- Apr 16, 2021
2020 in the United States, like the rest of the world, will always be synonymous with the coronavirus pandemic. It’s taken over 330,000 American lives to date, put millions out of work and single-handedly changed the way society lives and communicates.
That is, however, only one chapter in the story of the American Catholic Church in 2020.
While every year is unique in its own way, 2020 will arguably go down as among the most memorable in recent history, and these pictures attempt to capture the major moments of the past 12 months.
Speaking of the recent election of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States, Cardinal-designate Wilton Gregory of Washington, who will get a red hat from Pope Francis Saturday, has said that while the new administration certainly poses challenges for the Catholic Church, he believes there are also many points of convergence, including the fight against racism.
On the face of it, both actions are fairly straight-forward. Yet in reality, each lawsuit, filed in completely secular courts, raises a classic ecclesiastical conundrum.
Clericalism and anti-clericalism are two sides of the same prejudicial coin, and both are toxic in getting to the truth.
“It reveals how sclerotic and dysfunctional the system was,” Bishop Robert Barron said. “Again and again, I was struck by the wickedness of McCarrick himself, but also by the tragic incompetence of so many who were charged with investigating, following up, asking serious questions, etc.”
The McCarrick report is so breathtaking that one wonders if anyone in the Vatican actually understands the magnitude of the precedent they just set.
As the dust begins to settle on the report on the rise to power of defrocked ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, survivors are lauded by many as the impetus of the 460-page Vatican document. Had victim’s not come forward, one of the Church’s most notorious predators might still be in the Vatican’s most exclusive club.