(St. Paul, MN) – The report released by the Vatican today summarizing the investigation into former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s history of prolific sexual misconduct, and those complicit in his crimes, has the potential to be an historic first step toward top-down transparency within the Catholic Church. It’s time. For decades, survivors have been calling for justice. For decades witnesses have been calling for accountability. And finally, new laws have opened the courthouse doors for the evidence to be collected and the stories to be told in full. This report is a direct result of survivors and witnesses making reports and bringing complaints that turn shadow to light, light to heat, heat to pressure, and pressure to change.
For too long the Papacy and the Bishops have been self-policing while making pledges and promises without action. What is truly unprecedented about this investigation, and this report specifically, is that for the first time in the history of the Catholic Church, the Vatican has engaged a third-party, non-clergy lawyer to conduct the investigation, collect the evidence, connect the dots, and expose not only a perpetrator, but a system that put children in peril for decades. The Vatican investigation is now revealed to the public and it should tell a story unlike any that has come before: a story of real accountability and transparency, beginning with the truths of those who were harmed by Theodore McCarrick and his protectors. This is an extraordinary moment.
However, the report documents an investigation into only one perpetrator among thousands known, and thousands more suspected. Pope Francis’ next move will determine if he will lead a Church thoroughly committed to the healing and justice it espouses by walking the hard road of accountability, or one willing to expose only its most notorious offender to keep our eyes off those hiding in the shadows.
On Monday, November 9, 2020, Jeff Anderson & Associates held a press conference to discuss the McCarrick investigation, and a number of cases the firm has brought against McCarrick, in anticipation of the release of the Vatican report. It can be viewed in its entirety here.