We normally think that there is a strict vetting process for those who are to be named bishops especially to important sees like Washington, DC. And yes, we think that there is a stricter vetting process for those named cardinals.
Obviously, in some cases, the vetting process shows nothing but the exemplary nature of the man promoted. But sometimes there are files, secret files, in chanceries that tell another story.
Who dropped the ball here? Or did they simply did not care?
From the Vatican Insider:
The Archbishop of Newark, Cardinal Joseph William Tobin... informs that his diocese “has never received an accusation that Cardinal McCarrick abused a minor” but adds that “In the past, there have been allegations that he engaged in sexual behavior with adults. This Archdiocese (Newark) and the Diocese of Metuchen received three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago; two of these allegations resulted in settlements”.
From Tobin’s words, it emerges... the existence of various accusations against McCarrick for problems of a sexual nature, concluded with financial agreements, but without these regarding the abuse of minors. And documents and testimonies about the fact that the Cardinal Emeritus of Washington harassed the seminarians began to circulate: in one of them there was talk of a trip by the then Archbishop of Newark with two young priests and a seminarian with whom he shared the bedroom.
My final comments: I think most Catholics and even the liberal press are at the point of Catholic Church scandal fatigue. But how did Cardinal McCarrick get named a cardinal by Pope St. John Paul II when in fact both Newark and Meteuchen had scandalous facts about him? Did anyone share this with the Apostolic Nuncio at the time?????????? And if not, why not and if so, why was he promoted? These are important questions for the Vatican to answer.