McCarrick Report: NJ bishops gave Vatican ‘inaccurate’ information before McCarrick’s Washington appointment
by Hannah Brockhaus
Vatican City, Nov 10, 2020 / 06:01 am MT (CNA).- The Vatican’s Secretariat of State published Tuesday a report on Theodore McCarrick, saying that the Holy See had received inaccurate information about McCarrick from three New Jersey bishops before McCarrick’s 2001 appointment as archbishop of Washington.
According to a summary of the McCarrick Report provided to journalists Nov. 10 before the publication of the full report, four New Jersey bishops had been asked in 2000 to respond to a written inquiry into allegations about McCarrick, who was then the Archbishop of Newark.
Then-U.S. nuncio Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo received information from the bishops confirming allegations that McCarrick had shared a bed with seminarians at a New Jersey beach house, but there was no “certainty” he had engaged in sexual misconduct.
Because of the report’s investigation, it is now known that “three of the four American bishops provided inaccurate and incomplete information to the Holy See regarding McCarrick’s sexual conduct with young adults,” it states.
This misinformation was part of what may have informed Pope John Paul II’s decision to appoint McCarrick archbishop of Washington in November 2000, the report said.
The report states that on three prior occasions transfers of McCarrick to other U.S. dioceses were stopped: to Chicago in 1997, to New York in 1999 and 2000, and to Washington in July 2000.
Allegations about McCarrick were sent to nuncio Montalvo in a letter on Oct. 28, 1999 by Cardinal John O’Connor, then the archbishop of New York, and subsequently shared with John Paul II, the report states.
McCarrick was ordained a priest in 1958 and auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of New York in 1997. He became in 1981 Bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey, then Archbishop of Newark in 1986, and then in 2001 Archbishop of Washington, DC, where he retired in 2006.
He became a cardinal in 2001, but resigned from the College of Cardinals after it emerged in June 2018 that he had been credibly accused of sexually assaulting a minor. Allegations of serial sexual abuse of minors, seminarians, and priests soon followed, and McCarrick was laicized in February 2019.
Pope Francis first announced an internal Vatican investigation into the career of McCarrick in October 2018.