Friday, March 6, 2020

The 7th Anniversary of McCarrick’s “Influential Italian Gentleman”

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March 5, 2020 (Steven O’Reilly) – Almost seven years ago to this day, the General Congregations for the 2013 conclave commenced. These meetings were attended by both cardinal-electors and those cardinals who would not be eligible to vote in the conclave which would begin mid-March 2013.

This may call to mind the potential role played in the conclave by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, regarding whom we still await the Vatican’s report on his sexual crimes and other corrupt acts. It has been just over a year since the release of the Testimony of Archbishop Vigano, which revealed that Pope Francis had lifted sanctions placed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI. Vigano recounted his audience with the Pope in which Francis asked “what is McCarrick like?” The question was, as Vigano notes, deceitful as Francis was a long-time friend of McCarrick. The question appeared intended to determine whether Vigano was an “ally of McCarrick or not.”

This was not the first time, nor the last, when Pope Francis would appear to reward or protect a friend. Readers may recall the infamous story of how Francis interrupted Cardinal Muller, as the the cardinal was saying mass, to demand he end an investigation into Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor over an abuse allegation. Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, another long-time friend of Pope Francis, is considered one of the key “pope-makers” of the conclave which elected Cardinal Bergoglio.

Catholics, understandably, wonder what motivated Pope Francis to lift the sanctions on McCarrick. Vigano in his Testimony seems to suggest one factor was the “important part he (McCarrick) had played in his (Bergoglio’s) recent election.” Here Vigano has in mind McCarrick’s revelation in an October 2013, during a lecture at Villanova University in which he recounted a curious tale. In early March 2013, just before the General Congregations, the pre-conclave meetings of cardinals, McCarrick was visited by an “influential Italian gentleman” at the North American College in Rome.  (more...)

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