The latest news in the Cardinal Theodore McCarrick scandal makes some reporters look particularly clueless.
On Saturday, McCarrick became the first cardinal in history to resign from the College of Cardinals over the priestly sex abuse crisis, which means he no longer wears the red hat.
Obviously, a lot of scribes were pulled in their newsrooms on their days off to do the story or weekend reporters had to fill in. Crux's John Allen worded it the best:
It’s really not that often one can say with certainty that we witnessed history being made at a specific moment, but Saturday brought such an occasion with a Vatican announcement that Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the College of Cardinals.
It’s an unprecedented move in the United States, the first time an American cardinal has ever renounced his red hat, and it’s the first time anywhere in the world has exited the college altogether facing accusations of sexual abuse. It is, therefore, the most tangible confirmation to date from Francis that when he says “zero tolerance,” he means everybody.
One of the weirder press reports came from WTOP, a Washington, D.C. news station.
Naturally, the outlet wanted some comment from the current head of the Washington archdiocese. What it got were bland quotes like this:
“I think this was a big step forward in trying to act quickly, decisively, even though the whole procedure isn’t concluded yet,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl who succeeded McCarrick as the Archbishop of Washington. “The pope is saying that we need to show that we are hearing these things, paying attention and acting.”
Oddly, I could not find any video of Wuerl’s remarks on WTOP’s site, so I could not tell if he answered all the questions he was asked or whether he dodged any.
“This decision highlights for me … that the pope takes very seriously the allegation of an abuse of a minor,” added Wuerl. He said both McCarrick’s resignation and the pope’s acceptance of it mean that “if we’re moving forward, these are signs of that progress.”
Wuerl said he has never been approached with allegations of abuse by McCarrick and was unaware of the rumors that have been associated with his predecessor.