In many ways, the Vatican’s recently released report on the ascent of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick through the ranks of Church leadership is an unprecedented exposition of the inner workings of ecclesial appointments, a process that failed repeatedly and catastrophically in allowing a known sexual abuser to become one of the most powerful clerics in the U.S.
But according to some Catholics, it’s what’s not included in the McCarrick Report’s voluminous contents that speaks the loudest. Those with this perspective say that the report neglects to address several critical questions, raising concerns that Church leadership has not learned its lesson from this shameful saga and that the McCarrick Report itself may be an instance of the type of self-preserving, institutional failure it claims to impartially investigate.
“If the faithful perceive that the hierarchy is committed to ‘business as usual,’ and that the McCarrick Report is the final word on this, it will be practically impossible to regain their trust,” Bishop Michael Olson of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, told the Register, adding that a perceived lack of ecclesial transparency leads to doubt and confusion among the faithful, classically defined as scandal.
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