I don’t think I am ever going to read the McCarrick report – at 460 or so pages, with copious footnotes, it is akin to Augustine’s City of God, but a lot less edifying – so of all the summaries and precis floating around the internet, Father Stravinskas does quite a thorough and insightful task. His article is titled – tongue in cheek – ‘Four Villains and One Saint’, which reminds me of the Oratorian joke that when Saints Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Isidore of Sevillle, Francis Xavier and Saint Philip Neri were official declared to be in the heavenly firmament by Gregory XV in 1622, that the Pope had canonized ‘four Spaniards and a Saint’. Of course, this is a lot more serious, for there are true saints and villains, and everything in-between in the muddling middle – and the debacle does seem a sordid and sorry mess, in the midst of which, as Father Stravinskas states, there is much that is strangely missing. And, if even a few of the characters are inveterate liars, how is one to trust anything they say? As the legal – and moral – principle has it, falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus – false in one thing, false in all things. Which is why lying – even ‘white’ lies – are intrinsically evil, and a habit to be avoided pretty much at all costs, and perhaps why, to some extent – and not to exculpate anyone – why many, including Pope John Paul and other discerning souls, could not see the truth about McCarrick and accomplices.
But questions still remain. The full truth, and nothing but the truth, in all of this will only come out at the end, in each person’s judgement before the tribunal of Christ, where there will be more obfuscation and jigging the system. That, dear reader, will be the real McCarrick report – and the report on each one of us.
So strive to live a good and honest life, with ‘clean hands and pure heart’ as the Psalm says, for only they will climb the mountain of the Lord, the only peak worth conquering.