Blaming St. John Paul II for McCarrick’s advancement called misplaced

Catholic News Service via Catholic Sentinel

November 11, 2020

Following the Nov. 10 release of the Vatican’s 460-page report on former cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, some of the speculation in the media has centered on the role of St. John Paul II in McCarrick’s rise through church ranks.

Commentators have alleged the pope knowingly advanced McCarrick up the hierarchical ladder despite being aware of allegations of sexual misconduct going back decades.

But those who are experts on St. John Paul’s life oppose that characterization.

“The McCarrick report is an important document that relates painful events,” said the Knights of Columbus, which operates the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington. “We pray that it leads to healing and reconciliation. However, this tragedy in no way diminishes St. John Paul II’s legacy of love and compassion, and it has no bearing on the shrine or its mission.”

“From its inception, the shrine was intended as a response to St. John Paul II’s call for a ‘new evangelization,’ which was repeated by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis,” the Knights said in a Nov. 11 statement to Catholic News Service.

“The shrine is a place of genuine encounter with God that leads to a renewal of individuals, families, societies and cultures — a place where God heals and renews every dimension of human life,” it added. “That continues to be the shrine’s focus.”

Catholic commentator George Weigel — in two articles published Nov. 10 to coincide with the McCarrick report’s release — provided strong opposition to those seeking to blame St. John Paul for McCarrick’s advancement.

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