Fr. Raymond J. de Souza: Theodore McCarrick, the Blessed Mother and Pope St. John Paul II

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Icon of Our Lady of Kazan, mid-19th century. (Public Domain)

COMMENTARY: The disgraced ex-cardinal used his influence in 1993 to send a treasure icon of the Blessed Mother to the Polish Pope for safekeeping.

By Father Raymond J. de Souza, EWTN News, 6/24/20

Father Raymond J. de Souza is the editor in chief of Convivium magazine.

Although June 20 was the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, much of the Catholic news marked a sad anniversary instead.

It was two years ago that the Archdiocese of New York set off an earthquake with the revelation that then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had been accused of sexual abuse of a minor in the early 1970s. Subsequent developments led to McCarrick’s dismissal from the clerical state in February 2019.

In October 2018, the Vatican promised a review of the all the files on McCarrick, to answer a troubling question: How did a man with so many rumors about him rise so high?

That report is still being prepared, but the coincidence of the McCarrick anniversary with Immaculate Heart of Mary feast helps answer another, related question. It is already known that McCarrick was skilled at deflecting rumors — which is all that there were until after he was appointed archbishop of Washington. But why did he earn the papal favor of St. John Paul II to get the appointment to Washington in the first place? Part of the reason he was able to delay his day of reckoning was because he was held in good esteem and elevated to the highest offices. Why? What was it about McCarrick that attracted favorable attention under John Paul?  …

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