It’s the money, Stupid!

“We are easily talking about six-figure sums every year.”

That is the assessment of one diocesan official in Newark, New Jersey, of the income of former Cardinal McCarrick’s discretionary fund or ‘Archbishop’s Fund’. The Diocese of Washington has consistently refused details of the Fund, after it was transferred from Newark with the archbishop.

But McCarrick was a notorious participant in what has been called the ‘envelope culture’, revealed by the exposure of former Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Michael Bransfield. McCarrick was also influential in trying to persuade the Papal Foundation to give a loan of $25 million (at Francis’s request) to a scandal-riven Roman children’s hospital.

The question has to be whether ‘generosity’ from the Archbishop’s Fund gained McCarrick impunity from censure over his other activities. If not, why will the Diocese of Washington not release details of individuals to whom payments from the Fund were made?

Sexual scandals so often involve financial irregularities, and, awaiting evidence to the contrary, this seems to be the case here.

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