Just this week, another former papal nuncio came forward to say he had received report of McCarrick's behavior towards seminarians as early as 1994.
The impression has set in among the faithful that "everybody knew" and "nobody did anything." While it is unlikely that "everybody" knew about McCarrick, it seems almost certain that some of the bishops who will gather in Baltimore did.
As a result, many Catholics are convinced that their leaders are still not being straight with them.
To date, nearly everything that has been made public about the McCarrick scandal has come from victims who have come forward, from the testimony of witnesses or involved parties, or from retired nuncios, especially Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, but also now Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan.
Few American bishops have come forward to publicly disclose what they knew or heard about McCarrick's alleged abuse, least of all those who have served in McCarrick's former dioceses of New York, Metuchen, Newark, and Washington.
At the same time, several prominent bishops, including the leadership cadre of the USCCB, have repeatedly called on Pope Francis to order an apostolic visitation, a Vatican investigation, to clear up what happened with McCarrick. Rome does not appear to favor the idea. But some observers have pointed out that no one is forcing American bishops to wait for an investigation to come forward about what they know.
There are questions that U.S. bishops could answer, and steps they could take to explain how McCarrick was allowed to move up the hierarchy, despite decades of apparent misconduct.
Taking those steps would be seen by many observers as a very "practical step" toward the transparency and accountability all sides insist that they want to see.
Earlier this week, Cardinal Cacciavillan said that in 1994 he was informed McCarrick sometimes shared a bed with seminarians, and that a proposed papal visit to Newark might cause a media scandal.
Cacciavillan said that he asked Cardinal O'Connor of New York to carry out an "investigation, an inquiry" into the stories. He said that it concluded that "there was no obstacle to the visit of the pope to Newark.
O'Connor died in 2000, shortly before McCarrick was named to the Archdiocese of Washington. While he cannot now speak to that investigation or its results, his successor, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, could at least publish a review of chancery files to show what, if anything, that investigation concluded.
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Dolan was the first to investigate and announce a credible accusation against McCarrick, and as such he has a unique kind of credibility in this case. The cardinal now runs the risk that his credibility will expire if it seems that he is unable or unwilling to encourage his brother bishops toward meaningful transparency and personal accountability.
Similarly, the Diocese of Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Newark have confirmed that more than a decade ago they reached out-of-court settlements related to accusations against McCarrick. Without compromising the confidentiality of the alleged victims, there are several things that could be confirmed or explained by both dioceses, if their bishops chose to do so.
Bishop Paul Bootkoski retired as bishop of Metuchen in 2016, having previously served as McCarrick's vicar general in Newark. In 2005, he was part of an out-of-court settlement reached with an alleged victim of McCarrick.
The diocese insists that then nuncio Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo Higuera was informed of the settlement in December 2005, and it has published what it says is the cover letter for that correspondence and a summary of the allegations it is said to have contained.
Neither the diocese or Bishop Bootkoski have spoken about what response - if any - they received and what, if anything they did to follow up on the matter.
In 2007, the Archdiocese of Newark also settled with an alleged victim of McCarrick. Cardinal Joseph Tobin has stated that he first heard rumors about McCarrick's alleged sexual misconduct shortly after arriving in Newark in 2017, but said he never looked into them because he thought them too outlandish to be believed.