Top News

Vatican Report Places Blame for McCarrick’s Ascent on John Paul II

Share this:

VATICAN CITY — A extremely anticipated Vatican report discovered on Tuesday that Pope John Paul II had rejected express warnings about sexual misconduct by Theodore E. McCarrick, now a disgraced former cardinal, selecting to imagine the American prelate’s denials and deceptive accounts by bishops as he elevated him to the very best ranks of the church hierarchy.

As Washington’s archbishop, Mr. McCarrick was some of the highly effective leaders of the Roman Catholic Church within the United States, a media darling and prodigious fund-raiser with deep connections within the Vatican. But he turned the highest-ranking American official to be eliminated for sexual abuse when the pope kicked him out of the priesthood in 2019.

Given Mr. McCarrick’s lengthy profession — as a priest in New York, archbishop of Newark and a Washington cardinal with a nationwide and worldwide profile — the 449-page report had the potential to engulf three separate papacies in scandal. Since the abuse carried out by Mr. McCarrick turned public in 2017, conservative critics have accused Francis of overlaying up the American’s misconduct.

But the investigation, commissioned by Francis, who had promised to “follow the path of truth wherever it may lead,” largely absolved the present pope. Instead, it put fault mainly with Francis’ conservative predecessors, specifically Pope John Paul II — elevated to sainthood since his demise — who believed Mr. McCarrick’s denials of the allegations of sexual misconduct and promoted him.

“Pope John Paul II personally made the decision to appoint McCarrick,” the report says, regardless of receiving a letter in 1999 from Cardinal John O’Connor, then the archbishop of New York, that summed up allegations, some nameless, that Mr. McCarrick had engaged in sexual conduct with one other priest in 1987, that he had dedicated pedophilia and that he shared a mattress with younger grownup males and seminarians.

John Paul II ordered an investigation to find out whether or not the allegations had been true. Bishops discovered that Mr. McCarrick had shared a mattress with younger males however mentioned they weren’t certain there had been sexual misconduct, in line with the inquiry, which now considers the data offered by these bishops to have been deceptive.

“What is now known,” the report says, “is that three of the four American bishops provided inaccurate and incomplete information to the Holy See regarding McCarrick’s sexual conduct with young adults.”

The inquiry additionally notes that Mr. McCarrick appealed on to Pope John Paul II’s gatekeeper, Bishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, to insist on his innocence.

“McCarrick’s denial was believed,” the report says, and the allegations had been dismissed as rumor.

Archbishop José H. Gómez, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, welcomed the report for its “transparency in addressing issues of abuse.”

Advocates for abuse survivors additionally hailed the report. “The Vatican’s first forthright account of its own cover-up of a sexual predator,” wrote Anne Barrett Doyle, a director of

But she famous that whereas the revelations about John Paul II had been essential, the report let Francis conceal behind an endemic follow of believable deniability. “Didn’t the pope wonder if those rumors had substance?” she wrote, including, “Francis’ lack of curiosity was at best negligent, at worst corrupt.”

The Vatican report mentioned “no limit was placed on the examination of documents, the questioning of individuals or the expenditure of resources necessary to carry out the investigation.” It mentioned that greater than 90 witnesses had been interviewed, together with cardinals, bishops, American seminarians and monks who overlapped with Mr. McCarrick all through his profession.

Some recounted “sexual abuse or assault, unwanted sexual activity, intimate physical contact and the sharing of beds without physical touching,” it mentioned. Those accounts, which the Vatican warned may very well be “traumatizing” to Mr. McCarrick’s victims, in addition to testimony about Mr. McCarrick’s abuses of energy, had been “made available to Pope Francis.”

But the discovering is also disconcerting to the devoted, particularly because it appeared to cloud the status of Pope John Paul II. The Vatican report took pains to defend the pope, arguing that “John Paul II’s past experience in Poland regarding the use of spurious allegations against bishops” to harm the church “played a role in his willingness to believe” Mr. McCarrick.

Pope John Paul II appointed Mr. McCarrick as Washington’s archbishop in November 2000.

In 2005, new particulars about allegations in opposition to Mr. McCarrick surfaced and John Paul II’s successor, Pope Benedict XVI, “urgently sought” to substitute Mr. McCarrick because the archbishop of Washington. In 2006, Mr. McCarrick was changed within the submit.

In 2006 and 2008, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, an official within the Holy See’s Secretariat of State who subsequently turned the Vatican ambassador to the United States, wrote two letters urging his superiors to begin a church authorized process to deal with the allegations and rumors in opposition to Mr. McCarrick.

The concern was introduced on to the eye of Pope Benedict, who determined in opposition to that path. “Instead, the decision was made to appeal to McCarrick’s conscience” and for him to “maintain a lower profile,” the inquiry discovered.

The Vatican report defended Pope Benedict by arguing that there have been on the time no credible accusations of kid abuse in opposition to Mr. McCarrick. It added that Benedict had not been “kept apprised of McCarrick’s activities” within the United States or abroad after that.

But when Archbishop Viganò turned ambassador in 2011, he acquired additional details about allegations of sexual misconduct by Mr. McCarrick and in 2012 wrote to his superiors within the Vatican.

The report says that the Vatican instructed Archbishop Viganò to conduct an inquiry to find out whether or not the allegations had been credible.

“Viganò did not take these steps,” the report says.

That line has a whiff of rating settling to it. In August 2018, Archbishop Viganò shocked the church with a public letter claiming that the Vatican hierarchy, together with Pope Francis, was complicit in overlaying up accusations that Mr. McCarrick had sexually abused seminarians.

The letter additionally accused Mr. McCarrick of advancing corrupt networks linked to gay relationships inside church management, and it uncovered deep ideological clashes on the church’s highest ranges, with conservatives taking on arms in opposition to Francis’ inclusive imaginative and prescient of a church much less centered on divisive points like abortion and homosexuality. The expenses got here amid a renewed explosion of the scandal over sexual abuse within the church that threatened Francis’ papacy.

Archbishop Viganò claimed that he had personally warned Francis about Mr. McCarrick’s violations in 2013, however that Francis had failed to use sanctions on the American prelate.

Francis instructed the Mexican broadcaster Televisa that he knew nothing about Mr. McCarrick’s previous. He additionally mentioned that he didn’t recall if Archbishop Viganò had ever introduced the problem to his consideration. The report provides that “no records support Viganò’s account” about his elevating the problem with Francis in 2013.

The Vatican report does give help to Archbishop Viganò’s assertions that Pope Benedict XVI had already punished Mr. McCarrick for his abuse of seminarians and monks, nonetheless. The archbishop wrote that Benedict had banned the American cardinal from publicly celebrating Mass, from residing in a seminary and from touring to offer lectures.

Pope Francis, Archbishop Viganò charged, ignored that penalty, releasing Mr. McCarrick to develop into a kingmaker of bishops within the church.

But the report says that whereas Pope Francis did obtain notification concerning the prior indications by Benedict from high church officers, he was not given documentation relating to allegations in opposition to Mr. McCarrick till 2017. Believing that they’d already been totally reviewed, the Vatican report mentioned Francis “did not see the need to alter the approach that had been adopted in prior years.”

When credible allegations of sexual abuse by Mr. McCarrick of a minor emerged that yr, Francis stripped Mr. McCarrick of his rank of cardinal and subsequently eliminated him from the priesthood in February 2019, after the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith discovered him responsible of solicitation throughout confession and of abuse.

Pope Francis ordered the report in 2018 as a response to essentially the most delicate and damaging interval of his preach, when a long-festering clerical sexual abuse scandal to which he at occasions appeared blind exploded on his watch.

Francis has often attributed the disaster to clericalism, a systemic abuse of energy and the unhealthy pursuit of authority inside the church’s hierarchy.

The McCarrick scandal has already pressured a reckoning contained in the church about how clerics can use their authority to abuse not simply minors however adults, relationships the Vatican had lengthy performed down as consensual fairly than an abuse of energy.

That abuse actually appeared in proof within the report, which quotes one of many monks victimized by Mr. McCarrick as saying that the disgraced American prelate “tried to convince me that priests engaging in sexual activity with each other was normal and accepted in the United States.”

In mild of the truth that Mr. McCarrick was his superior, the priest mentioned he had been “afraid,” particularly as a result of he felt his immigration standing on the time made him susceptible.

The report didn’t present an accounting of Mr. McCarrick’s fund-raising actions, and argued that “they were not determinative with respect to major decisions relating to McCarrick.” Over the a long time, Mr. McCarrick directed hundreds of thousands of {dollars} to John Paul II, Benedict and Francis for papal charities by means of his Papal Foundation, which drew contributions from rich American Catholics.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the church’s secretary of state and second-ranking official, mentioned in an announcement on Tuesday, “We publish the report with sorrow for the wounds that these events have caused.”

He mentioned the inquiry confirmed how choices, together with the appointment of bishops, depended “on the commitment and honesty of the people concerned.”

Reporting was contributed by Sharon Otterman from New York, Elisabetta Povoledo from Rome, Elizabeth Dias from Washington and Ruth Graham from Warner, N.H.

Source hyperlink

Comment here