1. Vatican Overlooked Warnings of Sexual Misconduct by Former U.S. Cardinal McCarrick, Report Finds, Report casts a shadow over St. John Paul II’s handling of sexual-abuse allegations, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2020, 8:34 AM
St. John Paul II knew about allegations of sexual misconduct by Theodore McCarrick but named him archbishop of Washington, D.C. anyway, according to a long-awaited Vatican report published Tuesday.
According to the Vatican report, the late Cardinal John O’Connor of New York wrote to the Vatican’s envoy in 1999 that Mr. McCarrick was known to share his bed with adult seminarians; that a priest had accused him of having sexual relations with another priest; and that anonymous letters had accused him of pedophilia. The information was shared with John Paul, the report says.

Pope Francis later said he couldn’t remember whether he had been informed about Mr. McCarrick’s record.
2. Key findings in Vatican report into ex-Cardinal McCarrick, By Associated Press, November 10, 2020, 8:09 AM
POPE JOHN PAUL II (1978-2005)
McCarrick had generally positive marks during his first two posts as bishop, in Metuchen, N.J. (1981-1986) and Newark, N.J. (1986-2000). But by the mid-1990s, rumors about his behavior were starting to fly, and John Paul passed McCarrick over as archbishop of Chicago in 1997 and New York in 1999.

John Paul tasked the Vatican ambassador to the U.S. to investigate. His report confirmed McCarrick bedded seminarians but didn’t find “certainty” that he had engaged in sexual misconduct. The findings didn’t explain what McCarrick and the seminarians were doing in bed together. Instead, they faulted the bishops who were asked to provide information to the ambassador, saying “three of the four bishops provided inaccurate and incomplete information.”
The doubts, however, were enough to persuade John Paul to drop McCarrick as a candidate. That would have sealed his fate, but McCarrick made a last-ditch appeal that appears to have changed John Paul’s mind. The U.S. prelate sent a handwritten note via John Paul’s private secretary, then-Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, on Aug. 6, 2000, swearing he “never had sexual relations with any person male or female, young or old, cleric or lay.”
It struck a chord with the Polish pope, who had first-hand experience of priests being unfairly discredited by false accusations under communist rule, and he named McCarrick to the post.

Pope Benedict XVI finally took action against McCarrick in 2005, after the Vatican received documentation from the former Metuchen, N.J., seminarian who had written a detailed letter in 1994 to his then-bishop, the late Edward Hughes, about the abuse he endured by McCarrick. For the first time, the Vatican had a named victim making a detailed report of abuse, although the claims were dismissed by some as unreliable because the seminarian himself had gone onto abuse minors.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano — then a top official in the secretariat of state who would go onto expose the McCarrick cover-up — called for an “exemplary measure” against McCarrick. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, then Benedict’s secretary of state, “shared Vigano’s concerns.”

POPE FRANCIS (2013 to the present)
According to the Vatican findings, Francis essentially continued in his predecessors’ path in regards to McCarrick. It said neither Francis nor any Vatican official lifted or modified Benedict’s flouted restrictions, never named McCarrick a “diplomatic agent” for the Holy See and never received any documentation about McCarrick before 2017. The summary didn’t say if Francis ever requested more substantial information after his then-ambassador to the U.S., Cardinal Carlo Maria Vigano, purportedly told him in 2013 that McCarrick was a sexual predator.

Many of Vigano’s central assertions were confirmed in the report Tuesday but not the ones involving Francis. “No records support Vigano’s account and evidence as to what he said is sharply disputed,” it said.
3. A look at the lawsuits against ex-Cardinal McCarrick, By Associated Press, November 10, 2020
The Vatican is poised to release a long-awaited report on what it knew about ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual misconduct during his rise through the church hierarchy.

A look at the lawsuits and other settlements involving McCarrick:
June 2018: On the same day the Archdiocese of New York announced a credible and substantiated claim of abuse of a minor by McCarrick, the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, where McCarrick was a bishop and archbishop, said it was aware of three decades-old allegations against him involving sexual misconduct with adults.

August 2019: One of McCarrick’s accusers, James Grein, filed a lawsuit in New York alleging he told then-Pope John Paul II in 1988 about being sexually abused as a child by McCarrick but the Vatican did nothing.

December 2019: A lawsuit filed in New Jersey alleged McCarrick sexually assaulted a teenage boy in the 1990s when he was leader of the Archdiocese of Newark.

December 2019: Grein filed a second lawsuit, this time in New Jersey, with allegations similar to the one filed in New York.

July 2020: Another lawsuit filed in New Jersey alleged McCarrick and several other clerics sexually abused a teenage boy at a New Jersey beach house in the 1980s.

August 2020: Geoffrey Downs, a man living in North Carolina, filed a lawsuit in New Jersey alleging that McCarrick sexually abused him when he was 15 or 16 years old.
4. Ex-Vatican envoy faces sexual abuse charge in French court, By Associated Press, November 10, 2020
The Vatican’s former ambassador to France goes on trial Tuesday for alleged sexual misconduct.
Multiple men have accused Archbishop Luigi Ventura of groping and inappropriate touching. Exceptionally, the Vatican last year lifted the ambassador’s diplomatic immunity, allowing for his trial and for the allegations to be properly investigated.
5. Vatican faults many for McCarrick’s rise but spares pope, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, November 10, 2020, 8:04 AM
A Vatican investigation into ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has found that a series of bishops, cardinals and popes downplayed or dismissed reports that he slept with seminarians, and determined that Pope Francis merely continued his predecessors’ naive handling of the predator until a former altar boy alleged abuse.
6. Democrats for Life of America praise state, local victories, 81 of 114 candidates won races, By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, November 10, 2020, Pg. A4
Pro-life Democrats may be an endangered species in Congress, but they’re showing signs of a comeback outside the Beltway.
Democrats for Life of America announced that 81 of its 114 endorsed candidates in state and local races won on Election Day, calling it a “huge win for the pro-life movement,” even as the ranks of pro-life Democrats in the House thinned.

The organization’s endorsed winners on its “True Blue List”included Democratic candidates running for state legislatures, county councils and commissions, county sheriff, and county executive.
7. A reader’s guide to McCarrick report: Beware of bad guys, smoking guns, By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, November 10, 2020, Opinion
The report is scheduled to be released at 2:00 p.m. Rome time, meaning 8:00 a.m. on the East Coast of the United States. It’s said to run to several hundred pages, though exactly how many will depend on the font size and pagination the Vatican chooses to employ.
The formal title is, “Report on the Holy See’s institutional knowledge and decision-making process related to formal Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (from 1930 to 2017).” The span runs from McCarrick’s birth to shortly before charges of sexual abuse and misconduct against McCarrick became public, presumably because by that point the question of what the Vatican knew, and when it knew it, became moot.

My advice?
Don’t read any insta-analysis of the report from 8:00 a.m. tomorrow until at least a few hours later. Anyone who purports to have digested the whole thing before then isn’t being serious

There will be a natural tendency to want to identify the bad guys in this report, meaning the popes or cardinals or other top dogs who knew about McCarrick’s behavior and turned a blind eye – because they were bought off, because McCarrick had leverage on them for some other reason, or simply because they didn’t take it seriously. There will also be a push to find proof of personal culpability, meaning key letters or other pieces of evidence.
Yet thinking in terms of bad guys and smoking guns is often a prescription for over-simplifying a more complicated story.

There may also be a push in certain circles to politicize the contents of the report by spinning it either as indictment of the St. John Paul II/Benedict XVI years or of Pope Francis. In the latter case, that tendency has been turbo-charged by the claim of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò that he personally briefed the new pope about McCarrick in 2013 but Francis not only failed to act but effectively rehabilitated McCarrick after he’d been sidelined under Benedict.
We have to wait and see, but it’s possible that here too the report may present a more complicated picture.
8. Pro-life doctors ask Supreme Court to uphold Title X funding rule, By Catholic News Agency, November 10, 2020, 12:39 AM
The U.S. Supreme Court should hear appeals backing HHS rules that block recipients of Title X family planning funds from performing or making referrals for abortions, a group of pro-life obstetricians and gynecologists and a Christian medical association have said.
The Supreme Court is considering whether to hear appeals seeking to overturn an appellate court’s ruling against the Protect Life Rule, created by the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services. The rule prohibits recipients of Title X family planning funds from referring for or performing abortions. It requires Title X fund recipients to be both physically and financially separate from facilities that perform abortions.

TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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