VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has prepared a “thorough preliminary investigation” into the abuse allegations against Archbishop Theodore Edgar McCarrick. The church will eventually “make known the conclusions” to the public.
The statement issued by the Vatican on October 6, 2018 did not mention the the Viganò accusation against Pope Francis, which accused the pontiff of knowing about the then-cardinal’s misconduct years before McCarrick’s resignation.
“The Holy See is conscious that, from the examination of the facts and of the circumstances, it may emerge that choices were taken that would not be consonant with a contemporary approach to such issues,” the 450-word Vatican statement said.
Pope Francis’ words from his time in Philadelphia were included into the statement: “We will follow the path of truth, wherever it may lead us.”
Pope Francis “renews the pressing invitation to join forces to combat the serious scourge of abuses inside and outside the Church and to prevent such crimes from being further perpetrated against the most innocent and most vulnerable in society,” the statement continued.
The pope announced that he has convened the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the whole world for the next month of February to discuss the allegations.
“The only way we can respond to this evil that has taken so many lives is to live it as a task that involves us and affects us all as People of God,” the statement said, quoting one of Francis’ recent letters. “This awareness of feeling part of a people and a common history will allow us to to recognize our sins and mistakes of the past with a penitential opening capable of allowing ourselves to be renewed from within.”
In July 2018, McCarrrick became the first cardinal in the history of the Catholic Church to resign due to abuse allegations.