I know that a lot is coming at you right now. This made me put my sandwich down and think.
My friend Fr. Gerald Murray, whom you see on the web and on EWTN especially with Prof. Royal, penned a piece for First Things about L’Affaire McCarrick, The Present Crisis, and The Viganò Testimony.
Remember. McCarrick boasted of having helped, as a non-elector before conclave, Card. Bergoglio into the See of Peter. He actively campaigned for him before the conclave doors were shut.
Here is the paragraph that Fr Murray wrote which drew me up:
One great lesson of this scandal is that inflicting private and unpublicized penalties for grave offenses against chastity on “important” clerics is a huge mistake. When Benedict found McCarrick to be guilty as charged, the rest of the Church should have been told. McCarrick would not then have been able to pretend he was under no censure. Any violation of the terms of his punishment would have been noted by everyone and thus not allowed to happen. Then Cardinal McCarrick would not have been at the 2013 conclave, just as the Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien was not present due to his sexual abuse of adult males under his authority.
Had Benedict, bless him, made the sanctions known, then McCarrick would not have physically been anywhere near the pre-conclave meetings of the College of Cardinals in 2013. Of course there are phones and email, but he would not have been there, and being there is a huge part of the game.
The fact that, right after the 2013 election McCarrick suddenly returned to high visibility and influence suggests that there is a connection between what he did before the election and the subsequent results of the election.
We can’t know for sure – but we can strongly guess – that had creepy McCarrick not been there, the conclave may have produced a different result.
This is the stuff of future history books, movies, novels.