He's Accused of Child Sex Abuse. Why Is Former Cardinal Mccarrick Living Next to a School?
By Kelly Heyboer
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
October 1, 2018
|Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. (Jersey Journal file photo)|
Victims advocates are questioning why the Catholic Church has moved former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick to a home for priests in Kansas located within feet of an elementary school.
McCarrick, the former head of the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen, resigned from his post as a cardinal last summer after he was accused of sexual misconduct, including sexually abusing at least two altar boys several decades ago. The 88-year-old priest is awaiting a church trial.
The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., where McCarrick had been living, confirmed Friday that McCarrick was moved to St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kansas, after Pope Francis told him to withdraw from public ministry and events.
"Out of consideration for the peace of the community at St. Fidelis Friary, respect for the privacy of this arrangement is requested," the Archdiocese said in a statement.
St. Fidelis is located around the corner from Victoria Elementary School. The two properties share a border and the corner of the school is within a few feet of the back corner of the St. Fidelis Basilica attached to the friary, according to Google Maps.
|An arial view of St. Fidelis Friary and Victoria Elementary School in Kansas. (Google Maps)|
Officials at the elementary school were stunned to learn a priest accused of sexually abusing young boys was living next door, the Kansas City Star reported.
"I was never made aware of it until I found out through social media today," said Kent Michel, superintendent of the school district and principal of Victoria Elementary told the Kansas City Star.
Some victims advocates questioned why McCarrick is not in a treatment facility or other location far from children.
Bishop Gerald L. Vincke of the Diocese of Salina said in a statement he received a phone call from the Archbishop of Washington on Sept. 13 asking if he could send McCarrick to the friary in Kansas.
Vincke said he replied "yes," his statement said.
"I realize this decision will be offensive and hurtful to many people. Archbishop McCarrick is, in many ways, at the forefront of the recent firestorm in the Church. Many of us are confused and angry by what Archbishop McCarrick is alleged to have done several decades ago," Vincke said.
The Kansas diocese is not paying McCarrick's living expenses, Vincke said.
"Please know that I agreed to this arrangement with the understanding that Archbishop McCarrick is excluded from any public appearances and ministry," he said.
McCarrick has been accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy 50 years ago while he was a priest in New York. The former cardinal said he didn't remember the incident, but didn't think he'd done anything wrong.
A second man whose family was close to McCarrick also accused the priest of sexually abusing him for years, starting when he was an 11-year-old boy in New Jersey.
The Archdiocese of Newark has said McCarrick was previously accused of sexual misconduct with adults during his time in New Jersey that two resulted in settlements that reportedly cost the church about $180,000.
New Jersey's attorney general recently set up a hotline for victims to report allegations of priest sexual abuse. The information will be used for a grand jury probe into how the Catholic Church has handled abuse allegations, similar to the investigation in Pennsylvania that found more than 300 clergy members were accused of sexual misconduct.