"Cardinal Theodore McCarrick" by World Economic Forum / CC BY-SA 2.0

At annual meeting, U.S. Catholic bishops debate McCarrick report and whether it proves they need more lay oversight

Nov 19, 2020

By Michelle Boorstein

One week after a bombshell Vatican report about the rise of ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, U.S. bishops debated the report’s import Monday at their biannual meeting, with some saying it left out the role of money, others saying it shows the bishop-picking process needs fixing, and still others disagreeing about whether it showed the need — or not — for more lay oversight of top clerics.

In a last-minute change, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Friday added a discussion of the McCarrick report to the meeting agenda. The report, which took two years to complete, concluded that multiple top clergy in the United States and Rome knew about rumors and reports of alleged sexual misconduct by McCarrick but either didn’t pass full details onto superiors or opted not to investigate further.

With McCarrick’s career running through multiple Northeastern U.S. dioceses and the report alleging mistakes made along the way, the report’s message for some bishops is pressing.

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