McCarrick kept a robust public presence during years he was allegedly sanctioned

Pope Benedict XVI is flanked by Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, left, and Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, during a Jan. 19 meeting with U.S. bishops on their “ad limina” visits to the Vatican. In a speech to the bishops, the pope issued a strong warning about threats to freedom of religion and conscience in the U.S. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano) (Jan. 19, 2012)Pope Benedict XVI is flanked by Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, left, and Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, during a Jan. 19 meeting with U.S. bishops on their “ad limina” visits to the Vatican. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano) (Jan. 19, 2012)

While Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò makes a number of accusations against former and current Vatican officials in his 11-page letter, there is only one he aims at Pope Francis: that he knew former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had “corrupted generations of seminarians and priests” but nonetheless decided to lift sanctions that included “a life of prayer and penance” which had been imposed on the retired D.C. archbishop by Pope Benedict XVI in either 2009 or 2010.

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Archbishop Viganò, the papal representative to the United States from 2011 until he was recalled to Rome by Pope Francis in 2016, did not provide documents proving that sanctions were imposed by Benedict. Nor did he provide evidence that Francis knew about the sanctions or that he lifted them.

During the years that then-Cardinal McCarrick was allegedly sanctioned by Rome, he kept up a public profile that included preaching at high-profile Masses, giving talks and accepting awards. He testified in front of a Senate subcommittee and appeared in the media.

The cardinal also kept up a famously robust travel schedule, in part because he served on the board of Catholic Relief Services and chaired the board of the charitable arm of the international development nonprofit.

From 2008 to 2013, the former cardinal kept up a public profile that included preaching at high-profile Masses, giving talks and accepting awards. 

A spokeswoman for C.R.S. told America that then-Cardinal McCarrick traveled on “a couple of dozen trips during that time, including in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America” between 2009 and the end of Pope Benedict’s papacy in 2013, adding that C.R.S. was “unaware” of any sanctions.

Archbishop Viganò alleges that after several specific attempts to convince the Vatican that then-Cardinal McCarrick should be sanctioned because of allegations of sexual misconduct with priests and seminarians, prohibitions were handed down in 2009 or 2010. Those sanctions, he said, required the cardinal to move out of a seminary where he was living and forbade him to celebrate Mass in public, participating in public meetings, giving lectures or traveling. He was to dedicate “himself to a life of prayer in penance.” Pope Francis removed then-Cardinal McCarrick from ministry in June following substantiated allegations that he had sexually abused a minor decades ago.

Sharon Euart, R.S.M., a canon lawyer and the executive director of the Resource Center for Religious Institutes, said that while she could not comment on the specifics regarding the onetime archbishop of Washington, D.C., a priest or bishop who is punished with sanctions removing him from ministry would be notified in writing.

Sister Euart said that whoever has jurisdiction over the offender would normally be notified of the penalty so that the offender could be monitored. In the case of then-Cardinal McCarrick, it is not clear who may have been asked to monitor him. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who succeeded Archbishop McCarrick in Washington, has said he was not made aware of any sanctions, a statement challenged by Archbishop Viganò.

“There is certainly expectation that they would abide by the regulations of their particular situation,” Sister Euart said, adding that she would find it “unusual” for such penalties to remain secret.

2008

While Archbishop Viganò’s letter says he believes the alleged sanctions were placed in 2009 or 2010, and that they included an order that then-Cardinal McCarrick move from his seminary residence,the Catholic News Agency, citing unnamed sources, reports that then-Cardinal McCarrick made plans to move out of the seminary where he was living in 2008.

2009

In February 2009, then-Cardinal McCarrick traveled to Bermuda and in September traveled to Zimbabwe and South Africa. He also visited Ghaha and Benin, as well as Lebanon, where he celebrated a public Mass, that year.

Then-Cardinal McCarrick was a guest at a party celebrating former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s being received into the Catholic Church.

McCarrick celebrated a Mass for a group of Catholic sisters in April 2009 and he was in New York, where he was the principal celebrant for a Mass celebrating the centennial of America. Then in June, he preached at a Mass in Washington marking the Year for Priests.

In August 2009, Cardinal McCarrick participated in the burial service for U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery. He also concelebrated Mass at the national gathering of the Knights of Columbus in Phoenix.

In November, then-Cardinal McCarrick, along with then-Archbishop Donald Wuerl and Cardinal Sean O’Malley, concelebrated Mass at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

2010

In January, he participated in the installation Mass for Bishop Kevin Rhoades in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Later that month, then-Cardinal McCarrick concelebrated the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

That April, he participated in an ordination Mass in Dallas for two new bishops.

The former cardinal turned 80 in July 2010, which meant he was no longer eligible to participate in papal conclaves.

An article from The Washington Post notes that the cardinal celebrated his birthday with friends at a private Mass and party, but the reporter notes that the cardinal seemed to be avoiding the media.

“There was zero publicity about this week’s happenings, and weeks of our requests to interview Cardinal McCarrick about the milestone and his current work were rebuffed,” the article notes, calling the celebrations “uncharacteristically quiet” and describing the refusal of an interview as “unusual for a man known for being accessible to reporters.”

The cardinal kept up his political advocacy, appearing as part of a press conference in September, during which he urged greater respect for Muslims.

In November, then-Cardinal McCarrick was in Rome, where he concelebrated a Mass with Cardinal Donald Wuerl, his successor, who had just been made a cardinal by Pope Benedict.

He celebrated Christmas Mass at a parish in Maryland.

2011

Reporting on the cardinal’s public schedule picked up considerably in 2011, when Archbishop Viganò arrived at his post in Washington.

The former cardinal participated in an ordination Mass for an auxiliary bishop for the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services in February in Washington.

In March, he celebrated a “family Mass” at Oratory Prep School in New Jersey, which was covered by local media. He also testified in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee about civil rights for Muslims.

In May, he preached during a Mass at the cathedral in Trenton, N.J., and he ordained two friars during a Mass in New York.

The cardinal spoke at a July press conference in Washington to urge the Senate to pass an immigration bill.

In September, then-Cardinal McCarrick was in Iran, along with Washington Episcopal Bishop John Bryson Chane, for a meeting with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to discuss the release of U.S. hikers who were being held on espionage charges.

Then in October, he attended a two-day event for Catholic Charities, including an event held at the National Press Club, and he celebrated Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

And in December, then-Cardinal McCarrick concelebrated a memorial Mass for a deceased bishop in New York, and he appeared on “Meet the Press.”

2012

In January 2012, then-Cardinal McCarrick accompanied other U.S. bishops, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl, to the Vatican, during which he twice met Pope Benedict. During that trip, he concelebrated Mass with Cardinal Wuerl and the other U.S. bishops at the tomb of St. Peter.

Then-Cardinal McCarrick celebrated Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York in February 2012. He was photographed in front of the cathedral with Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

In March, then-Cardinal McCarrick was the keynote speaker at a D.C. fundraiser for Franciscan Mission Service, and in April he received an award from Catholic Charities of Washington, D.C.—presented to him by his successor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, at a gala fundraiser.

In April, then-Cardinal McCarrick was back in Rome, part of a delegation from The Papal Foundation to wish Pope Benedict a happy birthday.

During a May event honoring then-Cardinal McCarrick sponsored by the Pontifical Missions Society, Archbishop Viganò spoke, saying the cardinal is “loved by us all,” and they posed with others for a group photo.

In June, the cardinal traveled to Jordan and Syria, a trip that included a conversation between then-Cardinal McCarrick and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

In November, the cardinal attended an event in Dallas hosted by the Knights of Columbus, and he traveled to Iraq with a group of students from the law school at the Catholic University of America.

2013

In January 2013, then-Cardinal McCarrick celebrated Mass during a visit to the Holy Land.

Pope Benedict announced his resignation on Feb. 11. During a farewell ceremony with cardinals later that month, Benedict shook hands with then-Cardinal McCarrick.

Pope Francis was elected in March. Archbishop Viganò claims that during a meeting of nuncios in June 2013 at the Vatican, he ran into then-Cardinal McCarrick. He writes in the letter that then-Cardinal McCarrick told him, “The pope received me yesterday, tomorrow I am going to China,” which he speculates was the cardinal’s way of informing him that the alleged sanctions had been lifted. 

Archbishop Viganò writes in his letter that Pope Francis asked him his thoughts about then-Cardinal McCarrick during a meeting on June 23, during which, he says in his letter, he told the pope about the existence of “a dossier this thick about him.” He said the pope did not respond.

The Rev. Jonathan Morris cautions that then-Cardinal McCarrick’s public presence during the years he was allegedly sanctioned does not disprove allegations that Pope Benedict removed the retired cardinal from public ministry. He points to his own experience as a former member of the Legionaries of Christ, whose founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, was sanctioned by the Vatican for sexual abuse before he was removed from public ministry in 2006.

Father Morris, a well-known Catholic commentator and a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, said if penalties are kept secret, either to protect the Vatican or to avoid causing scandal, that they naturally become more difficult to enforce.

“If somebody begins to flout those sanctions, what are they going to do? How are they going to stop them? They’re trying to keep them secret,” Father Morris said.

As to the meetings where Pope Benedict greeted then-Cardinal McCarrick, and the kind words from Archbishop Viganò toward the cardinal in 2012, “It is strange. I don’t understand it all,” Father Morris said. But he added he can “imagine different scenarios” where the relationship between the nuncio and the cardinal would appear cordial in public, especially if both men were trying to keep the sanctions secret.

A source close to the Archdiocese in Washington confirms that alleged sanctions from Rome placed on then-Cardinal McCarrick were unknown during the years in question. But the source added that it would not be impossible that the retired archbishop had personally received a warning to keep a lower profile because of accusations against him—but chose to ignore it.

Substantiating Archbishop Vigano’s allegations may hinge on the existence of written documents. And that could be a challenge.

Kurt Martens, a professor of canon law at The Catholic University of America, said that while written documentation is expected when imposing or removing sanctions, sometimes it just does not exist.

“Rome often works with oral reports, and that makes it harder,” he said. “It's the Italian way of dealing with these things, especially when they involve a cardinal or a bishop.”

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john schmidt
2 weeks 6 days ago

Archbishop disputes accusation against pope

ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY — The archbishop of Washington on Monday “categorically denied” ever being informed that Pope Benedict XVI had sanctioned his predecessor for sexual misconduct, undercutting a key element of a bombshell allegation that the current pope covered up clergy abuse.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl issued a statement Monday after the Vatican’s former ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, accused Pope Francis of effectively freeing ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the sanctions in 2013 despite knowing of McCarrick’s sexual predations against seminarians.

Wuerl would have presumably known about the sanctions since McCarrick lived in his archdiocese.

The core of Vigano’s cover- up charge against Francis rests on what sanctions, if any, Benedict imposed on McCarrick and what if anything Francis did to alter them, when armed with the same knowledge of McCarrick’s misdeeds. Vigano, who was Vatican ambassador from 20112016, said he had been told that Benedict imposed sanctions on McCarrick starting in 2009 or 2010, after a decade’s worth of allegations of misconduct had reached the Vatican.

The problem is the record is rife with evidence that McCarrick lived a life devoid of any such restriction in those years. He traveled widely, including for Catholic Relief Services, the humanitarian branch of the U.S. church. He celebrated Mass publicly. He traveled to Rome with the entire U.S. conference of bishops for their once-every-five-year visit in 2012 and was even on hand for Benedict’s final general audience in 2013.

If such sanctions existed, “then McCarrick himself has either somehow forgotten he was under sanction, or he is being woefully disobedient,” said the Rev. Matt Malone, editor of the Jesuit magazine America, who in a series of 13 tweets provided links to news reports, photos and other evidence of McCarrick’s very public ministry in the years that he was purportedly to have retired to a lifetime of prayer and penance devoid of public ministry.

As the archbishop of Washington, where McCarrick lived, Wuerl presumably would have known about any restrictions on McCarrick’s ministry, though it would have actually been up to Vigano and his predecessor to impose and enforce them.

Francis accepted McCarrick’s resignation as cardinal last month, after a U.S. church investigation determined that an accusation he had groped a teenager in the 1970s was credible. Since then, another man has come forward to say McCarrick began molesting him starting when he was 11.

Danny Collins
2 weeks 6 days ago

This is clearly designed to cast doubt on the allegations, but it is unexpectedly fair and balanced in quoting from sources that say flouting secret sanctions wouldn't be unheard of. I'm surprised at the balance coming from a source whose editors knew about McCarrick's crimes and did nothing, as Fr. Martin noted in his article on July 16 (excusing himself because the reports were second-hand knowledge and he hadn't been told by an in-the-flesh victim) and as the editors alluded to in their opinion piece the same week when they spoke of how they considered McCarrick a friend of the publication and honored him at their anniversary celebration and should not escape scrutiny themselves. Compared to the NC Reporter, I'm very impressed.

John Still
2 weeks 6 days ago

Not sure of the point of this article. This is not a debate. Either he was sanctioned or he wasn't. Either Frances knew about it or he didn't. Let the investigation begin and see where it leads. In the meantime, quit taking sides and making it more political than it already is, as this article implicitly does beginning with the title.

Vince Killoran
2 weeks 5 days ago

"Either he was sanctioned or he wasn't." No evidence was offered that he was. There's no need for an investigation unless evidence is presented. The point of the article was to cast doubt on Vilano's raw self-assertion.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

Vince - while this new article does not go to proof of the sanction, it is again very suspicious on several fronts, including why McCarrick, under investigation, was permitted to move from the St. Thomas rectory to the IVE seminary, why he was allowed to have young seminary helpers (coerced?) living with him, why Wuerl thought he needed to move him later on, etc.. http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/seminarians-served-as-mccarrick-ai….

Allison Quinn
2 weeks 4 days ago

Yeah. What is the point of this article? The point is that gay pervert McCarrick should have been arrested and prosecuted. Period. This should’ve happened and should still happen no matter if Francis is pope or somebody else.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 6 days ago

Excellent reporting and detail. Certainly demonstrates a public and active life for McCarrick throughout. The Washington Archdiocese seems to have confirmed the removal of an announcement [in an archdiocesan publication], inviting young men who thought they had a vocation to the priesthood to a meeting with Cardinal McCarrick. Why would this have been done? Also needing an explanation is the testimony of Msgr Lantheaume, 1st Counsellor of the Nunciature, reported to have said “Viganò said the truth. That’s all.” and the priest who witnessed McCarrick’s suspicious move to St. Thomas the Apostle parish in early 2009. There is also the strange report of the move to the Institute of the Incarnate Word and the company McCarrick kept there.

Michael Barberi
2 weeks 6 days ago

Here is the real scandal among all of this blabber in this article. If there was no evidence/documentation that Benedict XVI imposed sanctions on McCarrick in 2009 or 2010, based on all known evidence about McCormick's sexual abuse, then why did Benedict XVI do nothing about McCarrick?

This article claims that McCarrick was not abiding by any sanctions. So, if there is no documentation from Benedict XVI or his emissary to McCarrick about sanctions, then it sounds like Benedict XVI did nothing about McCarrick, and Pope Francis could not have lifted sanctions on McCarrick because there was 'no there, there'.

Contradictions seem to be flying around from one article to the next. A lay-lead, impartial committee inclusive of Vatical officials must get to the bottom of all of these accusations and this horrible sexual abuse scandal with seems to involve 3 popes and many Cardinals and Bishops.

gerald nichols
2 weeks 6 days ago

I also noted the implication about Why wouldn't Benedict have imposed sanctions, and I assume others also have.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 6 days ago

Here's a thought. Another Muller Investigator. Could Pope Francis nominate Cardinal Müller (former CDF head) to lead the investigation? He is available, has a good record of being solid on zero tolerance, very hard worker, highly intelligent, and is not especially close to Pope Francis (who did not renew his CDF appointment), although he is extremely honest and faithful to the Church. Along with lay professionals, it would immediately give Pope Francis credibility for openness to a thorough investigation.

A Fielder
2 weeks 6 days ago

There is another possibility. Let’s say Benedict did sanction McCarrick; he did move out of the seminary. If he was being disciplined for misconduct with adults (not minors) he might have taken advantage of the opportunity to make an “intervention” (Therapy... with a successful result.) At that point the sanctions might be officially lifted, and McCarrick could have resumed his public ministry with Pope Benedict’s knowledge and consent. Clerics credibly.accused of sexual assault would be given the same chance.

John Walton
2 weeks 6 days ago

Cardinal McCarrick officiated at Good Friday afternoon services at our parish in S. Orange twice the past couple years. His sermons had gotten a bit windy, lengthy. On the second occasion of his service he said at the start: "Don't worry, I am not going to give the same sermon I gave last year." The soprano in front of me looked back at our tenor section and said "Oh yes he will." Indeed he gave the same sermon two years in a row.

What a complex guy. He was very supportive of the efforts to keep inner city Catholic schools in business.

Susan Liang
2 weeks 6 days ago

McCarrick is the perfect profile in evil.

He could only have existed with the consent of willing bystanders in the papacy.

How many of these priestly witnesses thought, and still think, "Its just sex", when they countenanced the destruction of the lives of children?

They far too easily populate this waking nightmare of crime.

An abomination that makes desolate, in the holy place.

Henry Brown
2 weeks 6 days ago

I don't know if this is an attempt to impugn Francis in an effort to
bring the downfall of his papacy or not or memories have gotten confused
over the years or what.

However, how could McCarrick have gotten away with what he did for so long
and why is he still a priest - what more do you have to do - to be laicised ?

All the vitriol being thrown around at the opposing sides fails to acknowledge
one simple question:

How did McCarrick get away with this for so long ?

A Fielder
2 weeks 6 days ago

George, condidering that McCarrick did get away with this for such a long time, and that it was an open secret, just imagine how many other clerics expect to have active sex lives with no consequence? This points to a serious cultural problem. The church’s inability to enforce the discipline of celibacy is global and not limited to gay men. Although, it’s much more difficult for heterosexual Americans to find casual sexual partners. I imagined there could be deep resentments between those who are faithful and those who aren’t.

Allison Quinn
2 weeks 6 days ago

It’s amazing that a mortal sinner and pervert would be accepting awards and giving speeches. Satan has been busy in the post-Vat2 era. Sick. Indeed, he should be laicized and given his perverted knowingly abusing conscience he should be excommunicated.

Will Niermeyer
2 weeks 6 days ago

The Pope must publically state if McCarrick was or was not sanctioned. Are any of them thinking about the credibility of the Church and all its ministers.

Mona Villarrubia
2 weeks 6 days ago

There once was a sheep farmer with a very large flock. So large he had to use lots of sheepdogs whom he trained to guard his sheep, guide them in for branding and shearing, and protect them and their offspring from predators – especially wolves. The sheep had come to love and trust the farmer, and because of that they accepted the role of the sheepdogs and came to love and trust them also.

Yet, as hard as the farmer and his dogs tried to protect them, every month there was always one or two lambs found with their throats torn out, their mothers bleating noisily at their side, trying to lick away the blood and make their babies whole again.

One spring the farmer had a visitor who wanted to evaluate his farming methods. The visitor’s name was Tom. Tom spent days and nights watching, taking notes, compiling his report. Then Tom presented his report to the farmer. Tom had concluded that the lambs were not being killed by wolves at all, they were secretly being killed by sheepdogs. Well, the farmer got angry and just tore up the report. “That’s nonsense!” said the farmer, “I know my dogs; I trained them well. They wouldn’t hurt a lamb. Never!”
And the farmer sent a letter to Tom’s boss and Tom was fired.

And after each lamb was found slaughtered by the “wolves” the carcass was cut up and the bones were fed to the sheepdogs, whose blood lust was thereby further aroused.

Derrick Kourie
2 weeks 6 days ago

It would be interesting to know what McCarrick answer to the question: "Were you sanctioned by pope Benedict?" Somebody ought to ask him.

Vincent Couling
2 weeks 6 days ago

Excellent point, Derrick! It would also be interesting to know what Benedict XVI's answer to the question "did you sanction Cardinal McCarrick?" would be ... somebody ought to ask him.

Harvey Milk, MD
2 weeks 6 days ago

Why bother asking a liar a question? Vigano too was called a liar by his brother, a Jesuit priest and scholar.

This entire drama is being fueled by liars: McCarrick did not honor his vows of celibacy, Vigano lied to Pope B16 according to his brother, Vigano did not honor his vows of humility and service to the Vicars of Christ (JPII, B16 and Francis) and both the Left and the Right are using the abuse of children (like me) to further their political ideologies. Im all for hanging these prigs but that is my lack of mercy showing

“Throughout his power struggle, Archbishop Viganò had been writing urgent appeals to Benedict to stay in the Vatican. He said he needed to stay because his brother, a Jesuit biblical scholar, was sick and needed care, and he accused Cardinal Bertone of breaking his promise to promote him to the rank of cardinal. ...But Archbishop Viganò’s brother, Lorenzo Viganò, told Italian journalists that his brother “lied” to Benedict that he had to remain in Rome “because he had to take care of me, sick.” To the contrary, he said he had lived in Chicago and was fine and hadn’t talked to his brother in years over an inheritance dispute.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/28/world/europe/archbishop-carlo-maria-…

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

Bill - as you go around declaring people liars and untrustworthy, consider your own life and this verse from St. John: "Whoever says, 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person." (1 Jn 2:4)

Jorge Luis Luaces Rabaza
2 weeks 5 days ago

"as you go around declaring people liars and untrustworthy"

This from Tim O'Leary who attacks Pope Francis's papacy non-stop on these forums.

As previously stated Abp. Carlo Vigano's brother, a Jesuit priest and a scholar, Fr Lorenzo Viagno, stated his brother is a liar. Carlo Vigano lied to Pope Benedict XVI about using him (Lorenzo) as an excuse to Pope Benedict XVI

Tim, if you have some reliable information (NC Register, Edward Pentin, First Things, Breitbart, etc) that contradicts what Fr Lorenzo Vizano stated about his brother, the infamous Carlo Vigano, then please share it. Otherwise, it would be fitting for you to start defending those who would undermine this papacy.

"But Archbishop Viganò’s brother, Lorenzo Viganò, told Italian journalists that his brother “lied” to Benedict that he had to remain in Rome “because he had to take care of me, sick.” To the contrary, he said he had lived in Chicago and was fine and hadn’t talked to his brother in years over an inheritance dispute."
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/28/world/europe/archbishop-carlo-maria-…

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

Guillermo - It is only another lie that I attack "Pope Francis's papacy non-stop on these forums." I often defend him. Even on this issue, I have opposed calls for him to resign. I have appealed for journalists to get the information to clear him of Vigano's charges. This issue with McCarrick goes to the very heart of the Church's governance. If true, it is worse than Chile. If false, it needs to be demonstrated as so as quickly as possible, so Pope Francis can have the credibility to fire whoever protected McCarrick from him. The Honduras situation also needs urgent resolution. Is it possible some of Pope Francis's defenders think he is guilty and don't want an investigation? It is usually the innocent who want their day in court (recall that Cardinal Pell rushed home to defend himself - that suggests innocence). I do not know if Archbishop Vigano has lied before, That is beside the point. Are his present allegations true or false?

Michael Barberi
2 weeks 5 days ago

Today I read in The Tablet that Cardinal DiNardo expects to met with Pope Francis and gain his blessing for the way forward which is what the USCCB approved on August 26, namely, that the McCormick scandal, Vigano letter and the Grand Jury PA Report be investigated by an Independent National Lay Committee with Vatican participation.

This is what we need. Let's see how this plays out.

Andrew Strada
2 weeks 5 days ago

If sanctions were not established until recently, how exactly is that a good thing for the Church hierarchy? Given what was known and when it was known, if reports are to be believed, there does appear to be gross negligence on the part of some people in key positions.

Michael Barberi
2 weeks 5 days ago

Precisely, Why did Pope Benedict XVI not sanction McCarrick after his sexual abuse accusations were widely known by the hierarchy?

Crystal Watson
2 weeks 5 days ago

Because he wanted to keep it from lay Catholics?

Michael Barberi
2 weeks 5 days ago

Crystal,

Here is how I see it.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as prefect of the CDF and then as pope Benedict XVI dealt with clergy sexual abuse, in particular by Marcial Maciel. At that time, we know that Pope JP II was reluctant to sanction Maciel. However, when Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI he did not hesitate to remove Maciel from head of the Legion of Christ and to a life of penance. Nevertheless, you raise a good point. Could it be possible that Benedict XVI was fearful of sanctioning Cardinal McCarrick because he was a Cardinal and fearful that this news might become known by lay Catholics? Maybe, but I tend to doubt this.

The real scandal here is this: either Benedict XVI did not impose sanctions on McCarrick (and was guilt of gross negligence) or he did impose sanctions on McCarrick, McCarrick ignored them but Benedict XVI did nothing about it (and was guilty of gross negligence). I seriously doubt that the evidence against McCarrick was withheld from Benedict XVI by his Cardinal advisors. If this is true, we are dealing with a larger problem.

Crystal Watson
2 weeks 5 days ago

It wouldn't be the first time B16 had failed to act on sex abuse ... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8587082.stm ... there was actually a movie made about it, "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God"

C Jones
2 weeks 4 days ago

Shameful catamitic concupiscence shielded in a tower of Babel rocks the foundations of the Church. How many Sacraments were invalidated despite assurances of validity?
Oh vanity of vanities! Do we belong to Apollos, to Paul, or to Francis? Rid the Church of wolves in sheepskin. Get a grip!
Psyche, sarx, and pneuma are in confusion. Order needs to be restored. The big, bad wolf (Satan) rejoices as the flock is scattered and his pack of demons pick off the vulnerable one by one.
Good shepherds are needed, not those who just cry wolf.

Kevin Murphy
2 weeks 4 days ago

Circling the wagons.

James M.
2 weeks 2 days ago

If McCarrick had been a teacher at a Catholic school, or an organist at a Catholic church, he would have been informed, in no uncertain terms, that his services were no longer required.
But he was a very high-ranking Churchman, so his activities were hushed up. There is one law for Joe Bloggs, Catholic layman of no importance, and a very different law for His Eminence Joseph, Cardinal Bloggs, cardinal-priest of Saint Hypocrisia.

Everyone else is scrutinised - but not the bishops. What happened to “Who guards the Guardians” ?

Richard Neagle
2 weeks 2 days ago

"substantiating Archbishop Vigano’s allegations may hinge on the existence of written documents. And that could be a challenge."
Or just maybe the Popes or even McCarrick just simply answering the just answering these questions raised with honesty. Or is that just too much to ask for? I don't think so.

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