In what appears to be a continuation of the #MeToo movement, and following decades of substantiated accusations of sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church, a rock star American Catholic Cardinal stands accused of abusing an 11-year-old boy. The abuse continued for over 20 years.
Father Theodore E. McCarrick began abusing “James” in 1969 when the now 60-year-old man was just 11. James told the New York Times that McCarrick was a family friend and started grooming him following a swim in the family’s pool. Apparently pretending to be looking for the bathroom, McCarrick, who was already a priest, came into his bedroom, took his clothes off, exposed himself to the boy and said:
See, we are the same...It’s O.K., we are the same.
James contends that was the beginning of the abuse he experienced at the hands of a pedophile—abuse which went on for 20 years. Reportedly fighting through tears to tell his story, James no longer feels alone, and his secret is similar to the stories of others. He doesn’t have to continue to live in silence. Following the revelation that McCarrick abused a 16-year-old boy in 1971, James said he was relieved.
I got down on my knees and I thanked God that I am not alone and it is going to be O.K....And I can tell somebody and someone is going to believe me.
According to the explosive report, James told his parents what happened between him and “Uncle Ted” but was not believed. Still, the family moved to California where Father McCarrick would frequently visit the family. The Times reported:
By then, James said, Father McCarrick had begun abusing him sexually. When he was 13, he said, the priest first touched his penis. At 14, he said, Father McCarrick masturbated him in a beach parking lot. When he was 15, James said, Father McCarrick took him to a restaurant in San Francisco, the Tonga Room, and poured vodka in his drinks. He then brought him back to his hotel room and masturbated him and brought himself to orgasm, James said.
James later joined the Navy but continued his relationship with McCarrick who would take him to his NY beach house, the same home where other men claimed the now Cardinal would have sex with them.
In June, following the first credible accusation that Cardinal McCarrick abused a teenager (not James), he was asked to step down from his duties. He has not been fired and is still considered one of the most powerful Catholic priests in America.
Predictably, McCarrick denies the accusations he sexually abused a 16-year-old altar boy. He wrote in a statement:
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.
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Ironically, McCarrick, who at one time served as the Archbishop of Washington, was once charged with helping priests and the Catholic Church deal with accusations of sexual abuse among American priests. But according to several now published reports, the Catholic Church, as well as the mainstream media, knew McCarrick was a predator. For whatever reason, The New York Times chose not to run an article, which would have revealed that McCarrick was an abuser as early as 2012.
The June accusation, which claimed McCarrick sexually assaulted an altar boy, seems horrifically reminiscent of the abuse young girls claim to have experienced while attending a Baltimore Catholic school for girls at the hands of Father Joseph Maskell. Chronicled in a Netflix documentary called "The Keepers," Joseph Maskell would call girls into his office for physical examinations, which ultimately led to sexual abuse. Like Maskell, McCarrick was in a position of authority at the Cathedral Prep Seminary in Manhattan and called a 16-year-old boy into a private area for “measuring” according to his lawyer. Patrick Noaker, the accuser’s lawyer told NYT:
under the guise of measuring his inseam, unzipped his pants, and sexually assaulted him...The kid had just turned 16, and kind of pulled back, and McCarrick was a little surprised by that.
McCarrick, who was a Monsignor at the time of the alleged abuse, then told the boy to keep it a secret. Noaker said the abuse didn’t stop with the first attempt. He claims McCarrick later cornered him in a bathroom, said Noaker.
He just came in, grabbed him, shoved his hand into his pants and tried to get his hand into his underwear, and the kid had to struggle and push him away
Then came more reports earlier this year McCarrick sexually preyed upon adults while he served as the Archbishop of Newark. Following the credible accusations that McCarrick abused the teen, the Archdiocese of Newark issued the following statement in June, which reads in part:
In the past, 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.
The Archdiocese claimed to have no knowledge of him abusing minors and promised to report any and all such allegations to the “civil authorities.”
The Times' feature story also chronicled how McCarrick regularly practiced having sex with seminarians, those who wanted to become priests.
Robert Hoatson and Richard Sipe, both former priests, say they knew McCarrick was having sex with “dozens” of budding priests in the 80s and 90s and tried to raise awareness of his predatory nature. Sipe said:
They were from seminarians who were invited to the bishop to go to his summer place on the Jersey Shore, where he had sex with these priests...In his defense, he told them he didn’t like to sleep alone.
As The Free Thought Project has long contended, the “bad apple in every bunch” argument, which is used in defense of authoritarianism, is destroyed when the entire tree is full of bad apples. Catholic Cardinals serve under the direction of the Pope. If you would like to know if your Catholic Priests, Nuns, Brothers, Deacons, and Seminarians have been publicly accused of a crime, there is now a database you can search by name.