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By Courtney Grogan, CNA, 30 May, 2019
Questions remain about the ex-cardinal’s rise through the ranks despite complaints going back years
Cardinal Pietro Parolin said Wednesday that the Vatican is still investigating the documentation concerning Theodore McCarrick and will issue a declaration upon the investigation’s completion.
Parolin gave no indication of a timeline for the conclusion of the investigation, which he said is “taking up all of the documentation concerning the case.”
The investigation involves the compilation and assessment of documents from across Vatican departments, including Parolin’s own department of the Secretariat of State, and is being led by the Congregation for Bishops. CNA reported earlier this week that the Archdiocese of Washington has already submitted a report to the Congregation after examining its own records on McCarrick.
The Vatican first announced the investigation on Oct. 6 as “a further thorough study of the entire documentation present in the Archives of the Dicasteries and Offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick, in order to ascertain all the relevant facts, to place them in their historical context and to evaluate them objectively.”
McCarrick, the former Archbishop of Washington, was dismissed from the clerical state in February by Pope Francis and the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith after he was found guilty in an administrative penal process of solicitation in the Sacrament of Penance and “sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, aggravated by the abuse of power.”
Following McCarrick’s laicization, questions remain about the former archbishop’s rise in ecclesial responsibility despite complaints of sexual misconduct going back years, and about his financial management.
Since the first allegation against McCarrick was made public in June 2018, a number of accounts have emerged showing settlements reached by his former dioceses and alleging that the Vatican was aware of McCarrick’s behavior, or at least his proclivities, for years.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis said in an interview that he did not know anything about accusations of sexual abuse by McCarrick prior to when the accusations became public last year.
“You know that I did not know anything about McCarrick, otherwise I would not have remained silent,” Pope Francis said in an interview published May 28.
The pope also spoke in the interview about the importance of dialogue, a theme underlined by Parolin in comments made at the Centesimus Annus foundation award ceremony for the “Economy and Society” prize.
“The Pope continues to say: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. And why not Salvini?” Parolin told Vatican Insider at the ceremony May 29.
The Vatican Secretary of State said that he believes that dialogue must “take place above all with those who do not think like us and with whom we have some difficulties and some problems.”
Therefore, he said, dialogue is necessary with Italian leader Matteo Salvini, whose populist League Party won a strong victory in the European Parliament Elections on May 26.
Parolin responded to Salvini’s use of the rosary, waving it at this political rallies: “I believe that to use religious symbols for partisan demonstrations, like political parties, there is the risk of abusing these symbols. So I believe that we cannot be indifferent to this reality.”