The Holy See, “Abuse and its cover-up will no longer be tolerated”

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The Holy See, “Abuse and its cover-up will no longer be tolerated”

By Andrea Tornielli/ lastampa.it

Vatican communiqué on McCarrick case after the publication of Viganò's dossier. The Pope has ordered an inquiry into the cardinal abuser and will follow the path of truth, wherever it may lead,

Pope Francis has arranged for a thorough examination of the McCarrick case, to ascertain the facts and arrive at the truth. And the truth will be followed wherever it leads. This is what is stated in the Holy See communiqué published 40 days after the dossier of the former nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò, who on 26 August accused Francis of having covered up the cardinal abuser, and went to the point of asking the Pope to resign. On 28 July last Bergoglio stripped the cardinal of his red hat and removed him from the American archbishop imposing on him a life of seclusion.

The Vatican, the note explains, is aware that mistakes may have been made in the past by the hierarchy. In fact, Theodore McCarrick, molester of seminarians and young priests, was promoted bishop of Metuchen (1981) then archbishop of Newark (1986), then of Washington (2000) and finally created cardinal.

Francis, "aware and concerned by the confusion that these accusations concerning McCarrick's conduct" "are causing in the conscience of the faithful", has also ordered an examination of all the documentation concerning the case. And there is a commitment to never again apply different treatment to bishops who have committed or covered up abuses.

The note issued in the afternoon by the Vatican Press Office goes back over the matter, first of all: "In September 2017, the Archdiocese of New York notified the Holy See that a man had accused former Cardinal McCarrick of having abused him in the 1970s. The Holy Father ordered a thorough preliminary investigation into this, which was carried out by the Archdiocese of New York, at the conclusion of which the relative documentation was forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In the meantime - the communiqué informs - because grave indications emerged during the course of the investigation, the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Archbishop McCarrick from the College of Cardinals, prohibiting him by order from exercising public ministry, and obliging him to lead a life of prayer and penance".

The Holy See assures us that "it will not fail, in due course, to make known the conclusions of the matter regarding Archbishop McCarrick". Also with reference to "other accusations brought against the clergyman", Pope Francis "has decided to supplement the information gathered during the preliminary investigation be combined with a further thorough study of the entire documentation present in the Archives of the Dicastery’s 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 Vatican says it "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". In any case, it emphasizes, quoting the words of Pope Francis in Philadelphia in September 2015:

“We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead”.

"Both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated and a different treatment for Bishops who have committed or covered up abuse, in fact represents a form of clericalism that is no longer acceptable".

The communiqué concludes by reiterating the Pope's "pressing invitation" "to unite forces to fight against the grave scourge of abuse within and beyond the Church, and to prevent such crimes from being committed in the future to the harm of the most innocent and most vulnerable in society". It also recalls the summit convened by the Pontiff with the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the whole world for the coming month of February, while the words of his recent Letter to the People of God still resound: “The only way that we have to respond to this evil that has darkened so many lives is to experience it as a task regarding all of us as the People of God. This awareness of being part of a people and a shared history will enable us to acknowledge our past sins and mistakes with a penitential openness that can allow us to be renewed from within” (20 August 2018)".

The first clarification on the part of the Holy See comes forty days after the publication, on 26 August last, of Carlo Maria Viganò’s dossier. The note never mentions the former nuncio who drew up his sensational indictment in collaboration with the journalist Marco Tosatti, going so far as to ask for the Pontiff to resign on the day on which Francis celebrated the World Meeting of Families in Dublin. And it does not go into the merits of the events that led to the nomination of McCarrick as head of the diocese of Washington and then as cardinal, while waiting for all the archival papers to be examined.

Benedict XVI made an attempt against the now retired cardinal harasser, to induce him to live a secluded life and not to travel, but never to sanction him in a formal and public way. McCarrick, however, never adapted to the instructions received, and continued to travel the world maintaining his public profile unchanged throughout the pontificate of Pope Ratzinger, and continuing to do so in the last five years. Francis was the first Pontiff to have severely punished him as soon as a new complaint emerged concerning an abuse of a minor that occurred almost half a century ago. The decision to remove the cardinalate, in fact, had not occurred in the Church for 91 years.

On the evening of August 26, on the flight back from Dublin to Rome, the Pope, answering a question about Viganò, invited journalists to read and study the "memorialˮ of the former nuncio to draw their own conclusions on the basis of their professionalism. In the last few weeks, various documented evidence has emerged (films, photographs, reports), which have called into question Viganò’s memories, highlighting his omissis and is biased reconstruction aimed only at forcing Francis to give up.

A reconstruction - that of Viganò - that presented Pope Wojtyla already in 2000, i.e. the time when he chose McCarrick for Washington, to be of unsound mind. When it is known to all those who lived those years who were the actors who then intervened in the important nominations, and the role of the so-called "appartamentoˮ: a term that indicated John Paul II’s very close entourage of.

It is significant that the Vatican communiqué assures there will never again be special treatment for bishops who have committed or covered up abuse. That special treatment, originating from “clericalism that is no longer acceptable”, that someone granted to McCarrick when he was appointed Archbishop of Washington, ignoring - for reasons that have yet to be clarified - the complaints concerning him.

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 17:47
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