Sunday, June 24, 2018


These are the last paragraphs of a longer article in the National Catholic Register on the real implications of the McCarrick scandal that goes way, way beyond him:

"...McCarrick's former dioceses have been swift to insist that they have never previously received any allegations of sexual abuse of minors. But, as now seems clear, they were aware of credible allegations of sexual misconduct against the cardinal. Some commentators have wondered if Church authorities presumed that so long as no children were involved, there was no obligation to curtail his ministry.

This is not a dry question of past failings by previous administrations: Close personal associates of Cardinal McCarrick continue to hold leadership positions in American diocesan curias.

It might be asked whether individuals who could have known — indeed, can be reasonably expected to have known — about McCarrick’s behavior, or at least the persistent rumors of it, remain in positions where they will be responsible for assessing and disciplining clergy following allegations of misconduct.

Questions will likely be raised about what these men knew, what they heard, what they did about it and when. Anything less will likely leave some Catholics wondering what else might lurk in the shadow of this scandal.

Hard questions may also soon be asked of the other three cardinals in this story: Cardinals Dolan, Joseph Tobin and Donald Wuerl. They are likely to be asked when they first learned of allegations against Cardinal McCarrick. Cardinals Tobin and Wuerl, especially, might be asked if it would serve the public interest to make clear when they discovered that their mutual predecessor (once removed, in Tobin’s case) had been the subject of sexual-misconduct complaints serious enough to prompt legal settlements — and whether they raised questions about his continued public life and ministry during retirement.

While leaving all necessary space for the canonical process concerning the specific allegation involving a minor, the extent to which the cardinals are willing to engage publicly about what they know about the other complaints against Cardinal McCarrick, when they knew it and what they did, or did not do, about it, could also bear heavily on the credibility of the American hierarchy.

For Pope Francis, too, the McCarrick scandal is a serious test. Following allegations of sexual misconduct, the late Cardinal Keith O’Brien, formerly of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, died in disgrace and exile. While he was not formally stripped of his title, in March 2015, Francis accepted his resignation of the rights and privileges of a cardinal.

Having already suspended McCarrick from public ministry for the duration of the canonical process, the steps Pope Francis takes against him at the conclusion of the process — especially taking into account the previous accusations and settlements — will be closely analyzed.

Following on the heels of the much-criticized handling of the sexual-abuse scandal in Chile, both the Holy See and the American bishops will be acutely aware that such a high-profile case needs to be handled very carefully. To stop the McCarrick scandal before it becomes a crisis, the margin for error is very slim.

Ed Condon is the Washington, D.C., editor for Catholic News Agency

It's all rather sickening! What do you think are the implications?


Gene said...

Well, if you drop your wallet outside a Catholic Church, you'd better kick it all the way to the car to the car...

rcg said...

I suspect there has been a homosexual group blackmailing cardinals and bishops and probably popes for many years. Not trolling here, but ai expect it traces to Masons and Communists.

Anonymous said...

A very good article from a very good priest (one of the many out there):

ByzRC said...

rcg -

While I'm not sure about the Masons and communists, I suspect there's some truth to what you suggest about homosexual groups blackmailing cardinals, bishops and probably popes. Pope Emeritus Benedict, currently enjoying imprisonment within the Vatican Walls, could well be the poster-child for this.