JesuiticalNovember 20, 2020
Bishops and priests attend Pope Francis' celebration of Mass marking the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 

The release of the McCarrick report has once again brought the church’s sex abuse crisis back to the headlines—and once again Catholics are asking: What is the root cause? Clericalism, writes Sam Sawyer, S.J., a Jesuit priest and our colleague at America Media. While we may not know what drive any individual person to abuse, he believes the McCarrick report confirms that clericalism explains how Theodore McCarrick was able to rise through the ranks of the hierarchy despite persistent rumors of sexual misconduct.

We ask Sam how clericalism plays both at the Vatican and in our own parishes, and what priests and laypeople alike can do to root it out.

In Signs of the Times, we discuss the U.S. bishops’ general assembly and the creation of a new working group to address what Archbishop José Gomez called the “difficult and complex situation” they see in Joe Biden—the second Catholic president in U.S. history. How should the bishops engage the Biden administration on issues like abortion and religious liberty?

Links from the show:

U.S. bishops express concern over a having a Catholic president who is pro-choice
The McCarrick Report confirms it: Clericalism powered the sex abuse crisis.

What’s on tap?

Boulevardiers: 1 ½ ounces bourbon, ¾ ounce sweet vermouth, ¾ ounce Campari. Twist of orange peel, for garnish

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

City and state/province, or if outside Canada or the U.S., city and country. 
When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.

The latest from america

Stock close-up image of a black bulletin board with confession times.
First: You are not required to talk about sex in the confessional.
Jim McDermottOctober 21, 2021
On this episode of “Inside the Vatican,” host Colleen Dulle and Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell look at how Pope Francis' relationship with grassroots activists differs from past popes’.
Inside the VaticanOctober 21, 2021
Monseigneur Georg Ratzinger and his brother, Pope Benedict XVI, take a walk through the garden of a house the pope owns in Pentling, near Regensburg, Germany, on Sept. 13, 2006.
Benedict’s longing for heaven, recently hinted at in a letter of condolence, is not to be interpreted as meaning that the former pope “no longer has any desire to live.”
KNA InternationalOctober 21, 2021
Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa is one of the brave women who are pushing back against those who employ social media to distort the truth and undermine the trust of citizens.
Ed GarciaOctober 21, 2021