Catholic Church “Might Review” A Questionnaire Following McCarrick Report
Following the explosive report released yesterday into the crimes of disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, most of our questions revolved around “what changes will the Catholic Church make to prevent this from happening again?” However, one of the few answers offered by Church sources is less than encouraging.
According to Sr. Sharon Euart, described by the National Catholic Reporter as “a noted canon lawyer who is the executive director of the Resource Center for Religious Institutes,” has suggested that Catholic officials “might review” a questionnaire that is aimed to garner feedback about prospective prelates. To us, this is a ludicrous suggestion and yet another example of why Church officials cannot police themselves. Does anyone really think that a serial abuser like McCarrick went undetected for decades because an internal Church survey apparently does not include the question "is he an abuser?"
This information could be helpful, but policies and procedures are only as good as those who enforce them. It was not a questionnaire that allowed McCarrick’s rise, but the active decisions by men who knew him to ignore what they heard from other sources, put their blinders on, and choose to believe a personal friend instead of multiple other people who had nothing to gain by lying.
Data collection will not prevent another McCarrick. What would is taking steps to fire or demote clerics and prelates who enable abusers. There is no deterrent in the Catholic Church today because history has shown that men who toe the company line and stay quiet about abuse are promoted and praised. Change must be aimed at this culture of secrecy first, and we think that public removals would mean far more than private answers on a questionnaire.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)