Hound dogs on his trail: Cardinal McCarrick, lower right, at a 2016 Vatican ceremony (Catholic Sat screenshot)

An eagle-eyed reader observes that retired Bishop Paul Bootkoski of Metuchen said on August 28 that he reported on McCarrick to the Apostolic Nuncio in 2005. 

Bootkoski released this to rebut Archbishop Vigano’s allegation that he covered up for McCarrick, who was a predecessor in Metuchen, and for whom he was once personal secretary. Here is a photo of the official release:

The reader says:

So Bootkoski says he notified Montalvo in a letter dated Dec. 6, 2005.

On December 17, 2005 Montalvo retired as nuncio.

On Dec. 17 [Archbishop Pietro] Sambi was appointed, arriving on Feb. 24, 2006 (https://cnsblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/vatican-nuncio-to-u-s-archbishop-sambi-dies/)

On May 16, 2006, Wuerl was appointed Archbishop of Washington, DC to replace the retiring McCarrick and was installed as archbishop on Jun 22.

McCarrick takes up residence at a seminary.

So Wuerl tells us that no one told him about McCarrick. Yet we know now that Bootkoski told Montalvo. This means we must believe that Montalvo never told Rome, that Rome never told Sambi, and/or that Sambi never told Wuerl.

Further, Wuerl tells us that as a cardinal, McCarrick’s living arrangements were not his concern–meaning they were Rome’s. Again, we must believe that in approving these well-known arrangements that Montalvo had not told Rome or that Rome did nothing.

Vigano’s testimony claims that Montalvo told Rome back in 2000, and that he, Vigano, working in the Secretary of State’s office in 2006, wrote a memo for his superiors warning them that McCarrick’s corruption was going to be a big problem, and urging them to act. Vigano indicates his belief that the information in his memo never made it to Pope Benedict XVI.

In any case, with the Bootkoski statement, it becomes even harder to believe Cardinal Wuerl’s claim that he was not told by anyone about McCarrick’s abusive past. Strictly speaking, it is possible that Sambi kept Wuerl in the dark, and no other US bishop ever mentioned to the cardinal archbishop of Washington that there were two sex abuse legal settlements made with accusers of his predecessor. But how likely is it?

(I know this is all inside baseball to lots of you readers. But it’s all in putting together pieces of a complicated jigsaw puzzle.)