Mistakes Were Made, by Stephen P. White

Supreme Court Hears Obamacare Challenge, by Rodney Pelletier
November 12, 2020
It’s Out of Our Hands, But God’s Still Got This, by Michael Brown
November 12, 2020

Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post

By Stephen P. White, The Catholic Thing, Nov. 12, 2020

Stephen P. White is executive director of The Catholic Project at The Catholic University of America and a fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

NOTE: Please be sure to watch “The World Over” tonight at 8:00 Eastern on EWTN. The Papal Posse (host Raymond Arroyo, Fr. Gerald E. Murray, and TCT’s Robert Royal) will discuss the Vatican’s long-awaited “Report” on Theodore McCarrick.

Stephen P. WhiteFor those who don’t think clericalism has played a major role in the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, the McCarrick Report published this week ought to change their minds. The report reveals an insular and bureaucratized clerical culture that served the ambitions of a man like Theodore McCarrick, who knew how to manipulate that system to his advantage, far better than it served the Church and the Gospel. And certainly, far better than it served the many victims of McCarrick’s predations.

Anyone hoping for the unmasking of a grand conspiracy will be predictably disappointed. The banality of institutional failure on this level is neither exciting nor satisfying, but it was always the most likely and plausible explanation. It still is. The report has limitations, to be sure, and leaves many questions unanswered. But it also presents a detailed and incriminating account of institutional failures spanning multiple decades and multiple pontificates. …