One of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s former closest collaborators and one of the U.S. Church’s leading crusaders for sex abuse reform, is calling on Pope Francis to break his silence about what the Vatican knew about the previous archbishop of Washington’s history of abuse.
In the hope of ending the “silence and secrecy” surrounding the Church’s handling of abuse, John Carr – who served for two decades as the Capitol Hill point man for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) – also revealed that he was abused by priests while in high school seminary.
“The lesson here is that silence makes things worse, and is not an option for any of us,” Carr told a crowd of over 500 attendees at Georgetown University’s Initiative for Catholic Social Thought and Public Life panel discussion on “Confronting a Moral Catastrophe: Lay Leadership, Catholic Social Teaching, and the Sexual Abuse Crisis.”
While still mounting a strong defense of the Francis papacy, Carr, who was a close associate of not only McCarrick but also former Cardinal James Hickey and the current embattled archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, spoke of his personal experience of being in the room with prelates during internal discussions on sexual abuse cases and said that one of his primary takeaways has been “there are not enough parents in the room when these decisions are made.”
“Many clergy look at this through the eyes of a brother priest. Through the eyes of a father, this was the worst thing that could happen short of the death of a child,” said Carr. “It undermines trust and faith, priesthood and Eucharist, sexuality and family. There need to be more parents in the room.”
John Carr’s remarks can be read in full here.