A couple of years ago, as the Church was reeling from the latest round of revelations about the clergy sex abuse scandal, it was announced that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was being suspended from ministry after a credible allegation of abuse against a minor. He was eventually laicized after that claim was investigated, and Pope Francis announced that there would be a thorough investigation of how someone facing those kinds of accusations could have possibly risen through the ranks to become a Cardinal Archbishop.
As you have probably seen in the news, that report was released last week. It is thorough, coming in at well over 400 pages, and the investigation included interviews with more than 90 witnesses, including abuse survivors. (The full report is available at http://www.vatican.va/resources/resources_rapporto-card-mccarrick_20201110_en.pdf., and the first 14 pages are an executive summary. A good summary of the article can also be found in last week’s edition of Today’s Catholic at https://todayscatholic.org/mccarrick-report-cites-lack-of-investigations-of-rumors/).
Although the details of McCarrick’s abuse came to light two years ago, this report is sure to reopen many wounds among the faithful. In particular, this report is different because it goes into more specific detail on how our leadership failed to investigate or address these accusations adequately. The report concludes that Pope St. John Paul II was reluctant to believe the accusations because of his own relationship with McCarrick, among other factors, and thus didn’t insist on a more thorough investigation. It also concludes that although Pope Benedict XVI asked McCarrick to step down in 2006 after new accusations came to light, he didn’t impose formal sanctions on him. Instead he asked him to keep a lower profile, a request McCarrick promptly disregarded.
It is painful to see that leaders we love and admire should have […]