Theodore McCarrick, a former D.C. archbishop and cardinal who was defrocked this year amid allegations that he sexually abused two minors and sexually harassed seminarians, is facing new accusations that he abused at least seven boys from about 1970 until 1990, according to three sources, including a person with direct knowledge of the claims U.S. church officials sent to the Vatican in January.
In addition, six allegations of sexual abuse by seminarians and former seminarians also were sent to Rome, according to this last person.
In an interview, an accuser told The Washington Post that many of the boys knew one another. They often would travel together with McCarrick on fundraising trips to churches and the homes of donors nationwide, where the abuse allegedly would occur. The accuser and his family met McCarrick at a church function when the man was a young child.
It wasn’t until late last year, after allegations involving two other boys became public, that the man said he and other accusers contacted officials. The Washington Post does not identify victims of sexual assault or abuse without their permission.
The man said he and other victims since last year have cooperated with church and civil investigators as well as Vatican officials. After that, he said, he wanted to move on. He was driven, however, to speak out following a recent interview McCarrick gave to Slate in which the onetime fundraising and diplomatic church star denied wrongdoing.
In a September article, McCarrick said he is “not as bad as they paint me. I do not believe that I did the things that they accused me of.”
McCarrick’s interview with Slate spurred him to write an essay. “He attempted to discredit the victims of his sexual abuse while creating further division and confusion within our church,” he said.
The man said he was speaking out about the extent of McCarrick’s alleged abuse in hopes that it will focus Catholic attention on the former D.C. and New Jersey archbishop rather than raging divisions in the faith.
“For me, this is not an attack on our Church. This is not about Conservative vs Liberal. This is not about Straight vs Gay. This is not about Benedict vs. Francis. In my view, those arguments are a distraction. For me, this is about our humanity. This is about the criminal, sexual abuse of minors,” he wrote.
The victim declined to give details about McCarrick’s system with the network of boys but said the ex-cardinal was able to get away with it because of his natural gifts: “He was charming. He was self-effacing. He was completely disarming. And he ran that game on everyone. He ran it on his colleagues, donors and on young boys. Everyone around this guy is just a different shade of victim.”
Full story at The Washington Post.