Dear Editor: In observing the recent fallout from the McCarrick affair, it is important to note that there is no mechanism to force a Pope to resign. It is Pope Francis’ Papacy for life, or he alone can decide to retire. However, the circumstances that have brought us to this great crisis are sobering for anyone who loves the Church. At the very least, at the time Cardinal McCarrick was advising Pope Francis on US bishop appointments, he had caused two dioceses to pay large settlements to victims he personally abused. Indeed, as reported by the NY Times on July 19, 2018, one of the abuse victims was originally the first baby he baptized, an outrage that cries to heaven for vengeance. Moreover, in numerous press reports, and even in some Bishops statements, the former Cardinal was open and notoriously sexually active.
How could such a man, with his reputation and two sexual abuse lawsuits settled against him, get to the level of advising the Pope? Some like Cardinal Cupich say the problem is “clericalism.”
Others say the problem is the “backlash,” as Father James Martin said on Aug. 31, 2018, that some are engaging in a “witch-hunt” against gay priests. My own view is that the faithful have been much too passive in demanding answers – similar to what the USCCB is now saying, we require detailed answers about not just how the McCarrick affair happened, but other “incidents” that have taken place at high levels of our Beloved Church.
Are there other senior advisers with squalid records? Is there is a culture of pederasty in the Church that somehow has enabled this crisis?
And finally when can it be effectively terminated through holy and faithful men replacing the wicked.
JAMES C GANGE