Skip links

Waiting for the McCarrick Report

NY’s Cardinal Dolan held an online held a video conference for the clergy Tuesday and said that his sources tell him that the McCarrick report will be out later this month. He said he does not know what is in it. The latter seems believable; the former remains to be seen.

It has been two years since the Vatican announced it would be conducting preparing a report on the case of Theodore McCarrick. Cardinal Parolin said of the report’s release, “The publication depends on the pope. The work that is done is done, but the pope must give the final word. . . .I think that it will come out soon. I cannot tell you exactly when.” That was in early February.

The second anniversary of McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals has come and gone. Since then, the bishops’ conference has twice voted against publicly petitioning Pope Francis to release the report promptly and in full.

To almost everyone – including many bishops individually, if not corporately – the release of the McCarrick report is an obvious and necessary step in establishing transparency. Ideally, such transparency would lead to accountability. Giving account to the faithful for the trust that has been taken from them ought to be seen as a matter of justice.

More than that, the release of the McCarrick report is a necessary step toward the kind of reconciliation our Church, so marred and divided, badly needs. If our shepherds hope to regain the trust that has been squandered, then our shepherds must be willing to name the failings for which they would seek forgiveness. The hierarchy’s calls for healing and forgiveness ring hollow so long as it conceals from its members the full extent of what our leaders did and failed to do.

There is a reason Catholics are obliged to confess grave sins, in kind and number, before being given absolution. And the reason is not that God is stingy with his mercy. The reason is that a penitent who will not honestly disclose his sins to the Lord, a penitent who is not contrite, is not ready to be forgiven.

How can prelates (be they bishops or cardinals or popes) who cannot bring themselves to honestly disclose the wrongs that have been done – the harm that has been done to the faithful –expect to find forgiveness and reconciliation? And this is not because the faithful are stingy in mercy, but because the refusal, to be honest, is a clear sign of a lack of contrition.

Read more at The Catholic Thing

Share with Friends: