Archbishop Gregory promises us the truth. Here’s how...

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Apr 04, 2019

At today’s press conference formally announcing his appointment to head the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, Archbishop Wilton Gregory promised: “I will always tell you the truth as I understand it.” Good. “The only way I can serve this archdiocese is by telling the truth,” he said. Good, good.

In February 2004, in his capacity as president of the US bishops’ conference, then-Bishop Gregory released a report on the scope of the sex-abuse scandal in the US. “The terrible history recorded here today,” he said, gesturing toward the report on the scandal, “is history.” History, yes. But it wasn’t past history.

During that press conference Bishop Gregory assured the faithful that the bishops were “doing everything possible to see that it does not happen again.” The press conference was held in Washington, DC—an archdiocese led at the time by Theodore McCarrick. At the time, there were some truths—plenty of them, actually—that our bishops weren’t ready to tell us.

And now? In the middle of his new archdiocese, Archbishop Gregory will find the office of the Vatican nuncio, whose files could provide conclusive answer to the questions (raised by Archbishop Vigano, who once served there) about how McCarrick rose to power and kept his position despite reports of flagrant immorality. When the new archbishop calls for the opening of those files, we’ll know he’s committed to giving us the truth.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Apr. 08, 2019 9:31 PM ET USA

    I watched the news conference, and I could have sworn I saw his nose growing.

  • Posted by: Retired01 - Apr. 06, 2019 2:57 PM ET USA

    One reason why this appointment may be safe, as you comment in your April 5 post, is that the Washington files that could provide conclusive answers to Vigano's questions may be now in safe hands. If my speculation is correct, and if these files support Vigano's accusations, Rome can now stop worrying about these files falling into what Rome would consider the wrong hands.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Apr. 05, 2019 11:28 PM ET USA

    Truth for this man is indeed how he sees it. We will never see the full truth on Mccarrick because he is beholden to Wuerl and Mccarrick. So good luck on the truth.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Apr. 04, 2019 7:41 PM ET USA

    The words, "as I understand it," mean that we're never going to get the truth.