(Otherwise, I would have reported them.)For the record, Cardinal Mc Carrick was also someone whom I, like many American Catholics, admired for both his pastoral work and social justice advocacy.
Whenever I met him, he was also unfailingly kind, and I saw him extend that same kindness to others.
And here I will offer only a few explanations; there are many others, and this is not meant to be an exhaustive analysis.
To be clear, this kind of abusive behavior is not confined to diocesan seminaries.
Cardinal Mc Carrick’s case should appall everyone, but it is not, at least as far as I know, the norm. P., a well-respected Dominican priest, related these incidents to the papal nuncio (the official charged with recommending episcopal appointments to the Vatican) but was ignored. Bishop Mc Carrick may have been better known to the nuncio than was Father Ramsey.
Fifth, Bishop Mc Carrick’s talent, intellect and work ethic made him a “desirable” candidate for promotion to the Archdioceses of Newark and later Washington, D. There is plenty of sin to go around: the sins of nuncios and all church leaders who disregarded, downplayed or simply ignored these reports, the sins of all those in power who turned a blind eye to years of the abuse of power, and, finally, the sins of Cardinal Mc Carrick himself, who became not a servant leader but an abusive one.
This brings me to the second question: How could he have risen so rapidly through the church’s ranks with these accusations leveled against him?
First, there is, again, the human tendency to accept the word of the person you know—here, the bishop over the seminarian or the newly ordained priest.
Religious orders are also places where men in power can abuse power, even in sexual ways.
Also to be clear, at least in my experience, these situations are not common in either in diocesan life or religious life and are far from “rampant”—a word that one reporter used in a conversation with me recently. As we saw in the clergy child abuse crisis, the tragic tendency was for church leaders to trust the person they knew.