: We are not seminarians or ex-seminarians; we’re ordinary parishioners paying for your priestly training. But we are definitely not interested in paying for future bad priests.



No not nasty at all, just looking for clarity, I don’t see you complaining about all the spiteful comments made on this blog about other Priests. Whats’ sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander.


6.39, I clicked on your link, and I’m glad I did. What a laugh those loonies at CTS are!😅
The editor, presumably Patricia McKeever, laments that commentors on this blog didn’t join her, and her fellow inflexibles, for discussion on the issue of the day. But wait! McKeever makes it clear that commentors on her blog must want to learn about her brand of Catholicism, which translates as we will brook no criticism, no dissension. You will only listen to us as we preach at you.
This is the problem with those loonies: they are categirically, dogmatically right, so everyone else is naturally wrong.
No wonder their numbers are small.


Tisa strange world. From the individual to the institution the pendulum swings. It could be a Godfather film 🎥 plot. Thing is tho, why is all this being done in the name of Jesus. I wonder if Jesus will get the contract for the repair job hi


8:52 PM
Good evening hi fly.
Begorra fly why oh why is this done in Jesus name.
This is what happens when known tare is ignored left to grow.
It needs weeding out otherwise it chokes the wheat damaging the crop.
Tis a strange world getting stranger by the day.
Without Jesus we are nothing so no choice with the contract.
May the Force be with you.+
Bye bye fly hi.


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