By Vatican News staff writer
In a statement released on Monday, Cardinal-designate Wilton Gregory responded to the recent McCarrick Report, which details the Church’s knowledge, decision-making process, and investigation regarding former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the year 1930 until 2017.
McCarrick served as the Archbishop of Washington from 3 January 2001 until 16 May 2006.
‘Unconscionable human violation’
His successor since 21 May 2019, Cardinal-elect Gregory, said he began reading the 461-page report with “keen personal interest” to understand how the Archdiocese of Washington would be portrayed.
But, he noted, the report is not about any specific diocese. “It is about unconscionable human violation and the pain that too many people endured at the hands of a deceitful man who only pretended to want what was best for them in order to get what he wanted for himself.”
Church’s dark corners
Cardinal-elect Gregory said the McCarrick report must be read “through the eyes of the survivors and their loved ones”.
He expressed shame and anger for the “dark corners of the Church” which it revealed.
“It pushed into sunlight a culture that has too often served not to build up our cherished Catholic Church – Jesus Christ’s greatest Gift to us – but to undermine it, far beyond the amoral ecclesiastical tenure of a single fallen cleric.”
He also the Church’s leaders have “too often failed” to understand, acknowledge, respond to, and prevent the damage done to innocent faithful, both minors and adults.
The Archbishop of Washington said he felt little consolation in the fact that there were no revelations of alleged sexual abuse carried out by McCarrick in his Archdiocese. And he promised that his administration would continue to support the victims of sexual abuse and ensure safe environments for all.
“As I read the Vatican text I felt such deep sorrow for those who should have been able to rely on the ministers of Christ’s Church to protect and respect them,” said Cardinal-elect Gregory. “Instead they found themselves abused by a man who may have been outwardly charming and gregarious, but who allowed himself to be motivated by his own sinful gratification rather than the diametrically opposite Gospel call to go and make disciples for Jesus Christ.”
Time to heal
Cardinal-elect Gregory said the Church has taken a “step forward, albeit much delayed, in looking honestly at both this particular case and at the future of ecclesial accountability.”
He added that healing the Church’s integrity will require “time, transparency, contrition and commitment, prayer and reconciliation.”
The Archbishop of Washington concluded his statement asking for God’s Mercy for himself and for all Bishops.
“I implore our Heavenly Father to shower His Grace upon all whose faith has been tested too often by what we have done and what we have failed to do.”