The Vatican Report on Mr. McCarrick

Perhaps lost in the tsunami of news coverage for the 2020 Presidential election, came the release of the Vatican’s report recounting the 30-year history of accusations against former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick – and the reporting of such accusations “up the chain of command” across the pontificates of Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis. The report is 449 pages long and appears to be thorough in its accounting of the internal correspondence and reporting within Church channels (as near as one all tell such things.) The report is exhaustive and at times exhausting. Not only were over 90 interviews conducted, but extensive quotations from relevant Vatican correspondence and documents reveal the internal back and forth between individuals and offices. 

Before reading the report, I took a long period of time to pray for all victims of sexual abuse, those abused within the Catholic Church, and their families and loved ones who continue to deal with the consequences of the sins and crimes of these predators. I prayed for their ongoing healing. I prayed too that we as the faithful of the Church will never forget and no matter our role in the Church, we will respond in a way that protects victims and those who report these sins/crimes. I prayed for myself. I took my first vows as a Franciscan in the same year the Boston Post reports broke open the scandals. I had no illusions. I had faith and a calling. But, it has been almost 20 years…so I keep praying.  Continue reading

Being a Covenant People

It is with profound sadness that all of us in the parish encountered the news released in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on sexual abuse with the diocese of their state. The opening words of the Washington Post report are as stark and horrific as possible: “More than 300 Catholic priests across Pennsylvania sexually abused children over seven decades, protected by a hierarchy of church leaders who covered it up, according to a sweeping grand jury report.”  I am reminded of the words of St. Catherine of Siena. Continue reading