….Finally, there are also those who cannot believe that the Pope is so tone deaf to the fallout of the Uncle Ted McCarrick scandal in the American Church that he would promote a prelate like McElroy who was a longtime associate and friend of McCarrick’s, benefited from McCarrick’s promotion of his ecclesiastical career, and who surely must have known something about Uncle Ted’s darker proclivities and yet said nothing. After all, the veteran expert on priestly sex abuse, the late Richard Sipe, had warned McElroy about McCarrick long ago with the latter, once again, doing nothing and giving Sipe the cold shoulder. However, Sipe was not without his own baggage in the form of a clear agenda, so the cold shoulder may have been McElroy’s way of saying that “advice” from such tendentious sources was not welcome. Or not.
Who really knows? And that is precisely the point. In an era where the Church’s credibility in the public arena has been fatally compromised by the rolling nightmare of the sex abuse scandals, Pope Francis should have perhaps taken this into deeper consideration before promoting McElroy, who was the face of obstruction (along with Cardinals Cupich and Tobin), to the efforts of the USCCB to pressure the Vatican for more transparency on the status of the McCarrick investigation.
Indeed, McElroy was one of the bishops who voted against a USCCB petition pressing the Vatican for more transparency and speed in the McCarrick investigation. I repeat: he voted against transparency. Which marks him off as either someone who is: A) personally compromised himself in the McCarrick situation and who is seeking to cover things up; B) uncaring toward the victims of abuse; C) a Pope Francis sycophant who was simply trying to shield the Pope from criticism; or D) all, or some combination, of the above.
All that said, I think there is a need to identify the root issue at stake in all of these concerns and criticisms. Beyond particular and proximate issues such as LBTQIAA+++ promotion, Eucharistic discipline, sex abuse scandals, and obstructionism, it is important to ask a simple question: why does Pope Francis like Bishop McElroy enough to make him a Cardinal? After all, the man has some serious baggage….
The above comes from a June 2 posting by Larry Chapp in Catholic World Report.