A month on, the Holy See is preparing to address the archbishop’s ‘testimony’

On Monday, the “C9” Council of Cardinal Advisers, gathered in the Vatican for their 26th working session, issued a statement expressing “full solidarity” with Pope Francis “in the face of what has transpired in recent weeks” and noting that the Vatican is “about to formulate the eventual and necessary clarifications”.

“What has transpired” is: the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, Carlo Maria Viganò, published an explosive 11-page “testimony” late last month, alleging a systematic and decades-long cover-up of abuse and misconduct committed by the disgraced former Archbishop of Washington, DC, Theodore McCarrick.

Fundamentally, however, the substance of any eventual clarification will at best offer details.

We already know that Fr Boniface Ramsey OP sent at least two letters complaining of the then Cardinal McCarrick’s behaviour with seminarians: one in the year 2000, another in 2015. There should be reports on file from the apostolic nunciature in the US, regarding settlements reached between the Archdiocese of Newark and the Dioceses of Trenton and Metuchen, on the one hand, and three of McCarrick’s victims. Those reports should have gone to Rome no later than 2006.

If they are there, then the question is: why did Francis not see them long ago? Or did he in fact see them? If they’re not there, then that is the story.

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