What to think about accusations against Cardinal McCarrick
religion | Jun 20, 2018 | By William Donohue
A little over a year after assuming the reins of the Catholic League, I started exchanging letters with Newark Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. He was genuinely supportive of our efforts. On October 17, 1994, he wrote to me saying, "I have been speaking to the bishops of New Jersey at our Provincial meeting and encouraging them to support the work of the Catholic League in their own dioceses."
Now he is bearing a heavy cross. The takeaway for me is clear.
On June 12, I wrote the following: "The problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church occurred mostly between 1965 and 1985. Now that it is harder for practicing homosexuals to enter the priesthood—they are responsible for 8 in 10 cases of the sexual abuse of minors (pedophiles are responsible for less than 5 percent)—there is no need for the annual study [of clergy sexual abuse]."
I added that in the last two years, "an average of .005 percent of the clergy had a substantiated charge made against him." I also credited the training programs and screening procedures instituted by the bishops, saying they should be continued.
How is this relevant to the situation that Cardinal McCarrick is in?
The three key points that I made are: the timeline (1965-1985); the sexual orientation of the molester (most were homosexuals); and the progress that has been made (practicing homosexuals have a harder time becoming priests and efforts to check this problem have worked).
In the case of Cardinal McCarrick, the alleged abuse took place a half century ago (in the 1970s), and the alleged victim was a teenager, thus ruling out pedophilia.
Pray for Cardinal McCarrick and anyone whom he may have hurt.
Here follows a statement by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York:
Statement of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York
The Archdiocese of New York, along with every other diocese in the country, has long encouraged those who as minors suffered sexual abuse by a priest to come forward with such reports.
As he himself announced earlier this morning, a report has come to the archdiocese alleging abuse from over forty-five years ago by the now retired Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who, at the time of the reported offense was a priest here in the Archdiocese of New York. This was the first such report of a violation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People ever made against him of which the archdiocese was aware.
Carefully following the process detailed by the Charter of the American bishops, this allegation was turned over to law enforcement officials, and was then thoroughly investigated by an independent forensic agency. Cardinal McCarrick was advised of the charge, and, while maintaining his innocence, fully cooperated in the investigation. The Holy See was alerted as well, and encouraged us to continue the process.
Again according to our public protocol, the results of the investigation were then given to the Archdiocesan Review Board, a seasoned group of professionals including jurists, law enforcement experts, parents, psychologists, a priest, and a religious sister.
The review board found the allegations credible and substantiated.
The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the direction of Pope Francis, has instructed Cardinal McCarrick that he is no longer to exercise publicly his priestly ministry.
Cardinal McCarrick, while maintaining his innocence, has accepted the decision.
This archdiocese, while saddened and shocked, asks prayers for all involved, and renews its apology to all victims abused by priests. We also thank the victim for courage in coming forward and participating in our Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, as we hope this can bring a sense of resolution and fairness.