Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 10, 2020 / 11:00 am
The release of the McCarrick Report Tuesday has been given a cautious welcome by lay American Catholics, who urged continued concern for the victims of sexual abuse and commitment to transparency by Church authorities.
The Vatican released its lengthy 461-page report on Nov. 10, detailing the Church’s institutional knowledge and decision-making on McCarrick over his decades as a priest, bishop, archbishop, and cardinal. He was laicized by Pope Francis in 2019 because of credible allegations of the sexual abuse of minors and adults.
In his years as a priest, bishop, and cardinal, McCarrick rose to the highest ranks of the Church, including leading the archdioceses of Newark and Washington. He also held influential positions at Catholic organizations including The Catholic University of America, where he was Chancellor, and the Catholic University of Puerto Rico.
The president of The Catholic University of America, John Garvey, addressed the report in a letter to the university community on Tuesday.
“We offer our prayers and pastoral support for the survivors, that they and their families encounter healing and peace,” Garvey wrote. “And I recommit this University to addressing sex abuse in the Catholic Church with courage and tenacity.”
McCarrick had long-standing ties to Catholic University, first as a student, assistant chaplain, Dean of Students, and an administrator and fundraiser at the university between 1958 and 1965. He later served on the university’s Board of Trustees and as chancellor of the school while he was Archbishop of Washington from 2000 until 2006. The university bestowed an honorary degree on him in 2006.
When the Archdiocese of New York announced in 2018 a credible accusation of child sexual abuse had been made against McCarrick, “the news hit our University community close to home,” Garvey said. The university rescinded McCarrick’s honorary degree that year.
Some lay Catholics expressed their disbelief at the report’s revelations--particularly the lack of a canonical investigation into the allegations against McCarrick until 2018, despite decades of accusations against him.