It has now been one year since the Archdiocese of New York announced that it had received a credible accusation that the retired Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, had, as a priest, sexually abused a high school seminarian in the basement of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This stunning revelation led to a series of further revelations about McCarrick, and about bishops who knew about McCarrick’s immoral behavior, which have shaken the trust and confidence of Catholics in the Church, and specifically confidence in her hierarchy. McCarrick was found guilty of multiple grave crimes and was expelled from the priesthood by Pope Francis. Was this sufficient punishment?
McCarrick has never publicly admitted his guilt in the face of the overwhelming evidence of his crimes. He has not asked forgiveness of his victims, not made monetary reparations to them for the grave harm he inflicted upon them. He remains in a Kansas Capuchin friary adjacent to a parochial school as a non-paying guest; his expulsion from the priesthood has not resulted in any change in his Church provided living arrangements.
This is remarkable. How many other forcibly laicized priests found guilty of sexually molesting young men would be given this consideration? Why has he not been shown the door and told to come clean by the Holy See or the Bishop of Salina or the Capuchin superior?
Is it not clear that this passivity in allowing this man to remain in the friary is correctly seen to be a further insult to those he victimized over the years? McCarrick used his authority as a priest and bishop to commit horrendous crimes, financing his criminal lifestyle with the money donated by the faithful to promote the works of the Church. He has lied to the Church and to the entire world about his evil acts. He coerced innocent youths into acts of depravity and pretends to this day that nothing happened.
The Catholic Church should never tolerate a situation in which a once powerful man who committed grave crimes is treated as if he were still a powerful man who can be allowed to escape the consequences of his punishment. Does anyone think that any American diocese would offer free room and board in a rectory or convent to a laicized priest who almost certainly has sufficient money in the bank to live on his own?
Read more at The Catholic Thing