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Pope Orders Investigation Of Vatican’s McCarrick Files

October 18, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

By J.D. FLYNN

VATICAN CITY (CNA) — The Vatican announced Saturday, October 6 that it would review its files pertaining to allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused in recent months of serially sexually abusing two teenage boys, and of sexually coercing and assaulting priests and seminarians during decades of ministry as a bishop.
The Archdiocese of New York has already conducted a formal investigation into one allegation that McCarrick serially sexually abused a teenage boy in New York, and announced in June that the allegation had been found credible.
In an October 6 statement, the Vatican said that Pope Francis has decided to combine the information from that investigation “with a further thorough study of the entire documentation present in the Archives of the Dicasteries and Offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick, in order to ascertain all the relevant facts, to place them in their historical context and to evaluate them objectively.”
“The Holy See is conscious that, from the examination of the facts and of the circumstances, it may emerge that choices were taken that would not be consonant with a contemporary approach to such issues,” the statement added.
“However, as Pope Francis has said: ‘We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead’.”
McCarrick is the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., and served before that as archbishop of Newark, bishop of Metuchen, N.J., and auxiliary bishop in New York.
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked the Pope for a thorough Vatican investigation — called an apostolic visitation — into McCarrick, and his ecclesiastical career in the U.S. Although DiNardo repeated that request during a September 13 meeting between the Pope and U.S. bishops’ conference leaders, the Vatican has thus far declined to order the visitation.
The investigation announced October 6 is not an apostolic visitation. It has been announced as a review of documents already “in the Archives of the Dicasteries and Offices of the Holy See.”
A source familiar with the investigation told Catholic News Agency that the Archdiocese of Washington has gathered additional information about McCarrick that could be included in the Vatican review.
At least some American bishops have had knowledge of some aspects of McCarrick’s alleged misconduct since 2005, when two New Jersey dioceses reached a legal settlement with some alleged victims of the archbishop. A further settlement was reached in 2007.
Questions have been raised about whether those bishops properly acted upon knowledge of allegations against McCarrick, and whether and when other American bishops, among them Donald Cardinal Wuerl of Washington, D.C., had knowledge of the archbishop’s conduct.
One American bishop, Joseph Cardinal Tobin of Newark, told a journalist in August that he had heard rumors in 2017 about sexual misconduct on the part of McCarrick, but declined to investigate them because they seemed unbelievable.

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