Bishops, let alone Archbishops & ex-Cardinals, don’t get defrocked often. So, this issue that crossed my (ever fertile) mind doesn’t come up that often. What happens to the credibility of bishops who were LEGITIMIZED by Theodore McCarrick during his very long tenure as a bishop, archbishop and then cardinal.
‘Legitimized’ in this context referring to episcopal consecration — i.e., a bishop, per his standing as a bishop, elevating another to be a bishop.
This is the so called ‘Apostolic Succession‘. Each Catholic bishop is supposed to have a direct line to one or more of the original Apostles via this mechanism where a new bishop can only be established by an existing bishop … the theory being that the very first bishops were established by the original Apostles.
But, a bishop who gets defrocked could NEVER have been a worthy successor to the Apostles. He would have always been flawed. Otherwise he would not have got defrocked.
So, this would mean that McCarrick was a fraud when he was a bishop. Thus his consecrations have to be flawed if not bordering on fraud.
Think about it. I bet the bishops he consecrated are none too happy. You can bet on that.