This segment on Joseph Cardinal Bernardin was originally incorporated into the previous chapter on homosexual members of the American hierarchy. However, because of his extraordinary influence on AmChurch, I decided Cardinal Bernardin deserved a chapter all his own.
To do real justice to Cardinal Bernardin and his entourage of clerical homosexuals and pederasts and ancillary hangers-on who made up the Chicago-Washington, D. C. Homosexual/Pederast Axis would require more than one full size book.
This highly condensed summary of information on the role played by Bernardin in the building of the Homosexual Collective within AmChurch is intended to dispel the fiction that the late Cardinal Bernardin managed to fool all the people all the time.
That Bernardin's alleged sexual penchant for young men still remains an open issue even today, ten years after the cardinal's death, is reflected in the remarks made by writer A. W. Richard Sipe in his keynote address, "View From the Eye of the Storm," given on February 23, 2003 to the Linkup National Conference in Louisville, Ky.
According to Sipe, years before Bernardin was charged with sexual abuse by Steven Cook in 1993, "several priests who were associates of Bernardin prior to his move to Chicago revealed that they had 'partied' together; they talked about their visits to the Josephinum to socialize with seminarians."
"It is a fact that Bernardin's accuser (Cook) did not ever retract his allegations of abuse by anyone's account other than Bernardin's," said Sipe. He also told the audience that the Chicago Archdiocese's pay off to Cook before he died of AIDS was in the $3 million range.
Father Charles Fiore, the well-known Dominican, related much of the information recalled by Sipe to this writer in a series of phone interviews that spanned more than five years in the early 1990s, but in much greater detail. This information included the testimony of a seminarian who claimed he was forced into a sexual relationship with Bernardin and other American prelates, and who said he attended sexual functions at which the Archbishop paraded around a young man by the name of Steven Cook.
The Cook case, as we shall see, was not the first time that Bernardin's name had come up in connection with homosexual activities and sex abuse scandals some of which involved occult practices.
Shortly before Cook filed suit against Father Ellis Harsham and Cardinal Bernardin in November 1993, Monsignor Frederick Hopwood, Bernardin's former roommate from Charleston, S.C., was accused of sexually abusing over 100 boys. Much of the alleged abuse took place when Bernardin was serving as Assistant Chancellor for the Diocese of Charleston under Bishop John J. Russell.
Cardinal Bernardin sent a team of Archdiocesan lawyers to Charleston to arrange an out-of-court settlement for Hopwood's victims. The records were sealed.