Skip to content

Priest criticizes Bush, Kerry over Iraq war

By Matt Abbott

Father Andrew Greeley, the priest-author-columnist, is at it again.

By now, all of Greeley's readers should know that he is steadfastly against the Iraq war. Greeley's Oct. 8 column in the Chicago Sun-Times is no exception. But this time, he actually criticizes John Kerry for supporting the war.

Writes Greeley: "The day of the first presidential debate, television served up pictures of the 38 children who died in an explosion in Iraq and their grieving mothers. The blood of those children is on George W. Bush's hands for starting this ill-advised war, and on the hands of all of those who continue to support the war, including John Kerry...."

"...In Iraq we are making all the mistakes: land war in Asia, puppet government, insurgents enjoying considerable sympathy, and no exit strategy. How could the administration have been so stupid! The president is not smart enough to know any history. Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld presumably are smart enough, but apparently they don't read history. They both tried after the World Trade Center attack to start the Iraq war then. The neo-conservative clique around them, which is in fact making policy, read books -- even history books -- but they had other agendas.

"Sen. Kerry proposes to have all the troops home in four years! How many more Iraqi children will die in four years? How many more American families will lose sons, fathers, husbands, brothers, sisters, wives, daughters and sisters in four years?..."

Of course, Greeley does let Kerry off the hook somewhat:

"...I hope Kerry wins because he may change his mind once in office (nothing wrong with changing your mind) and because he will at least clean out the vipers' tangle of neo-conservatives who talked the president into the war. Moreover, Kerry is not likely to reinstitute the draft or to get us into another ''regime change'' war in North Korea and Iran...."

But he ends his column with these words:

"...If you support the war; if, with the president and Kerry, you want to 'stay' the course, the next time you see the bodies of children strewn about a street in Iraq, ask yourself if their blood is not on your hands."

Now, yes, Greeley does have the right to voice his opposition to the Iraq war. Not a few traditional Catholics (Greeley is, of course, not among them) have made clear their opposition to the war, even. But I have a lot - and I do mean a lot - more respect for them than for Greeley, and for this reason: The other Catholics aren't protecting a "ring of predators." Greeley is.

On May 30, 1984, choir director and professor Francis E. Pellegrini, an acquaintance of Greeley's, was found stabbed to death on Chicago's South side. Pellegrini had been stabbed 20 to 47 times. His dog had also been stabbed, but survived.

To date, the murder remains officially unsolved. But there is more to the story.

Pellegrini reportedly had knowledge of a clergy pedophile ring operating in the Chicago area, and had a meeting scheduled with then-vicar of priests Fr. Tom Ventura about the matter. (Ventura left the priesthood in 2002.) Pellegrini was murdered before that meeting took place.

In his 1999 non-fiction book "Furthermore! Memories of a Parish Priest," Greeley writes:

"...But even in Chicago, the ring of predators about whom I wrote in the paperback edition of 'Confessions' remains untouched. There is no evidence against them because no one has complained about them and none of their fellow priests have denounced them. Those who have been removed are for the most part lone offenders who lacked the skill to cover their tracks. The ring is much more clever. Perhaps they always will be. But should they slip, should they get caught, the previous scandals will seem trivial...They are a dangerous group. There is reason to believe that they are responsible for at least one murder, and may perhaps have been involved in the murder of the murderer. Am I afraid of them? Not particularly. They know that I have in safekeeping information which would implicate them. I am more of a threat to them dead than alive" (p. 80).

Enter attorney Sheila Parkhill. Parkhill has been investigating this "ring of predators," also known as The Boys' Club, for over two years now. She believes Greeley does in fact have information - proof, even - about this group, reportedly comprised of at least six priests (one of whom is now a bishop) who are still in active ministry.

But Greeley isn't talking. If pressed on the matter, he seems to have given people, even the Chicago police, some cock-and-bull story about it. Go figure.

These priests, according to Parkhill, have been responsible for the "...abuse of children... murder, and credit card theft and fraud."

Good grief! Can Greeley say "huge hypocrite"? Has he no shame?

Sheila Parkhill can be reached at Father Andrew Greeley can be reached at


Matt Abbott
Matt Abbott - Author,



Catholic, Abbot

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.