Vatican City, Oct 6, 2018 / 07:09 am
The Vatican announced Saturday that it would review its files pertaining to allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused in recent months of serially sexually abusing two teenage boys, and of sexually coercing and assaulting priests and seminarians during decades of ministry as a bishop.
The Archdiocese of New York has already conducted a formal investigation into one allegation that McCarrick serially sexually abused a teenage boy in New York, and announced in June that the allegation had been found credible.
In an Oct. 6 statement, the Vatican said that Pope Francis has decided to combine the information from that investigation “with a further thorough study of the entire documentation present in the Archives of the Dicasteries 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 Holy See 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,” the statement added.
“However, as Pope Francis has said: ‘We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead.’”
McCarrick is the former Archbishop of Washington, DC, and served before that as Archbishop of Newark, Bishop of Metuchen, and auxiliary bishop in New York.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked the pope for a thorough Vatican investigation- called an apostolic visitation- into McCarrick, and his ecclesiastical career in the U.S. Although DiNardo repeated that request during a Sept. 13 meeting between the pope and U.S. bishops’ conference leaders, the Vatican has thus far declined to order the visitation.
The investigation announced Oct. 6 is not an apostolic visitation. It has been announced as a review of documents already “in the Archives of the Dicasteries and Offices of the Holy See.”