Vatican releases McCarrick Report; Read Bishop Walkowiak’s statement

Published on November 10, 2020
Bishop Walkowiak's crest.

The Vatican announced on Friday, Nov. 6, that it would publish the long-awaited report on former cardinal Theodore McCarrick this week. The “Report on the Holy See’s institutional knowledge and decision-making process related to former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (from 1930 to 2017), prepared by the Secretariat of State by mandate of the Pope” was released on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. (Rome time)/8 a.m. EST.

The Diocese of Grand Rapids’ Office of Communications relays the following statement from Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak, bishop of Grand Rapids, regarding the McCarrick Report:

“Our Holy Father fulfills a request from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) by releasing the McCarrick report. The report reveals a serious moral failure within the Church by bishops and other Church leaders. No matter their title, perpetrators must be held accountable for any actions that cause harm to those most vulnerable in our communities. The fact that Theodore McCarrick’s abusive behavior remained undisclosed and not acted upon for decades has done incalculable harm to people’s lives and has undermined confidence in Church leadership even more.

While I have not yet been able to study the report in detail, I hope this report reveals why allegations against McCarrick were not disclosed when they were first brought to the attention of Church officials; why it took so long to address this situation; and who promoted the former cardinal and covered up for his misbehavior.

I am grateful to Pope Francis for ordering a thorough investigation of the McCarrick scandal and for issuing this final report so that the truth of the matter can be brought to light. As a bishop of the Catholic Church, I renew my profound apologies to all those who have suffered abuse in the Church. I renew my prayers and support for your recovery and healing. May the publication of this report confront the truth of what happened and bring some measure of peace to victim-survivors as well as show how to further the work of the Church in preventing any recurrences of this type in the future.

A detailed accounting of the safe environment policies and procedures enacted in 2002 in the Church as part of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People may be found on our website home page, click ‘Protecting Gods Children’ in the main menu.”

en Español

“Nuestro Santo Padre cumple la solicitud de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB) al publicar el informe McCarrick. El informe revela una grave falta moral dentro de la Iglesia por parte de obispos y otros líderes de la Iglesia. Independientemente de su título los perpetradores deben ser responsabilizados y rendir cuentas por cualquier acción que cause daño a los más vulnerables en nuestras comunidades. El hecho de que el comportamiento abusivo de Theodore McCarrick permaneció oculto y no se actuó durante décadas ha causado un daño incalculable a la vida de las personas y ha minado aún más la confianza en el liderazgo de la Iglesia.

Aunque no he podido estudiar el reporte en detalle espero que este reporte revele el por qué las acusaciones contra de McCarrick no fueron divulgadas cuando estas fueron presentadas por primera vez a los funcionarios de la Iglesia; ¿Por qué tomó tanto tiempo abordar esta situación? Y ¿Quién promovió al ex cardenal y encubrió su mala conducta?

Estoy agradecido con el Papa Francisco por ordenar una investigación exhaustiva del escándalo McCarrick y por enviar este informe final para que la verdad de este asunto pueda salir a la luz. Como obispo de la Iglesia Católica reitero mis más sentidas disculpas a todos aquellos que han sufrido abuso en la Iglesia y vuelvo a ofrecer mis oraciones y apoyo por su recuperación y sanación. Esperemos que la publicación de este reporte muestre la verdad de lo sucedido y traiga en alguna medida paz a las víctimas sobrevivientes, así como que nos muestre la forma de continuar el trabajo de la Iglesia para prevenir cualquier recurrencia de este tipo en el futuro.

Una descripción detallada de las políticas y procedimientos de ambiente seguro promulgados en 2002 en la Iglesia como parte del Estatuto para la Protección de Niños y Jóvenes en se puede encontrar haciendo clic en “Protecting Gods Children” en el menú principal.”

Printable version of the statement: (English | Español)

Additional resources


Read the full McCarrick Report

Statement by Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State (English | Español)


Statement (English | Español)

Promise to protect, Pledge to heal: Protection of Children and Young People

Abuse prevention resources

Building on the Church’s resolve to eradicate clergy sexual abuse

Reporting abuse in the Diocese of Grand Rapids

If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, either as a child or an adult, by someone representing the Catholic Church or any person acting in the name of the Church, we urge you to come forward. A report can be made regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred. The Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids has a Victim Assistance Coordinator whose primary role is to accompany survivors of abuse and provide resources for their healing journey. Individuals are asked to contact the Michigan Attorney General’s hotline, 844-324-3374, and the diocese’s victim assistance coordinator at 616-243-0491 or by email at Learn more | (Español | Vietnamese)

Reporting abuse by a bishop

Individuals with reasonable cause to suspect a U.S. Catholic bishop of sexual abuse of a minor or his intentional interference with a civil or Church investigation into allegations of sexual abuse committed by another cleric or religious is urged to report this information to the Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting (CBAR) hotline at
800-276-1562 or

Office of Communications
616-551-5629 |

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