Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston, Mass. attorney who has represented over 3,000 victims of clergy abuse, announced the names of five Rochester priests who allegedly sexually abused 17 people over a period of 28 years that started in 1950. Tina MacIntyre-Yee/Shawn Dowd
SOMERVILLE, N.J. — Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired Roman Catholic archbishop of Washington, D.C, is alleged to have sexually abused a minor 47 years ago when he was a priest in the Archdiocese of New York, Catholic church officials announced Wednesday.
As a result of the allegations, called “credible and substantiated” by church officials, the cardinal is stepping down from active ministry until a definite decision is made through the canonical process, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Washington.
“While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through, as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people,” McCarrick said in a statement.
The 87-year-old McCarrick, who has been a priest for 60 years, is believed to be the first cardinal to step down from active ministry after allegations of sexually abusing a minor.
As part of the review process, while no other allegations of abuse with minors were found, allegations that McCarrick engaged in sexual misconduct with adults while he served in New Jersey were revealed.
According to a statement from the Archdiocese of New York, the sexual abuse allegations were reported several months ago, and occurred during the time when McCarrick was private secretary to Cardinal Terence Cooke, a position McCarrick held from 1971 to 1977. The allegations were reported to law enforcement officials, and were investigated by an independent forensic agency.
McCarrick was advised of the charge, and, while maintaining his innocence, fully cooperated in the investigation, according to the statement. The Vatican was alerted as well, and encouraged the archdiocese to continue the review.
The allegations were given to the Archdiocesan Review Board, which includes jurists, law enforcement experts, parents, psychologists, a priest, and a religious sister. The board found the allegations to be “credible and substantiated.” The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the direction of Pope Francis, instructed McCarrick, who retired as the Archbishop of Washington in 2006, that he is no longer to exercise publicly his priestly ministry or activity until a definite decision is made, according to the statement.
“Cardinal McCarrick, while maintaining his innocence, has accepted the decision,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, said in the statement.
A statement from Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in part, “I express my gratitude to Cardinal Dolan, who has carried forward with clarity, compassion for the victims, and a genuine sense of justice. With him, I express my deep sadness, and on behalf of the Church, I apologize to all who have been harmed by one of her ministers.”
In separate statements, Most Reverend James F. Checchio, bishop of Metuchen, and Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, archbishop of Newark, said that a review of church records has found no other allegations of abuse of minors during McCarrick’s time in the diocese or the archdiocese.
But the prelates reported that the review found previously unreported allegations that McCarrick engaged in sexual behavior with adults.
“This Diocese and the Archdiocese of Newark received three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago; two of these allegations resulted in settlements,” Checchio said. A diocesan spokeswoman added that the allegations were reported to law enforcement officials at the time they were made; they had not previously been reported publicly.
Throughout his 60 years as a priest, the New York-born McCarrick has had a storied career. Ordained in 1958, he served as an assistant chaplain at the Catholic University, where he later became dean of students and director of development. From 1965 to 1969, he served as president of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico. He then returned to the Archdiocese of New York, where he served in leadership capacities and as a parish associate pastor.
He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of New York in 1977, and in 1982, became the founding bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen, which was carved out of the Diocese of Trenton as the number of Roman Catholics grew in central New Jersey. He was named the fourth Archbishop of Newark in 1986, and held that position for 14 years, until he was appointed the fifth Archbishop of Washington in 2000; he was elevated to cardinal in 2001.
McCarrick, long an advocate of social justice issues and fluent in several languages, has continued to work with different Washington, D.C.-based institutions since his retirement, which occurred at the mandatory age of 75.
But his accomplishments will now be linked with the sexual abuse scandal which has rocked the Roman Catholic church for decades.
Judy Block-Jones, midwest associate leader for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, hopes that Wednesday’s announcement will give other “victims the courage to step forward.”
Block-Jones believes that “if he did this, he most likely covered up the sex crimes of other clergy,” she said. “Others need to know that it is OK to come forward and speak about what happened to them.”
“The abuse of anyone who is vulnerable is both shameful and horrific,” Checchio said. “The abuse of a minor by a priest — as is being reported in this case from New York — is an abomination and sickens and saddens us all.”
In their three separate statements, Tobin, Checchio and Dolan, offered apologies to anyone ever victimized or abused by clergy, and urged that such abuse be reported to authorities.
“I am thinking particularly of those who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse by clergy – whose lives have been impacted tragically by abuse,” Tobin said. “To those survivors, their families and loved ones, I offer my sincere apologies and my commitment of prayer and action to support you in your healing.”
McCarrick served the archdiocese of Newark for almost 15 years, Tobin noted. “No doubt many of you developed strong relationships with him and appreciate the impact of his service,” he said. “Those feelings are likely hard to reconcile with the news of a credible and substantiated claim of abuse of a minor. While Cardinal McCarrick maintains his innocence and the canonical process continues, we must put first the serious nature of this matter with respect and support for the process aimed at hearing victims and finding truth.”
To report a suspected abuse case, visit the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ victims assistance coordinators website.
Cardinal removed from public ministry after sex abuse allegation
Updated 5:53 PM ET, Wed June 20, 2018
(CNN) Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who led the Archdiocese of Washington and was a political force in the nation’s capital, said on Wednesday that he has been removed from public ministry by the Vatican because of a decades-old allegation of sexual abuse.
The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, “at the direction of Pope Francis,” told McCarrick that he is no longer to exercise his priestly ministry in public, said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, whose archdiocese led the investigation.
McCarrick was also accused three times of sexual misconduct with adults “decades ago” while he served as a bishop in Metuchen and Newark, New Jersey, the current bishops of those cities said on Wednesday. Two of those allegations resulted in settlements, the bishops said.
As a cardinal, McCarrick is one of the highest-ranking American leaders in the Catholic Church to be removed from ministry because of sex abuse charges. Now 87, McCarrick retired at age 75, the mandatory age for Catholic bishops. He maintains his innocence.
“While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through, as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people,” McCarrick said in a statement. He did not address the accusation or settlements in New Jersey.
McCarrick, who lives in a retirement home in Washington, could not be immediately reached for comment. A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Washington said he is not giving interviews and referred a reporter to the statements from McCarrick and the archdiocese.
“While saddened and shocked, this archdiocese awaits the final outcome of the canonical process and in the meantime asks for prayers for all involved,” the Archdiocese of Washington said in its statement. Under church law, McCarrick has the right to appeal his case to the Vatican. Because of the statute of limitations in New York, secular law does not apply.
McCarrick said he was informed several months ago that the Archdiocese of New York, where he was an ordained a priest in 1958, was investigating an allegation of abuse from a teenager “from almost fifty years ago.” The cardinal said was “shocked” by the report but cooperated with the investigation.
The Archdiocese of New York, which led the investigation, said it would not release specific details about the allegation to protect the victim’s privacy. But the archdiocese said a review board composed of jurists, law enforcement experts, parents, psychologists, a priest and a religious sister found the allegations against McCarrick to be “credible and substantiated.”
The accusation was also turned over to law enforcement in New York, according to the archdiocese.
Patrick Noaker, the attorney for the man who made the accusation against McCarrick, said his client was molested by McCarrick on two separate occasions, once in 1971 and once the following year. Noaker said his client has asked to remain anonymous because he is still processing the news of McCarrick’s removal.
Both alleged incidents, Noaker said, occurred at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as his client, an altar boy, was being fitted for a cassock for Christmas Mass. At the time, McCarrick was secretary to Cardinal Terence Cooke, New York’s top churchman.
“McCarrick started measuring him, then he unzipped his pants, stuck his hand in and grabbed his genitals,” Noaker said. The lawyer said his client, who was about 16 at the time and a student at a Catholic high school in New York, pushed McCarrick away. “One thing he distinctly remembers is that McCarrick told him not to tell anyone about it,” Noaker said.
The second alleged incident occurred the following year, again during a fitting for cassocks before the big Christmas Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Noaker said his client was unsure about whether to go, but that McCarrick was not in charge of the fittings. But the future cardinal confronted his client in the bathroom, Noaker said, again molesting his client, sticking his hands down his pants.
“He brushed him away and avoided McCarrick like the plague from then on,” Noaker said.
The attorney said his client is pleased that the Archdiocese of New York heard and believed his claim, which he brought to their attention in January through its Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.
“He knows who the powerful people are here,” Noaker said. “That’s one reason it took him so long to come forward. “But he feels good that people believed him.”
For many years, McCarrick, who led the Archdiocese of Washington from 2001-2006, was known as a genial and effective advocate for the Catholic Church’s political priorities, particularly focusing on the plight of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. As the leading Catholic in Washington, he hobnobbed with presidents and other powerful figures, earning a reputation as someone who could work with both parties.
As a cardinal, McCarrick participated in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned in 2013.
But McCarrick said, “I will no longer exercise any public ministry.” The Catholic Church has used removal from public ministry to discipline clergy who are credibly suspected of sexual abuse. It basically means that McCarrick is not allowed to perform priestly functions, like celebrating Mass, in public.
The Archdiocese of New York said “the matter is now in the hands of the Holy See,” which has the final say in determining the outcome for the once-powerful cardinal.
“This could range from living a life of prayer and penance, to a dismissal from the clerical state,” the Archdiocese of New York said.
McCarrick plans to appeal his case through the Catholic Church’s canonical process, said Bishop James F. Checchio, of Metuchen, New Jersey, where McCarrick was a bishop from 1982-1986.
The Archdiocese of New York said that no other credible accusations of abuse have been made against McCarrick.
Two dioceses in New Jersey, however, where McCarrick was a bishop, said “there have been allegations that he engaged in sexual behavior with adults.”
“This Archdiocese and the Diocese of Metuchen received three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago; two of these allegations resulted in settlements,” Cardinal Joe Tobin of the Archdiocese of Newark said. Checchio said the same in his statement on Wednesday.
“As clergy in God’s church, we have made a solemn promise to protect children and young people from all harm,” Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement. “This sacred charge applies to all who minister in the church, no matter the person’s high standing or long service. This morning was a painful reminder of how only through continued vigilance can we keep that promise.”
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former archbishop, removed from ministry after sex abuse reports
The Chicago Tribune
20 June 2018
By: Michael R. Sisak Associated Press
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired Roman Catholic archbishop of Washington, D.C., has been removed from public ministry and faces further punishment over “credible” allegations that he sexually abused a teenager while a priest in New York more than 40 years ago, the church announced Wednesday.
Pope Francis ordered the 87-year-old cardinal’s removal pending further action that could end in his expulsion from the priesthood. A church panel determined that a former altar boy’s allegations that McCarrick fondled him during preparations for Christmas Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1971 and 1972 were “credible and substantiated.”
McCarrick, the Washington archbishop from 2000 to 2006, is one of the highest-ranking U.S. church officials accused in a sexual abuse scandal that has seen thousands of priests implicated. The church also acknowledged that it had made previously undisclosed legal settlements with adults who accused McCarrick of sexual misconduct decades ago.
McCarrick said he was shocked by the former altar boy’s allegation and denied it in a statement distributed through the church. He said he cooperated in the investigation and accepted the pope’s decision out of obedience to the church.
“While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through, as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people,” McCarrick said.
The former altar boy, a New York-area businessman in his early 60s, went to a church compensation program in January with allegations that McCarrick fondled him when he was 16 and 17, his lawyer said, and met in April with the church panel verifying his claims. Lawyer Patrick Noaker said it was his only option because criminal and civil statutes of limitations had long kicked in.
According to the lawyer, the former altar boy said McCarrick unzipped his pants, reached inside and fondled him while taking measurements for a cassock he was to wear during the Mass. He remembers McCarrick saying to him, “Let’s not tell anybody about this.”
A year later, Noaker said, McCarrick cornered the boy in a bathroom, grabbed him and shoved his hand into his pants. The boy pushed McCarrick away and ran out, Noaker said.
The encounters shook the teenager, who had aspired to become a priest, “to his foundation,” Noaker said.
Also Wednesday, the Newark, New Jersey archdiocese, where McCarrick was a bishop and archbishop, said it was aware of three decades-old allegations against him involving sexual misconduct with adults — no cases there involving minors — and that two of them resulted in legal settlements.
The Newark Archdiocese declined to provide additional details, citing confidentiality concerns.
Richard Sipe, a former priest turned clergy abuse expert, said seminarians and young priests complained to him about McCarrick in the 1970s and early 1980s and that he has since interviewed 12 men who alleged that McCarrick propositioned, harassed or had sex with them.
Sipe said he also reviewed settlement documents that detailed some alleged encounters, including one where a man said he “felt paralyzed” as McCarrick wrapped his legs around him and started to kiss and rub him.
McCarrick’s statement did not address the allegations involving adults. The Washington Archdiocese did not immediately return a message seeking additional comment from him.
The church said it notified the authorities and hired outside investigators after learning of the allegation. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office said Wednesday that it investigated and determined a prosecution was barred by New York’s statute of limitations.
The results of the church’s investigation were forwarded to a review board of church figures and lay professionals that deemed the allegation credible and substantiated, the church said.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan said the New York archdiocese knew of no other such allegations against McCarrick, who was a priest in the city from 1958, when he was ordained, until 1981, when he became Bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey.
McCarrick, known to be fluent in seven languages, was archbishop of Newark from 1986 until 2000 and was elevated to cardinal in 2001.
He participated in the 2005 conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, presided over the graveside service for U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in 2009, and celebrated Mass with Pope Francis during his 2015 visit to Washington.
Advocates for abuse victims said McCarrick also undermined efforts to expose abuse and hold perpetrators accountable by opposing an extended statute of limitations for such crimes and vowing not to comply if a law were passed requiring priests to report suspected child abuse.
McCarrick remains in Washington and is in frail health, the church said.
“The abuse of anyone who is vulnerable is both shameful and horrific,” current Metuchen Bishop James Checchio said. “The abuse of a minor by a priest — as is being reported in this case from New York — is an abomination and sickens and saddens us all.”