Pope OKs study of Vat­i­can ar­chives into McCar­rick scan­dal

Greenwich Time (Sunday) - - OBITUARIES / NEWS -

Pope Fran­cis has au­tho­rized a “thor­ough study” of Vat­i­can ar­chives into how a prom­i­nent Amer­i­can car­di­nal ad­vanced through church ranks de­spite al­le­ga­tions that he slept with sem­i­nar­i­ans and young priests, the Vat­i­can said Sat­ur­day in its first re­sponse to ex­plo­sive al­le­ga­tions of a coverup that is roil­ing the pa­pacy.

The Vat­i­can said it was aware that such an in­ves­ti­ga­tion may pro­duce ev­i­dence that mis­takes were made, when eval­u­ated with to­day’s stan­dards. But it said Fran­cis would “fol­low the path of truth, wher­ever it may lead.”

The state­ment did not ad­dress spe­cific al­le­ga­tions that Fran­cis him­self knew of sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions against now ex-Car­di­nal Theodore McCar­rick in 2013 and re­ha­bil­i­tated him any­way from sanc­tions im­posed by Pope Bene­dict XVI.

Fran­cis has said he would not say a word about those al­le­ga­tions, lodged by a re­tired Vat­i­can am­bas­sador.

De­pend­ing on the scope of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Fran­cis’ ac­tions may be found to have been in­con­sis­tent with what he now con­sid­ers un­ac­cept­able be­hav­ior by a bishop. How­ever, the study an­nounced Sat­ur­day refers only to doc­u­men­ta­tion, a po­ten­tially lim­it­ing con­straint, given the McCar­rick scan­dal ap­par­ently in­volves pri­vate, ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tions that might not have pa­per trails in Vat­i­can ar­chives.

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