You might recall from the November USCCB meeting this past November that not only did the pope forbid action on the episcopal sex abuse crisis, but the convened bishops voted against asking the Vatican to share its documents pertaining to disgraced Bishop McCarrick. Think about it. At the beginning of the meeting, at least some bishops moved to take action on the sex abuse crisis. Towards the end, they voted to continue the de facto cover-up for McCarrick. Doesn't that seem like a drastic change in their stances? What - or who - was behind such an extreme swing in collective attitudes?
But even Cupich and Wuerl were taking their queues from higher-ups. The main higher-up appears to be Pope Francis himself. Church Militant has discovered that the Vatican's so-called "investigation" into McCarrick's crimes of perversion is turning into a smear campaign against his former victims, now accusers. They are actually trying to say that because 1) the boy may have been 16 at the time and not a minor and 2) the sex may have been "consensual", that somehow McCarrick's culpability and guilt may be mitigated.
Of course that theory is shot full of holes. If you look at the Church Militant link, you'll notice another link at "Taylor Marshall". It is to a video wherein Marshall interviews James Grein, who was molested by McCarrick starting at age 11. Was the Vatican referring to yet another boy? Even if so, that makes not one whit of diffference. The Vatican, in its statement, seems intent on conflating civil law with moral and Church law. It is the latter two laws, both higher than the first, that is the Vatican's only concern.
Some are expressing shock, and rightly so; I'm not sure about their reasons. They state correctly that McCarrick took a vow of celibacy, but celibacy has nothing to do with these crimes. The laity do not take vows of celibacy, but still the actions that McCarrick took are mortally sinful for them as well. Homosexual acts are mortal sins, whether committed by lay or celibates. As far as consensual, I would wager that a cleric holds much sway over a young person, particulary a vulnerable person. Any solicitation to sin would be coercive in that context. If the victim were female, no one would contest that statutory rape occurred. Why the contest in this case? Answer - to deflect culpability from McCarrick. The lengths to which the Vatican is going to defend McCarrick indicate that 1) they don't want any continuing investigation to be directed at them, and/or 2) McCarrick has a lot of dirt on them and is forcing this ludicrous attempt.
But the Vatican is also doing all it can to have themselves held harmless. The Catholic Standard published an article that essentially tried to shift moral responsibility for the pope's delay order onto the bishops themselves, In other words, the Standard is in cahoots with the cover-up. Nice try, guys, but no cigar! Yes, the US bishops have plenty of guilt owing to their ongoing coverup attempts, but much blame for this mess lies with the Vatican and Pope Francis himself.
By the way - I mentioned Taylor Marshall's interview with James Grein. Please take the time to watch the entire thing. It is very informative regarding McCarrick's early years, as he got his start in undermining the Church.
Please be discussing these matters with your friends at Church. Please make sure not to contribute to any archdiocesan collections, particularly those headed by dissident bishops. Now we must also urge boycotts of the Peter's Pence collections. Simply contribute directly to worthwhile charities and the more tradition-minded religious orders.