ROME – Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been promoted and allowed to maintain his role as the most powerful figure in the American Catholic Church, despite the Vatican knowing he often shared a bed at his New York beach house. Jersey with teenagers studying to be priests, according to a damning new report from the Vatican itself.
Back in the days when Pope John Paul II personally elevated McCarrick to his role as head of the powerful Washington DC diocese in 2000, reports of systematic abuse of power by McCarrick to coerce men into priesthood training were well-known, according to a Vatican report. investigation until its issue by the Holy See on Tuesday.
“At the time of his appointment to Washington, the allegations against McCarrick generally fell into four categories,” the report said, listing them as priests personally witnessing “McCarrick’s sexual conduct” and a priest filing a complaint in which McCarrick ” tried to engage. sexual activity ”with him the summer of his date. The report states that the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Apostolic Nuncio in the United States and various cardinals in the United States received anonymous letters which “accused McCarrick of pedophilia with his” nephews “” as the young men were called. It was also well known at the time that McCarrick “shared a bed with young adult men at Bishop’s Residence in Metuchen and Newark” and that “McCarrick was known to have shared a bed with adult seminarians at a beach house on the New Jersey shore. . “
The report goes on to say that the allegations “were summarized in a letter dated October 1999 from Cardinal O’Connor, then Archbishop of New York, to the Apostolic Nuncio, and were communicated to Pope John Paul II shortly thereafter. “.
Still, the Pope chose to elevate McCarrick anyway.
The allegations circulating about McCarrick were so disturbing that the Vatican agreed with American churchmen that “it would be unwise to move him from Newark to another seat three times,” including Chicago. in 1997, New York in 1999 and Washington, DC. 2000. But then John Paul II overturned the decisions and approved his decision to lead the powerful diocese of the American capital. “However, Pope John Paul II seems to have changed his mind in August / September 2000,” the report says. “Which ultimately led to his decision to appoint McCarrick to Washington in November 2000.”
John Paul II even wrote to the bishops of New Jersey to determine if the sex claims were true. “The bishops’ responses to the inquiry confirmed that McCarrick had shared a bed with young men but did not indicate with certainty that McCarrick had engaged in sexual misconduct. What is now known, the report says, is that “three of the four American bishops provided inaccurate and incomplete information to the Holy See regarding McCarrick’s sexual conduct with young adults.”
The report also contains McCarrick’s own claim. “In the seventy years of my life, I have never had sex with anyone, man or woman, young or old, clergyman or layman, and I have never abused another. no one nor treated her with disrespect. ” The report goes on to say that the Holy See has never received a letter of complaint from any young man and that the accusations have been classified as “gossip and rumor”.
But because these young men were of legal age, the church under the last three popes seemed to have turned a blind eye to the cardinal’s sin of breaking his celibacy in exchange for everything he had brought to Rome in the form of massive donations via the American papal fund. and his global influence as a Vatican globe-trotter. The report admits this, stating that during his long ministry, “McCarrick has been recognized as an exceptionally hardworking and efficient bishop, capable of handling delicate and difficult missions both in the United States and in some of the most pressing regions. most sensitive in the world. including in the former Eastern bloc and in particular in Yugoslavia.
That all changed in June 2018, when the Archdiocese of New York said it found “credible and substantiated” allegations that McCarrick sexually abused a choirboy in the 1970s. The victim said McCarrick had him sexually abused him. had fondled during the preparations for Christmas mass inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The church believed the victim was telling the truth and therefore launched a Vatican investigation into how McCarrick was allowed to exercise so much power despite such pain inflicted on others.
And on Tuesday, after nearly two years, the Vatican finally released its internal report on the matter, which paints a portrait of a church still in denial of the gravity of its prolific sinners.
The Vatican investigation is largely due to an 11-page briefing by former Vatican Ambassador to the United States Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano in August 2018 in which he called for Francis’ resignation, insisting on the fact that he informed the Pope of McCarrick’s alleged abuse in 2013 after his election. Francis told a Mexican TV station he had no recollection of this conversation, but did not address it beyond that. Vigano is aligned with a number of Francis haters, including US Cardinal Raymond Burke who has publicly called on the Pope to address issues he calls heresy dealing with the Pope’s more lenient stance on divorced and gay Catholics. Vigano’s letter accused more than two dozen high-ranking prelates of knowingly concealing McCarrick.
For the first time, the Vatican appears to justify Vigano, who has been chosen as persona non grata in the present papacy, and to admit that he, as acting secretary of state in 2006 and 2008, wrote letters to the pope Benedict XVI referring to the allegations against McCarrick. “The memoranda referred to allegations and rumors about McCarrick’s misconduct in the 1980s and raised concerns about the possibility of a scandal given that the information had already been widely circulated.” However, nothing was done by Benoît.
The report also points to some of the most influential prelates, including Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who fell out of favor with Pope Francis after a multi-million dollar renovation of his penthouse in Rome. According to the report, Bertone had taken the matter of McCarrick’s sexual peccadilloes directly to Benedict. “Ultimately, the path of a canonical process to resolve factual issues and possibly prescribe canonical sanctions has not been taken,” admits the report. “Instead, the decision was made to appeal to McCarrick’s conscience and ecclesial spirit, telling him that he should maintain a lower profile and minimize travel for the good of the church.
Again nothing concrete was done and Benedict chose to believe McCarrick’s pleas of sexual innocence by admitting that he shared a bed with younger men and instead McCarrick received even more. responsibilities for the church, going to Rome for high level meetings and working in the middle. East, even liaising on behalf of the US State Department.
Under the papacy of Francis, McCarrick initially continued as usual, but a new revelation of McCarrick’s penchant not only for seminarians, but for young altar boys sparked a chain of mea culpa events, including how the former Diocese of McCarrick in New Jersey financially settled two allegations of sexual abuse. on behalf of the cardinal and how he was sanctioned by the Vatican in 2008 after it was alleged that his five bedroom beach house in New Jersey was used for gay orgies with the men studying for the priesthood, a sort of weekend romper in which he always invited six young men to share his bed. In a letter to the Vatican about the allegations, McCarrick denied the sex but apologized for his “unfortunate lack of judgment” for sharing his bed with the young men.
Then a man named James Grein, whose family often welcomed McCarrick into their home, accused “Uncle Ted” of treating him for years of sexual abuse and emotional manipulation that began when Grein was only 11 years old.
It wasn’t until 2017 that Francis received the full report of McCarrick’s previous investigations, the report says, naming several high-ranking cardinals who have hidden it. “Until 2017, no one – including Cardinal Parolin, Cardinal Oullet, Archbishop Becciu or Archbishop Vigano – provided Pope Francis with documentation regarding allegations against McCarrick,” the report says, despite ‘insistence from Vigano. “Believing that the allegations had already been considered and rejected by Pope John Paul II, and well aware that MCarrick was active during the papacy of Benedict XVI, Pope Francis saw no need to change the approach that had been taken. the previous years. “
But that changed in 2017 when the Archdiocese of New York admitted that McCarrick was credibly accused of sexually abusing a victim under the age of 18. “Shortly after the accusation was found to be credible, Pope Francis called for McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals. When Pope Francis stripped McCarrick of his red cardinal cap and secularized him, McCarrick became the highest ranking prelate to ever be erased from all that it means to be a Catholic priest. He was sent to a Kansas convent to live out his years of prayer and in 2019 moved to an undisclosed location after the convent grew tired of the reaction to welcoming him.
McCarrick has always maintained his innocence, claiming in June 2018 that he does not recall any such abuse. “While I have absolutely no recollection of these reported abuses and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain that the person who brought the accusations endured, as well as the scandal these accusations cause to our people.”
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