Cardinals Double Down

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  August 6, 2018   

Outside investigation or more internal 'accountability'?

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While the know-nothing cardinals are doubling down on their self-professed ignorance of the epidemic involving clerical homosexuality, some of them are resisting the push by bishops for outside investigators to conduct an independent study of their cover-up.

American cardinals are all pleading ignorance of the alleged homosexual past of former Cdl. Theodore McCarrick. America's highest-ranking Vatican official, Cdl. Kevin Farrell, in spite of having lived with McCarrick for six years in Washington, reaffirmed on Tuesday that he was completely in the dark about McCarrick's alleged homosexual attacks on seminarians. "Never once did I even suspect," he said. "Now, people can say 'Well you must be a right fool that you didn't notice.' I must be a right fool, but I don't think I am. And that's why I feel angry."

Bishop Timothy Doherty of Lafayette, Indiana — contrary to Cdl. Donald Wuerl, who's McCarrick's immediate successor in Washington — is calling for an outside investigation into the cover-up. Referring to the Pennsylvania grand jury report that's soon to be released, Bp. Doherty predicts the U.S. bishops at their meeting this November in Baltimore "will have responses to the McCarrick reports, and whatever surfaces in Pennsylvania." Bishop Doherty wants to obtain a transparent investigation by making use of independent investigators who are not under the bishops' control.

"It is not impossible," said Doherty, "for the conference to hire an outside investigator. This happened in 2002 when the whole body of the USCCB voted to engage the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to research the matter of clergy abuse of minors."

Outside investigators are not wanted, however, by Cdl. Wuerl, who presumably will also be impacted by the upcoming grand jury report — owing to the fact that he was bishop of Pittsburgh for nearly two decades. In an interview published Monday, Wuerl said he wants the bishops to keep any investigation in-house and under the bishops' control.

"Would we have some sort of a panel, a board, of bishops ... where we would take it upon ourselves, or a number of bishops would be deputed, to ask about those rumors?" suggested Wuerl.

"It seems to me that's one possibility, that there would be some way for the bishops, and that would mean working through our conference ... to be able to address the question of sustained rumors," said the cardinal.

Check out our full #CatholicMeToo coverage.

Meanwhile, faithful Catholics are wondering how an investigation of bishops, who covered up homosexual predation within their ranks, if conducted by the bishops themselves, would not simply perpetuate the cover-up.

Watch the panel discuss the need for an independent review of the homosexual cover-up in The Download—Cardinals Double Down.


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