While Bill O’Reilly has long blathered on and on about the importance of stable families and traditional marriages, it seems his own divorce and custody fight has turned very ugly indeed. And the Catholic Church, to which he donates a great deal of money, seems to be helping him. Gawker has the details from legal documents filed by O’Reilly and his ex-wife.
Another indication that it has become poisonous: the Catholic Church has gotten involved. Gawker has learned that McPhilmy has been formally reprimanded in writing by her church for continuing to take communion in her Long Island parish despite having been divorced and remarried—a no-no according to the Pope. The reprimand also instructed her to stop telling her children that her second marriage, to the Nassau County detective O’Reilly tried to destroy, is valid in the eyes of God. It warned her that if she didn’t comply, harsher measures may be in order.
Chad Glendinning, a professor of canon law at Canada’s St. Paul University, couldn’t say whether the reprimand was a first step on the road to excommunication. But he did say it appeared to be a first step toward barring her from the sacraments if necessary. “Public denial of holy communion is to be avoided as far as possible,” he said. “Instead, pastors should take precautionary measures to explain the Church’s teaching to concerned persons so that they may be able to understand it or at least respect it. It is possible that the letter you describe is such an attempt.”
There presumably aren’t too many people besides O’Reilly who know what McPhilmy is saying to her children about how God views her marriage. And O’Reilly, who interviewed Timothy Cardinal Dolan last year and donated more than $65,000 to New York Catholic parishes and schools in 2011, according to the tax return of his nonprofit foundation, carries considerable weight in the archdiocese.
While he’s busy harassing McPhilmy for asserting the holiness of her second marriage, O’Reilly is trying to deny the existence of his first: He is, Gawker has learned, seeking an annulment of his 15-year marriage, which produced two children. Null and void. Invalid in the eyes of God. Never happened. This despite his manifest belief in the “stability” that straight marriage brings to the culture and concern at the (purportedly) declining marriage rates in countries that allow gay people to marry one another. If successful, the annulment would presumably render his 2004 escapade with former producer Andrea Mackris, whom he repeatedly and vividly sexually harassed with threats to take “the falafel thing…and put it on your pussy,” retroactively kosher with Jesus.
Bill O’Reilly: Voice of Virtue.