The disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick sent more than $600,000 in cash gifts to Vatican officials and other influential prelates during his term as Archbishop of Washington, the Washington Post has revealed.

A legendary fundraiser, McCarrick brought in $6 million in tax-exempt donations to an “Archbishop’s Special Fund,” over which he had complete control. He drew on that fund to send gifts that included, for instance, $19,000 to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Secretary of State; $6,500 to then-Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, the sostituto who handled everyday Vatican administrative affairs; $5,000 to the late Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, who was the papal nuncio in Washington; and a one-time gift of $250,000 to Pope Benedict XVI shortly after his election.

Prelates who received gifts from McCarrick told the Post that the cash did not influence their decisions. In fact some Church officials indicated that it was not unusual to receive such gifts from the heads of affluent archdioceses. Cardinal James Harvey, the former prefect of the pontifical household, told the Post that “numerous bishops from big cities in the United States sent him monetary gifts to show appreciation for his office’s help, including in making arrangements for visits to the pope.” Cardinal Harvey added: “It never occurred to me that this would be in some way improper.”

Full story at Catholic Culture.