We Can’t Be Distracted and Deflected From Getting to the Root of This Scandal


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Since Archbishop Carlo Viganò, the former Vatican nuncio to the United States, published his testimony claiming that the highest levels of the Vatican have long known of the scandal surrounding disgraced Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, the responses have fallen within predictable — and mostly ideological — lines.

Critical voices contend the motive for our publication of Archbishop Viganò’s testimony arises out of an ideological disagreement with Pope Francis or some sort of coordinated conspiracy against him. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Our record is clear. From the first moments of his papacy, EWTN has brought more hours of live coverage of Pope Francis into homes around the globe than any other media organization in existence.  The Register, like the rest of EWTN, has covered the events of Pope Francis’ papacy from the highest moments to the most difficult. Our motive in publishing the Archbishop Viganò testimony is nothing more than, for the sake of the Church and the victims, to seek the truth. Unfortunately, there are many voices seeking instead to deflect and distract us from getting to the root of this scandal. Getting lost among the distractions and deflections are the victims. We continue to receive emails and phone calls daily from victims and others deeply affected by this crisis:

  •  faithful Catholic parents whose children were abused by clergy, even post-Dallas Charter, yet have received no help from their bishops, who persist in ignoring their pleas for justice;
  •  seminarians who heard a call to the priesthood but instead have had to spend all their energy dealing with predators in the seminary, presbyterate and chancery;
  •  faithful priests who have their vocations undermined by a network of priests who are living double lives, like Archbishop McCarrick;
  •  seminarians and priests who are trying to live a celibate life but are being blackmailed into submission over one or two failures that they have confessed.

The questions remain: How did “everyone know” about Theodore McCarrick’s grave sins and not say anything? How was Father McCarrick allowed to become a bishop, archbishop and prominent cardinal? Who allowed that to happen? And the big question: Why were those who spoke up not heard?

This scandal cries out to heaven for justice for the victims, who often have endured their suffering in isolation and secrecy. The Church, from the hierarchy to laymen and women in the pews, must respond with compassion and firm resolve. There is a long way to go. But in order for the Church to be renewed, the truth must be revealed.

This moment is a painful one. But we can trust in the providence of God. It’s no accident we are here at this point in Church history. We have a responsibility to use our time well. Be assured that all of us at EWTN will give all we have to help the Church to find the truth and to heal from this crisis.

God’s peace be with you in this most troubling storm.