“REPORT ON THE HOLY SEE’S INSTITUTIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND DECISION-MAKING RELATED TO FORMER CARDINAL THEODORE EDGAR MCCARRICK (1930 TO 2017)”
An overview from CNA:
The Vatican’s Secretariat of State published Tuesday a report on Theodore McCarrick, saying that the Holy See had received inaccurate information about McCarrick from three New Jersey bishops before McCarrick’s 2001 appointment as archbishop of Washington.
According to a summary of the McCarrick Report provided to journalists Nov. 10 before the publication of the full report, four New Jersey bishops had been asked in 2000 to respond to a written inquiry into allegations about McCarrick, who was then the Archbishop of Newark.
Then-U.S. nuncio Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo received information from the bishops confirming allegations that McCarrick had shared a bed with seminarians at a New Jersey beach house, but there was no “certainty” he had engaged in sexual misconduct.
Because of the report’s investigation, it is now known that “three of the four American bishops provided inaccurate and incomplete information to the Holy See regarding McCarrick’s sexual conduct with young adults,” it states.
This misinformation was part of what may have informed Pope John Paul II’s decision to appoint McCarrick archbishop of Washington in November 2000, the report said.
The report states that on three prior occasions transfers of McCarrick to other U.S. dioceses were stopped: to Chicago in 1997, to New York in 1999 and 2000, and to Washington in July 2000.
Allegations about McCarrick were sent to nuncio Montalvo in a letter on Oct. 28, 1999 by Cardinal John O’Connor, then the archbishop of New York, and subsequently shared with John Paul II, the report states.
The report says that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who called for Pope Francis to resign over his handling of McCarrick in 2018, failed in 2012 to follow instructions to investigate allegations against McCarrick.
Read more. Stay tuned.
From The New York Times:
The Vatican on Tuesday released a highly anticipated report investigating how the disgraced former prelate Theodore E. McCarrick rose through the Roman Catholic hierarchy to become one of America’s most powerful cardinals, despite longstanding allegations of sexual misconduct that ultimately led to his downfall.
The report, which, given Mr. McCarrick’s long career in the church, had the potential to engulf three separate papacies in scandal, did not directly cast blame on Francis or his predecessors for knowingly abetting or protecting him. But a 14-page summary of the report, which included a Who’s Who of Vatican power players and American church officials, seemed to put it at the apostolic doorstep of Pope John Paul II.
“Pope John Paul II personally made the decision to appoint McCarrick,” the report says, despite receiving a letter from Cardinal John O’Connor, the archbishop of New York, that summed up allegations, some anonymous, that Mr. McCarrick had engaged in sexual conduct with another priest in 1987, that he had committed pedophilia with his “nephews” and that he shared a bed with young adult men and seminarians.
Pope John Paul II ordered an investigation to determine if the allegations were true. Bishops found that Mr. McCarrick had shared a bed with young men but were not sure there was sexual misconduct, according to the report. The report now considers the information provided by those bishops to have been misleading.
Austin Iverleigh writes at Where Peter Is:
There are two jaw-dropping revelations in the Vatican report on the apparently irresistible rise of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
The first is that St John Paul II personally made the decision to name McCarrick Archbishop of Washington in November 2000 despite being fully aware of many reports of his predatory sexual behavior as head of two previous dioceses, including sleeping with seminarians and soliciting sex from priests. The decision is even more astonishing given that the pope had already passed over McCarrick for two other important sees because of those same reports.
The second astonishing reveal comes 12 years later, after Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s appointment as apostolic nuncio to the United States.
When a priest (described in the report as “Priest 3”) in McCarrick’s former diocese of Metuchen informed the nuncio of his lawsuit he was bringing over McCarrick’s sexual misconduct, Viganò naturally informed Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops in Rome. Ouellet told him to launch an inquiry into the allegation, following a series of steps.
Yet “Viganò did not take these steps,” the report says, “and therefore never placed himself in the position to ascertain the credibility of Priest 3.”
The difference between the two revelations is that the report offers a convincing explanation of the first: not justifying it, but providing context to understand how it could have happened. The disobedience and negligence of Viganò, on the other hand, are left hanging, crying out for an explanation for which there appears to be none.
Given the former nuncio’s extravagant efforts to paint himself as a lonely righteous crusader vainly seeking to persuade authorities to act against McCarrick, the revelation will come as a major shock to those convinced of his integrity.
The USCCB’s statement, from Archbishop Jose Gomez:
I welcome the report of the Holy See’s investigation into its knowledge and decision-making regarding Theodore McCarrick during his long career as a priest, bishop, and cardinal. We are studying these findings, and we are grateful to our Holy Father Pope Francis for his pastoral concern for the family of God in the United States and his leadership in calling the Church to greater accountability and transparency in addressing issues of abuse and the mishandling of abuse claims at every level.
This is another tragic chapter in the Church’s long struggle to confront the crimes of sexual abuse by clergy. To McCarrick’s victims and their families, and to every victim-survivor of sexual abuse by the clergy, I express my profound sorrow and deepest apologies. Please know that my brother bishops and I are committed to doing whatever is in our power to help you move forward and to ensure that no one suffers what you have been forced to suffer.
To all those who have suffered abuse by a priest, bishop, or someone in the Church, I urge you to report this abuse to law enforcement and to Church authorities. You can find detailed information on how and where to report abuse at www.usccb.org/committees/protection-children-young-people/how-report-abuse.
This report underscores the need for us to repent and grow in our commitment to serve the people of God. Let us all continue to pray and strive for the conversion of our hearts, and that we might follow Jesus Christ with integrity and humility.
Stay tuned. I’m sure there’s more to come.
Meanwhile, you can find the entire report — all 461 pages of it — at this link.