Skip to Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life Full Site Menu Skip to main content
December 10, 2020

The McCarrick Report: Findings, Lessons, and Directions

The McCarrick Report: Findings, Lessons, and Directions Video Player

Showing the The McCarrick Report: Findings, Lessons, and Directions Video

On November 10, 2020, the Vatican released its long-awaited report on the rise of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick within the Catholic Church. This unprecedented 459-page account revealed major institutional, cultural, and personal failures that led to immense suffering for victim-survivors of clergy sexual abuse and terrible damage to the Church.

One month later, the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at​ Georgetown University and the Taking Responsibility: Jesuit Institutions Confront the Causes and Legacy of Clergy Sexual Abuse initiative at Fordham University co-sponsored an online dialogue to look at the report’s most important findings, lessons it holds, and future directions in continuing to confront the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

A journalist who covered McCarrick for decades, a historian of U.S. Catholicism, and two survivors of clergy sexual abuse who have worked for the U.S. Catholic bishops and with Pope Francis explored questions such as:

  • What are the most important findings of the report? Its greatest strengths? Its most significant shortcomings?
  • What are the most important lessons from the report? For the Church in the United States? For the Vatican? For victim-survivors? For bishops? Laypeople?
  • What are the global implications of the report? What does this mean for the universal Church, and in particular for victim-survivors in and beyond the United States?
  • In light of the report, what are the most important directions and priorities to overcome clericalism and to assure greater transparency, accountability, renewal, and reform in the Catholic Church?

Resources

View a list of articles, books, and other resources for this dialogue.

This online Public Dialogue was co-sponsored by the Taking Responsibility Initiative at Fordham University and the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University.

Participants

John Carr

John Carr

John Carr is the director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. For over 25 years he served at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He wrote in America about the lessons he had learned from his experience of clergy sexual abuse and his work with the U.S. bishops, including McCarrick.

Juan Carlos Cruz

Juan Carlos Cruz

Juan Carlos Cruz is an executive in Philadelphia. A survivor of clergy sexual abuse in Chile, he was first disbelieved and later welcomed to the Vatican by Pope Francis to share his experience and recommendations. He is widely seen as a key figure who challenged Pope Francis to take decisive action on clergy sexual abuse as a global crisis.

Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Kathleen Sprows Cummings is the director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism and a professor in the Department of American Studies and Department of History at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of A Saint of Our Own: How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American (2019) and New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era (2009).

David Gibson

David Gibson

David Gibson is the director of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University. He is a former national reporter for Religion News Service where he specialized in coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church, and he covered McCarrick for decades, including a recent article in Commonweal.

Bradford Hinze

Bradford E. Hinze

Bradford E. Hinze, who will moderate the dialogue, is the Karl Rahner, S.J., Professor of Theology at Fordham University, and the project director for the initiative “Taking Responsibility: Jesuit Institutions Confront the Causes and Legacy of Clergy Sexual Abuse,” a joint project of the Curran Center for the Study of American Catholicism and the Theology Department at Fordham.