Time Vatican McCarrick Report
As we publish this, it has been one year, 10 months, and six days since Pope Francis ordered a report on the Vatican’s documentation about how Theodore McCarrick was promoted through the ranks of the Catholic hierarchy for decades, despite multiple, then-secret reports of his sexual misconduct with seminarians.
And it has been six months and six days since a Vatican official last gave a public update on the status of the report, when Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told the Reuters news agency that work on the text was done, awaiting only a final “go” order for publication from Francis.
Certainly, the world has changed in drastic ways since the pontiff first ordered the report on Oct. 6, 2018, and even since Parolin gave the last progress update on Feb. 6.
From March through mid-May, the Vatican was effectively closed for business by Italy’s strict coronavirus lockdown, which may have prevented any necessary final review of archival documents. Given the patchwork coronavirus response across the U.S., any required follow-up interviews with those harmed by McCarrick would have been hard to arrange.
And Francis may have sensibly wondered about the propriety of releasing a text expected to reopen a multitude of old wounds for U.S. survivors of sexual abuse as Americans, like others across the world, deal with an unprecedented era of death, suffering, and loss.
But we are quickly reaching the point where continued delay becomes unexplainable.