McCarrick Report Mute Bishops
The first day of the plenary meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was disappointing in virtually every regard. Indeed, the only good idea to come from this virtual meeting was the image of some bishops who had neglected to unmute themselves, talking with no sound. It is a metaphor for the conference at this moment in time: Their mouths move but they have nothing to say.
If you wanted to write a short story about the reception of the McCarrick report by the U.S. bishops, you might call it “The nuncio that dare not speak his name.” There were a dozen or so interventions in the public discussion of the McCarrick report, no bishop mentioned the name of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, and not one bishop apologized for testifying to Viganò’s “integrity” when the disgraced former nuncio used the McCarrick scandal as a vehicle to attack his enemies and call for the pope’s resignation.
Asked about this during the press conference that followed the event, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services said it was not the conference’s job to “hand slap” bishops. What Broglio fails to see is that this is precisely the problem at the heart of the McCarrick report: the fact that there was no effective fraternal correction before it was too late. Even when St. Pope John Paul II decided to believe McCarrick’s denial that he had done anything wrong, McCarrick’s own letter admitted he had shared beds with seminarians. In what moral universe is that OK?