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Pope John Paul II Promoted Cleric After Learning About Sex Abuse Allegations

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ROME (AP) — A Vatican investigation into former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has found that a series of bishops, cardinals and popes downplayed or dismissed reports of sexual misconduct with seminarians, and determined that Pope Francis merely continued his predecessors’ handling of the predator until a former altar boy alleged abuse.

The Vatican took the extraordinary step Tuesday of publishing its two-year, 449-page internal investigation into the American prelate’s rise and fall in a bid to restore credibility to the U.S. and Vatican hierarchies, which have been shattered by the McCarrick scandal.

A summary of the report from the Vatican put the lion’s share of blame on a dead saint: Pope John Paul II, who appointed McCarrick archbishop of Washington D.C., in 2000, despite having commissioned an inquiry that confirmed he slept with seminarians. The summary says John Paul believed McCarrick’s last-ditch, handwritten denial.

But the report also charts the alarm bells that sounded — but were ignored — nearly a decade earlier, when in 1993 a series of six anonymous letters were sent to U.S. church officials and the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S. alleging McCarrick was a “pedophile” who would sleep in the same bed with young men and boys. The ambassador destroyed the letters, and the U.S. church had a policy at the time of not taking action based on anonymous reports of abuse — a practice that was recently reversed by the Vatican for the church at large. 

In this file photo from February 21, 2001, Theodore McCarrick kisses Pope John Paul II after being elevated to the position o



In this file photo from February 21, 2001, Theodore McCarrick kisses Pope John Paul II after being elevated to the position of cardinal.

McCarrick, 90, was defrocked by Francis last year after a Vatican investigation confirmed decades of allegations that the globe-trotting envoy and successful church fundraiser had sexually molested adults as well as children. The Vatican had reports from authoritative figures dating back to 1999 that McCarrick’s behavior was problematic, yet he continued to rise to become an influential cardinal, kingmaker and emissary of the Holy See’s “soft diplomacy.”

The findings accused bishops dead and alive of providing the Vatican with incomplete information about McCarrick’s behavior, and of turning a blind eye to his repeated flouting of informal restrictions ordered up in 2006 after Pope Benedict XVI decided not to investigate or sanction him seriously.

Most significantly, the findings largely gave Francis a pass, saying he never lifted or modified those restrictions, never named McCarrick a “diplomatic agent” for the Holy See and never received any documentation about McCarrick before 2017. It didn’t say if Francis had sought such documentation after one of his ambassadors purportedly told him in 2013 that McCarrick was a predator.

In this Sept. 23, 2015 file photo, Pope Francis reaches out to hug Cardinal Archbishop emeritus Theodore McCarrick after the



In this Sept. 23, 2015 file photo, Pope Francis reaches out to hug Cardinal Archbishop emeritus Theodore McCarrick after the Midday Prayer of the Divine with more than 300 U.S. Bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington.

“Pope Francis had heard only that there had been allegations and rumors related to immoral conduct with adults occurring prior to McCarrick’s appointment to Washington,” the summary says. “Believing that the allegations had already been reviewed and rejected by Pope John Paul II, and well aware that McCarrick was active during the papacy of Benedict XVI, Pope Francis did not see the need to alter the approach that had been adopted.”

Francis changed course after a former altar boy came forward in 2017 alleging that McCarrick groped him when he was a teenager during preparations for Christmas Mass in 1971 and 1972 in New York. The allegation was the first solid claim against McCarrick involving a minor and triggered the canonical trial that resulted in his defrocking.

The report contains heartbreaking new testimony from people who tried to raise the alarm about McCarrick’s inappropriate behavior, including with children, starting in the mid-1980s. One woman identified only as “Mother 1” told investigators that at one point she sent a series of anonymous letters to U.S. Catholic leaders, warning them about McCarrick’s behavior. She described how she once discovered McCarrick, a family friend, with his hands rubbing her two sons’ thighs in the living room. “It was more than strange. It was abnormal. I almost dropped the casserole dish I was holding in my hands.” Her letters went unheeded, and McCarrick continued his rise.

In this photo from April 1, 2005, then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick answers questions from the media following an afternoon ma



In this photo from April 1, 2005, then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick answers questions from the media following an afternoon mass at Saint Matthew’s Cathedral, Friday, in Washington.

While the summary provided new details about what the Vatican knew and when, it didn’t elaborate on the internal “old boys club” culture that allowed McCarrick’s behavior to continue unchecked. Catholic cardinals and bishops have long been considered beyond reproach and claims of homosexual behavior have been used to discredit or blackmail prelates, so often are dismissed as rumors. There has also been a widespread but unspoken tolerance of sexually active men in what is supposed to be a celibate priesthood.

The church has long considered sex by priests with other adult men or women as sinful but consensual, with flags only raised in recent years when minors were involved.

But the McCarrick scandal, which erupted during the #MeToo era, has demonstrated that adult seminarians and priests can be sexually victimized by their superiors because of the power imbalance in their relationships. And yet the church’s legal system has had no real way to address that type of abuse of authority.

James Grein, at his house in Sterling, Va., Friday, July 26, 2019, holds a Florida postcard sent to him when he was 15 y



James Grein, at his house in Sterling, Va., Friday, July 26, 2019, holds a Florida postcard sent to him when he was 15 years old by now-defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. 

James Grein, whose testimony that McCarrick abused him for two decades starting when he was 11 was key to McCarrick’s downfall, said he was pleased the report was finally released. He said he was hopeful it would bring some relief as well as a chance to “clean” up the church.

“There are so many people suffering out there because of one man,” Grein said. “And he thinks that he’s more important than the rest of us. He’s destroyed me and he’s destroyed thousands of other lives. … It’s time that the Catholic Church comes clean with all of its destruction.”

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state whose office prepared the report, said it will have an impact, especially on how bishops are selected.

“Reading the document will show that all procedures, including the appointment of bishops, depend on the commitment and honesty of the people concerned,” he said. ”(It will make) all those involved in such choices more aware of the weight of their decisions or omissions.”

Francis commissioned the report after the retired Vatican ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, issued a blistering expose of the two-decade-long McCarrick cover-up in 2018, naming around two dozen U.S. and Vatican officials who knew of his misconduct but failed to effectively sanction him. 

In this photo from April 24, 2002, then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick answers questions from journalists about what the Catholi



In this photo from April 24, 2002, then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick answers questions from journalists about what the Catholic Church was doing at the time to address clerical sexual abuse. Next to him is Bishop Wilton Gregory, who replaced McCarrick as Archbishop of Washington in 2019.

Vigano cited former seminarians who described the harassment and abuse they endured while “Uncle Ted,” as McCarrick liked to call himself, was their bishop in New Jersey, and they were forced to sleep in his bed during weekend trips to his beach house.

Vigano’s most explosive claim was that Francis himself lifted “sanctions” imposed by Benedict and made McCarrick a trusted adviser. Vigano demanded that Francis resign, claiming he had warned the pope in June 2013 that McCarrick had “corrupted generations of seminarians and priests.”

Several of Vigano’s central assertions were confirmed, but not the ones involving Francis. “No records support Vigano’s account and evidence as to what he said is sharply disputed,” it said.

The summary also cites a previously unreported case in which Vigano in 2012 allegedly failed to act on Vatican instructions to investigate new claims against McCarrick by a Brazilian-born New Jersey priest.

“Vigano did not take these steps and therefore never placed himself in the position to ascertain the credibility,” of the priest’s claims, the summary says.

The report drew on documents from five Vatican departments, four U.S. dioceses, two U.S. seminaries and the Vatican’s U.S. Embassy. Investigators interviewed 90 people, including McCarrick’s victims, former seminarians and priests, officials from U.S. charities and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.





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Anderson Cooper Made ‘Amazing’ Discovery In His Mom’s Possessions After She Died

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CNN’s Anderson Cooper said he found a pile of love letter telegrams that legendary crooner Frank Sinatra had sent to his fashion icon mother Gloria Vanderbilt while sorting through his late mom’s possessions.

The “amazing” discovery was among “boxes of stuff” from “her epic life” that Cooper went through following Vanderbilt’s death in 2019 because she “never threw anything away,” the news anchor told Stephen Colbert on Wednesday’s “Late Show.”

Many of the messages that Sinatra sent during his short-lived romance with Vanderbilt were dictated from airports or airplanes, Cooper revealed during a discussion about his new podcast about grief, titled “All There Is.”

One of the missives from Sinatra read: “Star. Coming to town. Your fella on the white horse. Ring-a-ding-ding.”

Another was along the lines of: “I’m in Melbourne. On my way to you star. I think of you more than I should. Call me. Crestview 475.”

They were “exactly what you would want a love telegram” from Sinatra to be like.

“I’m sitting there, like, ‘This is kind of amazing and what do I do with these things?’” Cooper admitted to Colbert.

Watch the interview here:





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‘Barney’ Docuseries Details Drug Rumors, Violent Backlash Over Beloved Children’s Show

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Peacock just released a trailer for its “Barney & Friends” documentary series, “I Love You, You Hate Me” — and it’s brutal.

“Barney & Friends,” a children’s television phenomenon that aired for 14 seasons, from 1992 to 2010, drew the attention of countless children who turned to the lovable purple dinosaur for such life lessons as forgiveness and sharing.

But now the darker side of the amiable Tyrannosaurus rex’s image, including death threats surrounding the show and how the character became a catalyst for hate, is being exposed.

“Why does the world love to hate?” the trailer asks before firing off examples of the visceral backlash against the costumed character over the years.

“Some of the rumors I heard: Barney hides drugs in his tail,” says one man in the promo.

Bob West, a performer who starred as Barney, revealed just how serious the rumors became, eventually leading to wildly unsettling death threats against his family.

“They were violent and explicit, death and dismemberment of my family,” he recalled. “They were going to come and find me, and they were going to kill me.”

The series was directed by Tommy Avallone of “The Bill Murray Stories,” who recently told People about the personal connection he has to the long-running TV dinosaur who captured the hearts of millions of children.

“Barney came out on television when I was just 10 years old, and I admittedly didn’t understand him. As a teenager, for one of my birthdays I asked my aunt to make me a Barney costume, so my friends and I could beat him up on camera,” he told People.

He added, “Several years later, creating this docuseries, it feels good to be on the other side and no longer a Barney hater. Now having children of my own, I understand all the love that went into making the purple dinosaur.”

“I Love You, You Hate Me” will premiere Oct. 12 on Peacock.





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‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ Rapper Coolio Dead At 59

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Rapper Coolio died on Wednesday in Los Angeles, according to reports. He was 59.

The Grammy winner was found dead in the bathroom of a friend’s house, TMZ reported.

According to TMZ, the rapper, record producer and actor, whose legal name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was visiting a friend Wednesday afternoon and went to the bathroom. After staying inside for an extended period, the friend went inside and found him on the floor.

Coolio’s manager, Jarez Posey, confirmed the rapper’s death to Rolling Stone but did not provide further details.

The friend reportedly called EMTs, who arrived and pronounced the musician dead on the scene from what they suspected was cardiac arrest. An official cause of death has not been stated.

A Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson said Wednesday evening that the department was conducting a death investigation at an address in the West Adams neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles but could not disclose the identity of the deceased.

The death did not appear suspicious, and the case was handed over to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, the spokesperson said.

Coolio, a Los Angeles area native, is best known for his 1995 Grammy-winning hit, “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which topped the U.S. charts that year and remains one of the bestselling singles of all time. (Listen below).

The song was featured in the 1995 film “Dangerous Minds” but was not eligible for an Oscar nomination because of its use of sampling and reworked material. It won the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.

Notable Deaths In 2022





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Chloë Grace Moretz Became A ‘Recluse’ After Viral Body-Shaming ‘Family Guy’ Meme

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Few young actors have been as consistently booked and busy as Chloë Grace Moretz, who’s appeared in more than 50 films since her breakout role in the “Kick Ass” franchise.

But growing up in the public eye came with a major cost for the 25-year-old star, who said that a “horrific” viral meme comparing an edited paparazzi shot to a “Family Guy” character drove her to become a “recluse.”

“I’ve actually never really talked about this, but there was one meme that really affected me, of me walking into a hotel with a pizza box in my hand,” Moretz shared in a recent Hunger magazine profile. “And this photo got manipulated into a character from ‘Family Guy’ with the long legs and the short torso, and it was one of the most widespread memes at the time.”

Moretz, who’s opened up about being body-shamed throughout her career, said her pain was entirely dismissed by someone who told her to “shut the fuck up” when the meme first surfaced.

Chloë Grace Moretz attends a Louis Vuitton fashion show in 2022.

Emma McIntyre via Getty Images

“I just remember sitting there and thinking, my body is being used as a joke and it’s something that I can’t change about who I am, and it is being posted all over Instagram,” she continued. “To this day, when I see that meme, it’s something very hard for me to overcome.”

The experience left her feeling “super self-conscious” and “kind of sad,” especially when it came to going out for public appearances and red carpets.

While Moretz has continued to appear on-screen in recent years in a handful of projects, including “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” the 2018 “Suspiria” remake and the LGBTQ drama “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” she “basically became a recluse” in her own life.

“It was great because I got away from the photographers and I was able to be myself, and to have so many experiences that people didn’t photograph, but at the same time it made me severely anxious when I was photographed,” she told the outlet. “My heart rate would rise and I would hyperventilate.”

With therapy and a much-needed career break, Moretz has begun to process her own “self-loathing” and the “jarring shift in my consciousness” about the attention her body has received.

Back in 2016, Moretz dropped out of all her future film roles, including a live-action reimagining of “The Little Mermaid,” to “reassess who I am and find myself within my roles again,” she said at the time.

But she’s back on-screen in a major way with Amazon’s upcoming sci-fi series “The Peripheral” from “Westworld” creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.

“To say that these past two years have been transformative is an understatement, to say the least,” Moretz said about her new perspective. “I’m a very different girl than I was. I feel like a woman now.”





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Sarah Jessica Parker Shows Off Her Twin Daughters In Rare Family Appearance

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Marion Broderick and Tabitha Broderick, 13, made a somewhat rare public appearance with their famous parents at the premiere of Parker’s new film “Hocus Pocus 2” in New York Tuesday.

They appear to have inherited their mom’s flair for fashion, wearing heels from her SJP Collection for the event, E! noted.

Here’s one with just Mom.

The last time the girls made a major public appearance with their parents was for Parker and Broderick’s premiere of “Plaza Suite” on Broadway back in March. That time they showed up with their 19-year-old brother James Wilkie Broderick.

The “Sex and the City” star mostly keeps her family off her Instagram account, but remarked on her children and the passage of time last fall. In a personal, almost-poetic post, Parker shared backshots of her kids departing and wrote:

“In the span of 7 days. One crosses the threshold into his freshman year of college. The other 2 into 7th grade. The house is different. We are different. They need us more. And far less. So many know. Gutted at the time passed. Passing. Exhilarated by the possibilities that await them.
The love. The love. The love.”

Parker applied the same bittersweet perspective in 2019, with a shot of her son walking away from the camera as school began.

“11th grade,” she wrote. “No longer able to capture in the center of the frame. Because they are off. But always captures the center of my heart.”





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‘Chicago Med’ Star Marlyne Barrett Reveals Cancer After Football-Sized Tumor Removed

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Marlyne Barrett, who plays nurse Maggie Lockwood on the NBC drama “Chicago Med,” revealed she has cancer and is facing her third round of chemotherapy, People reported Tuesday.

The 44-year-old star said she’s determined to keep working and has had her costumes specially fitted to accommodate the mass in her abdomen.

“Work brings me a lot of joy right now,” Barrett told People. “It brings me a lot of reprieve to think about something other than, ‘When is my next chemo shift?’ and ‘How am I going to hug my children?’”

Marlyne Barrett (with Nick Gehlfuss) on “Chicago Med.”

Doctors in July found a football-sized tumor on Barrett’s uterus and left ovary. She underwent “aggressive” chemotherapy and a hysterectomy, the magazine noted.

The former “Wire” semi-regular, who’s married to the Rev. Gavin Barrett, said she preemptively shaved her head in front of her 11-month-old twins to strip the chemo of its negative power. (She posted an uncaptioned photo of herself without hair on Tuesday, along with a picture of the People article on Instagram.)

Marlyne Barrett attends the Monte Carlo TV Festival in June 2022.
Marlyne Barrett attends the Monte Carlo TV Festival in June 2022.

Stephane Cardinale – Corbis via Getty Images

Barrett has continued to work, telling People she starts an hour earlier, naps and takes days off when necessary.

Barrett, whose “Chicago Med” character faced breast cancer in the 2019 season, said her real-life illness has proved overwhelming at times.

“I have a wave of emotion that comes,” she said. “But it’s OK not to have it all together. You can’t tangibly hold onto fear. But I’m holding onto faith.”

HuffPost has reached out to “Chicago Med” and Barrett through the network’s publicity department for further comment.





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Ryan Reynolds Teases Hugh Jackman’s Return As Wolverine In ‘Deadpool 3’

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It’s official. Hugh Jackman is set to reprise his role as Wolverine in the upcoming “Deadpool 3” film.

In typical Ryan Reynolds fashion, the actor broke the internet with a snarky teaser video about the return of the rapid-healing mutant with a hot-tempered attitude in the third installment of the Deadpool franchise.

“Hey everyone, we’re extremely sad to have missed D23, but we’ve been working very hard on the next Deadpool film for a good long while now,” Reynolds says in the Instagram clip.

The 45-year-old then explains that, although they’ve been working on the film for a long time now, they’ve hit a snag and are completely out of ideas on how to invigorate the mercenary for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

“I’ve had to really search my soul on this one. His first appearance in the MCU obviously needs to feel special. We need to stay true to the character, find new depth, motivation, meaning. Every Deadpool needs to stand out and stand apart.”

Reynolds adds, “It’s been an incredible challenge that has forced me to reach down deep inside. And I … I have nothing. Yeah, just completely empty up here. And terrifying. But we did have one idea.”

Jackman then appears in the background of the frame, snacking on what seems to be an apple.

“Hey, Hugh, you want to play Wolverine one more time?” Reynolds asks as Jackman walks by.

Jackman, 53, allegedly retired the Wolverine role with 2017′s “Logan,” the final film in the Wolverine trilogy, after playing the no-nonsense character several times throughout the X-Men franchise.

“Yeah, sure, Ryan,” he replies, walking upstairs.

Reynolds first starred as Wade Wilson (Deadpool) in the 2009 Fox/Marvel movie “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” in which he squared off against Jackman’s Wolverine character.

“Deadpool” is one of several comic-book properties that Disney acquired when it bought 20th Century Fox in 2019.

“Deadpool 3” is set to hit theaters on Sept. 6, 2024.

The R-rated franchise has seen massive success among fans. Both “Deadpool” and “Deadpool 2″ scored big at the box office, with the films raking in more than $780 million each globally.





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