In an interview last month with Slate staff writer Ruth Graham, Theodore McCarrick said he doesn’t believe he committed the acts of which he has been accused.
McCarrick, 89, has been in public disgrace since June 2018, when credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor were made known. He was dismissed from the clerical state in February 2019, after an administrative penal process by which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found him guilty of solicitation in the confessional, and sexual abuse of minors and adults, aggravated by abuse of power.
“I’m not as bad as they paint me,” McCarrick told Graham Aug. 14 at the St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kan., about 90 miles west of Salina, where he resides. “I do not believe that I did the things that they accused me of.”
Graham wrote in an article published Sept. 3 that when she challenged McCarrick saying he “makes it sound as if he’s leaving it an open question,” and that it sounded as though he thought it was possible he had committed the acts, he responded no.
She said McCarrick spoke with her briefly before lunch at the friary. He told her he doesn’t leave the friary, even to enter the adjoining Basilica of St. Fidelis; a condition of his residence is that he remain on the grounds of the friary. He indicated that he spends much of his time in the chapel and the library.
McCarrick discussed in particular the accusations by James Grein that he had solicited him during confession: “The thing about the confession, it’s a horrible thing. I was a priest for 60 years, and I would never have done anything like that … That was horrible, to take the holy sacrament and to make it a sinful thing.”
The former cleric told Graham that he thinks men who said he abused them while they were seminarians during weekend trips to his New Jersey beach house “were encouraged” to develop similar stories, attributing this encouragement to unnamed “enemies.”
Full story at Catholic News Agency.