Conservatives distort McCarrick scandal to attack Francis

National Catholic Reporter

July 27, 2018

By Michael Sean Winters

Catholic conservatives have finally decided to take the clergy sex abuse crisis seriously. Why? Because their longtime nemesis Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been accused of unspeakable crimes and because they think they can use this crisis to attack Pope Francis. It is deplorable.

At Catholic News Agency, their new editor J.D. Flynn penned an essay that gives the right-wing game away. Flynn made some fine points. I agree that it was wrong for the bishops in 2002 not to include themselves within the strictures of the Dallas Charter for Child Protection. And he is correct to note that we have not yet learned, and we deserve to know, to whom Bishop Paul Bootkoski of Metuchen and Archbishop John Myers of Newark shared the information that they were making settlements with seminarians, who were not minors, but who had alleged sexual misconduct by McCarrick.

But, then Flynn tries to spread the blame around. “Cardinal Joseph Tobin succeeded Myers in Newark in 2017, and Bishop James Checchio succeeded Bootkoski in Metuchen the year before,” Flynn notes. “Cardinal Donald Wuerl succeeded McCarrick directly in Washington in 2006. Did those men have awareness of McCarrick’s alleged penchant for young seminarians?”

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