Analysis: Reality of the Abuse Scandals Now Seems a Tale of Two Cardinals

Over the last three years, sexual abuse charges against two high-profile and massively influential cardinals have rocked the Catholic Church, and now, seemingly, both stories have reached their conclusions. Cardinal George Pell is a free man, while Theodore McCarrick is laicized and exposed as a cunning manipulator able to hoodwink three papacies until his string finally ran out.

Analysis: A Reader’s Guide to McCarrick Report: Beware of Bad Guys, Smoking Guns

It’s taken far too long to get here, with agonizing delays, chaos, confusion, and reversals of fortune along the way, not to mention accusations of fraud and cover-up. Even now that we have a final result, heated arguments over its meaning and legitimacy probably are only beginning. That’s not a summary of the 2020 U.S. election, though it easily could be. The reference instead is to the Vatican’s release today of its long-awaited report on ex-cardinal and ex-priest Theodore McCarrick, promised more than two years ago and finally at hand.

McCarrick Report Summary Cites Lack of Serious Investigations of Rumors

Although dogged for years by rumors of sexual impropriety, Theodore E. McCarrick was able to rise up the Catholic hierarchical structure based on personal contacts, protestations of his innocence and a lack of church officials reporting and investigating accusations, according to the Vatican summary of its report on the matter.