Statements Regarding Archbishop McCarrick

August 3, 2018 – Pastoral Reflection

Dear Friends,

A few days ago I sent you an interview I did with the Catholic Standard regarding the disheartening situation concerning Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. In that communication I mentioned that as events unfold and we move forward I shall try to provide additional observations. Today I share with you a Pastoral Reflection entitled: “Episcopal Support as Pope Carries Out Reform,” which provides my views on the way forward as the Archdiocese of Washington and the broader Catholic Church and her leadership deal with this challenging situation. Attached is the reflection (en Espanol). It is also posted on our archdiocesan website, which includes a handy glossary and resources of the documents referred to in the reflection.

With every good wish, I am

Faithfully in Christ,
Donald Cardinal Wuerl
Archbishop of Washington


July 31, 2018 – Q&A Interview

Dear Friends,

Normally, I use this e-mail to update you on news in the Archdiocese and on other important issues.  Today, given the recent and disheartening reports regarding Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, I send you an interview I did with the Catholic Standard.  It is also provided in Spanish in our other Catholic newspaper, El Pregonero. As events unfold and we move forward, I shall try to provide additional observations.

With every good wish, I am

Faithfully in Christ
Cardinal Donald Wuerl
Archbishop of Washington


June 21, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I think we were all shocked and saddened when we learned this past week when Cardinal Theodore McCarrick issued a public statement that a decades-old but credible and substantiated claim of abuse of a minor had been made against him in the Archdiocese of New York when he served there as a priest.

While the Archdiocese of New York investigated this claim, at the same time, I requested that a similar review be made of all Archdiocese of Washington’s records. Based on that review, I can report that no claim – credible or otherwise – has been made against Cardinal McCarrick during his time here in Washington.

We must now wait for a final determination of this case to be made in Rome. In matters such as this our first priority as a Church is to continue to offer spiritual and pastoral support for the survivors of abuse and their families, and to provide assistance to help them heal and find peace. The abuse of children is a terrible tragedy, and the Church, even as we offer profound apologies, can never express enough our deep sorrow and contrition.

At the same time, it is also important that we encourage survivors of abuse to come forward. The Archdiocese of Washington and its Office of Child and Youth Protection offer resources and confidential support to any who have suffered from abuse and who seek our help. We work diligently to ensure that our parishes, schools and youth programs remain safe and secure for the young people that are entrusted to our care.

I encourage all of the members of our Archdiocesan Church to join me in prayer for everyone involved in this matter, including the survivor who stepped forward, for all those who have been victimized by abuse, and for our Church, that everyone may experience the healing power of God’s grace.

July 29, 2018

For more than 30 years, the Archdiocese of Washington has encouraged survivors of sexual abuse to come forward, and has sought to not only address claims of abuse swiftly, but to also offer assistance to survivors of abuse in the hope of bringing healing to those who have been harmed.

When the first claim against Archbishop McCarrick was filed in the Archdiocese of New York, the Archdiocese of Washington reviewed its own files and found no complaints of any kind made against Archbishop McCarrick.  Further, the confidential settlements involving acts by Archbishop McCarrick in the Diocese of Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Newark were not known previously to Cardinal Wuerl or the Archdiocese of Washington.

In the aftermath of these claims in New York, Newark and Metuchen, we now have individuals courageously stepping  forward – though anonymously due to understandable privacy concerns – and speaking to the media regarding additional claims of abuse by Archbishop McCarrick that heretofore were not known to the Archdiocese of Washington. These experiences shared by survivors are profoundly troubling and represent a breach of trust and wounding that no person should bear alone. Cardinal Wuerl again recently affirmed that those coming forward with new allegations show also a confidence in the Church to take seriously these charges and act quickly in responding.

We continue to pray for the survivors of such abuse and understand how difficult it is to share such painful memories. While the struggle to confront such experiences is difficult for survivors, the archdiocese wishes to accompany them and help them through this process. The archdiocese encourages all coming forward to share these experiences with any diocese in which they reside so that these grave issues can be reviewed promptly by Church authorities, and that we can offer assistance to begin the process for healing and peace.


June 20, 2018

Sometime ago, an allegation that falls under the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was made against Cardinal McCarrick when he served as a priest in the Archdiocese of New York.

The Holy See, which has exclusive authority in the oversight of a cardinal, delegated Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York to investigate the allegation, engaging the review board of the Archdiocese of New York.

In the end the review board found the allegations credible and substantiated.

The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the direction of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has instructed Cardinal McCarrick that he is to refrain from any public ministry or activity until a definite decision is made.

Cardinal McCarrick, while maintaining his innocence, has accepted the decision.

While saddened and shocked, this archdiocese awaits the final outcome of the canonical process and in the meantime asks for prayers for all involved.

At the same time, we renew our commitment to care for the victims who have suffered abuse, to prevent abuse before it occurs, and to identify and report child abuse once it has happened.

June 20, 2018

Hace ya algún tiempo atrás, una acusación en violación de las Orientaciones del Cuidado y Protección a los Niños y Jóvenes de la Conferencia Episcopal de los Estados Unidos fue presentada en contra del Cardenal McCarrick. Dicha acusación está referida en tiempos cuando el Cardenal servía como sacerdote en la Arquidiócesis de Nueva York.

La Santa Sede, quien tiene exclusivamente la autoridad de supervisar a un cardenal, delegó al Cardenal Timothy Dolan, Arzobispo de Nueva York, para investigar la acusación por medio de la Junta de Revisión de la Arquidiócesis de Nueva York que analiza estos casos.

Al final del proceso, dicha Junta que revisó la presente acusación la encontró creíble y justificada.

El Secretario de Estado del Vaticano, el Cardenal Pietro Parolin, bajo las instrucciones de Su Santidad el Papa Francisco, le ha pedido al Cardenal McCarrick de abstenerse de toda actividad o servicio ministerial público, hasta que una decisión final sea hecha.

El Cardenal McCarrick, aun declarando su inocencia al respecto de dicha acusación, ha aceptado la decisión.

En espíritu de tristeza y abrumación al respecto de dichos acontecimientos, la Arquidiócesis de Washington esperará el resultado final del proceso canónico. A la vez, pide oraciones por todas las partes envueltas en el presente caso.

Al mismo tiempo, sea esta la oportunidad para renovar nuestro compromiso de extender un cuidado pastoral a todas las víctimas que han sufrido un abuso y para reiterar que continúa nuestro compromiso en prevenir cualquier abuso que podría pasar. También se continuará identificando e informando cualquier caso de abuso a menores de edad en esta Arquidiócesis.