Vatican’s McCarrick report says Pope John Paul II knew of misconduct allegations nearly two decades before cardinal’s removal

A Vatican report examining the career of Theodore McCarrick says that Pope John Paul II had been informed that the then-bishop shared a bed with young men but decided nonetheless to appoint McCarrick to new and powerful positions within the church.

Providing unprecedented detail into a major abuse case, the report shows how the church again and again received clues about McCarrick’s misconduct with young adults, but either dismissed them as unsubstantiated or chose to listen to McCarrick’s own defense.

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Good thing St Pope John Paul II is canonized already.

St Pope John Paul II, pray for us!


It sounds like Pope St. John Paul believed McCarrick’s hand-written letter denying the accusations. It was an error in judgment, no doubt, but one which I do not think diminishes the Pope’s overall personal sanctity. He was apparently duped by Fr. Marcial Maciel as well. If he had a fault, it was perhaps being too trusting of those he thought he knew.


A long time ago (back in the 1990s) I met McCarrick once. It’s horrifying to know that I shook the hand of a monster.

It’s likely Pope JPII thought the best of clerics. Yes, it was an error in judgment. People from that generation simply could not fathom how a person they knew and thought of as a good person could possibly commit sexual abuse. I’ve seen this many times from older people. They think there must be some mistake or that someone is making up bad stories. They believe the accused person when he says nothing happened because they can’t imagine he would lie.


Omniscience is not required of a saint. In the year 2000, when he was appointed Cardinal, there was not Boston Globe report or John Jay study, which came two years later, or standards of handling allegations, which came as a result of the study.

No, the report does not say that. That’s the Washington Post’s spin.
Just curious, does the Washington Post aim it’s righteous virtue signalling at C. Kevin Farell, or does he get a pass. I would think that C Farrell would know McCarrick even better than JP2, since he LIVED with the man for several years.

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The report seems clear that the Pope was aware of the allegations, some of which were not denied, and were pretty well established. I suppose he could have disbelieved the undenied allegations, but that seems a bit of a stretch.

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He was aware of the allegations. They (he) weighed all the evidence before making decisions. Other bishops supported McCarrick. It’s not like JP2 turned a blind eye to evil.

But that doesn’t fit the Post’s narrative. Thanks be to God they are almost irrelevant. Good Catholic media already has honest presentations of the report. NCRegister is one.

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He was aware of the undisputed reports that he slept in the same bed with young men. He was also aware of more serious accusations, which were disputed. But a middle-aged man sleeping in the same bed with young men is not normal and certainly is a problem. I am not accusing JPII of turning a blind eye to evil. I am just saying what the report says.

This has nothing to do with any press “narrative,” it is what the report says.


“…in the absence of victims who were minors…”

That line kind of horrifies me.


As someone on the NCR article said in the comments section, JPII heard confessions. After knowing about human depravity and sexual sin he turned a blind eye to more than one predator because of some regimes falsely accusing priests? I find that less than believable.

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Fortunately neither is perfection. He messed up big time with this, and Maciel. While I certainly don’t think he should be called “The Great,” I do prefer fallible saints and feeling like there’s hope for all of us.


This is not surprising. Some people think it was only after the Boston Globe that the Church, both laity and clerics, became aware of this problem. I remember discussing the topic with other laity in 1991. It was only the magnitude and the culture of active cover-up that wasn’t clear until later.

It took John Paul’s leadership to steer the Church in the right direction involving how these issues are handled, most notably in 2002. I think a good administrator would have recognized this problem and what was required to fix it 10 or 15 years sooner, but admiinistration was never John Paul’s forte, unlike say Benedict.

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I find that troubling.

There is blame to be spread far and wide in bucketfuls.

Here is McCarrick detailing the role he played in the election of Pope Francis (who subsequently in turn, knowing there was a huge dossier on him, brought him out of retirement to deal with the Chinese)


In those days, people didn’t realize that adult men could be sexually abused.

Or rather didn’t want to believe it.


Yeah, it was definitely around in the early 1990s. There were news articles about priests and pastors in our neighborhood who were commiting sexual abuse on minors.

I’ve always been annoyed that the world acts like the Boston Globe broke these stories. As far as I know, 60 Minutes broke the story in the 90s with a segment on how a priest in the Southwest had abused dozens of kids while being moved from parish to parish mostly in poor areas. By the time the Boston Globe story came out I was like oh not this again.


I can bring up two cultural mentions of it, from the movie Hannah and Her Sisters from the 80s, and even a joke about moving a priest from parish to parish from Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the mid 90s.

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