“Not a single complaint”

Update on McCarrick case: Curia Cardinal Kevin Farrell has objected to the narrative that sexual misconduct by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick should have been known when he was Archbishop of Washington.

During those years, "not a single complaint" was made, the head of the Vatican's Office for Laity, Family and Life told the website "Vatican Insider" (Wednesday). Even as McCarrick's roommate, he, Farrell, had learned nothing of previous abuses by the archbishop.

McCarrick, head of the Washington archdiocese from 2001 to 2006, had been dismissed from the cardinalate by Pope Francis in late July. The background is allegations of earlier sexual contacts with priest candidates and at least two minors. In this context, former Vatican diplomat Carlo Maria Vigano, in an op-ed published on 25. August memorandum published wide-ranging accusations against high-ranking clerics and the pope.

Living with McCarrick

Farrell explained that he first met McCarrick when he was appointed archbishop of Washington in November 2001. As of November 2002, Farrell, then an auxiliary bishop, reportedly lived with McCarrick and three to five other clergy in the archdiocesan residence. Farrell had remained there after McCarrick retired under successor Donald Wuerl, until his appointment as bishop of Dallas in May 2007.

Farrell said he never noticed any "inappropriate behavior" on McCarrick's part during their time together at the archdiocesan palace. Nor does he remember ever seeing seminarians in the house. McCarrick was 70 years old when he took office in Washington.

Allusion to homosexual tendencies

Farrell says he first heard an allusion to McCarrick's homosexual tendencies in January 2003, when a former staffer from the Newark diocese inquired conversationally whether McCarrick went to the beach with seminarians. However, he added, this question also did not reveal any wrongdoing. Farrell, according to Vatican Insider, said he "didn't give the remark much thought".

Nor would former papal ambassadors Gabriel Montalvo (1998-2005) and Pietro Sambi (2005-2011) have made any innuendo. On the handling of sexual abuse cases in Washington under McCarrick's leadership, Farrell said the archdiocese was one of the first in the U.S. to establish a review board of lay Catholics.

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