For a Christian, no one can be wholly monster—indeed, some monsters are victims themselves. But the Mennonite response to Yoder should serve as a cautionary tale: The story of what McCarrick did doesn’t belong to him; it began with him, but will not end when he and his network have been completely exposed or completely punished. It belongs, rather, to his Maria Gorettis; those whose trust in him and whose faith in God were used as excuses for predation. It’s they who have suffered at his hands and at the hands of those who preferred to remain ignorant. It’s they to whom repentance must be made, and they whose healing will be synonymous with the church’s. This must be done, not for future children, not for future seminarians, not for future Catholics who won’t be damaged and in need of help; but for these people who the church has failed.
Matthew Loftus teaches and practices Family Medicine in Baltimore and East Africa. His work has been featured in Christianity Today, Comment, & First Things and he is a regular contributor for Christ and Pop Culture. You can learn more about his work and writing at www.MatthewAndMaggie.org