the Apostolic See of Rome, having conducted a thorough trial of Theodore McCarrick, publishes all the documents of the case, for the world to read (with the names of abuse victims redacted, if they so request).
What would the .pdf file look like?
It would include a document outlining clearly the criminal charges, like:
1. Gravely violating the Sixth Commandment by engaging in acts of sodomy with those under his spiritual care, including with at least one boy too young to consent to sex.
2. Profaning the Sacrament of Penance by soliciting sex from a minor during Confession.
3. Betraying the trust of the Christian faithful by knowingly withholding the truth about his crimes when asked by the pope to hold office as a bishop, archbishop, and Cardinal-Priest of Rome.
(And other charges, as the accusations given under oath might indicate.)
The .pdf file would also include: All the documents produced during the investigations into McCarrick’s crimes by the review board of the Archdiocese of New York (in the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018). Also, all the correspondence between New York and Rome.
And McCarrick’s responses regarding that investigation.
The .pdf would include all the sex-abuse settlement documents from 2004 and 2007. And all the correspondence among American prelates and Roman officials pertaining to those settlements.
It would include the entire sworn testimony of Mr. James Grein, as well as any other sworn testimony that has been taken.*
Also the entirety of McCarrick’s response to the accusations in that testimony.
The .pdf would include a detailed finding of corroborated facts. It would clearly lay out any disputes regarding facts.
A carefully reasoned legal document would then spell out precisely the principles according to which McCarrick should be judged, guilty or innocent.
Then a document giving the judgment, with careful reasoning, and the sentence imposed.
…I could well imagine that such a .pdf would run 200 or 300 pages at least. I would use up all my toner to print it out. I would read it through completely during the night. And write a summary of it for you, dear reader.
Then I would be able to sleep again, like I haven’t slept in many months. Because we could start over again. We could believe again. Believe that the Church can handle something like this, live in the truth, and step forward into the future as Herself.
…I know that, at this point, this seems like nothing but a pipe dream. That the Apostolic See could manage this in 2019. That is, manage to conduct a trial of Theodore McCarrick, and do it in such a way that the entire proceeding could be laid open to the eyes of the world, and we would see that justice had been done, with only blind zealots on either extreme end of the liberal/conservative-tribe spectrum trying to poke holes in it.
It’s a dream. But as far as being able to sleep again–those of us whose relationship with God has relied in one way or another on Theodore McCarrick–I don’t see any other way to get there.
Granted, no human judicial process ever achieves total clarity about everything, like the Divine Judgment will. But that doesn’t mean we humans shouldn’t try.
Human fallibility does not mean that Holy Mother Church should dispense with having laws against crimes, and judges and inquiries and court cases. As in any community of people, someone has to mete out punishments intended both to bring about the repentance of the damnable law-breakers, and for everyone else: to restore trust in the integrity of the institution.
* As we noted here, James Grein testified last week in an ecclesiastical “court.” (Church law cases do not take place in a courtroom; the process involves documents; James’ testimony will be entered into evidence as a written document.)
Reports have circulated since, in various communications media, about the nature of James’ testimony, and how it fits into the case. James himself, and his lawyer, appear to be the sole sources for those reports.
James gave another extended youtube-video interview with Dr. Taylor Marshall. As in the case of James’ previous interview with Dr. Marshall, it seems to me that the wise viewer, who separates clear facts from wild speculations, will wind up with just a few nuggets of actual information. (A man can be both a brave sex-abuse victim speaking the truth about what happened to him, and a bit of a kook at the same time.)
Those nuggets of information about McCarrick’s crimes are precisely what the judge of this case must weigh.