Timoney noted the universal establishment of diocesan child protection offices in the United States over the last two decades, as well as Pope Francis' work to establish better accountability for accusations of misconduct against bishops worldwide. The report's publication "does show a better commitment to transparency," she said.
In 2018, Catholic University launched its own special project unity to respond to the clergy abuse crisis as well as other relevant Church matters.
Stephen White, executive director of The Catholic Project at The Catholic University of America, said that, while a single report could not undo the damage by McCarrick, "truth and transparency are necessary steps toward healing those wounds and repairing the trust that has been broken."
White said that Catholics should manifest "a spirit of penance and humility" amid "our anger and pain at the injustices committed by our clergy, and the sense of betrayal brought about by shepherds who failed to protect the flock."
As they read the painful revelations in the report, Catholics should not forget "all of the work that the Church does at the grassroots level" to serve people, Timoney said.
"This isn't the whole story of the Church," she said, noting that "we are making a positive impact in a lot of peoples' lives, day in and day out, through all of our ministries and agencies."
McCarrick was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of New York in 1958 before becoming auxiliary bishop of New York in 1977. He then became bishop of the new Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, in 1981, before becoming Archbishop of Newark in 1986, and then Archbishop of Washington in 2001, where he was made a cardinal by Pope St. John Paul II.
In 2006, he submitted his letter of resignation at the age of 75, as required by the Church of all bishops at that age.
After accusations that McCarrick had abused minors and seminarians over a period of years were made public in June 2018, Pope Francis ordered McCarrick to observe a life of prayer and penance and demanded his resignation from the College of Cardinals.
McCarrick was laicized in 2019, following a canonical process at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which found him guilty of "solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power."