Abuse survivor says McCarrick failed to act on complaint about priest

National Catholic Reporter

July 27, 2018

By Peter Feuerherd

Avenel, N.J. – News that charges of sexual abuse of minors and seminarians have been lodged against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick shocked some this summer.

But Mark Crawford was not among them.

Crawford, because of his contacts among priests and church workers, had heard the buzz about the cardinal’s alleged sexual interest in seminarians for years, although he had no direct knowledge. But he did know one thing: Crawford himself had suffered long-term abuse from a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark, had gone to McCarrick when the cardinal led the archdiocese, and was promised that something would be done.

And his abuser was soon returned to ministry.

Crawford described McCarrick’s demeanor at their 1997 meeting as cold and aloof. The then-archbishop said it was his first meeting ever with a victim of sex abuse by clergy. During the meeting, McCarrick told Crawford that his abuser, Fr. Kenneth Martin, would never have access to children again.

“I knew he was compromised when nothing changed,” Crawford told NCR during an interview from his house here. Instead, Crawford watched from afar as his abuser was sent away. But about two years later Crawford picked up a copy of the Advocate, the archdiocesan newspaper, to discover a photo of Martin and McCarrick together at a Christmas party for children at St. James Hospital in Newark where Martin had been assigned as chaplain.

“They never told me anything,” he said about the archdiocese’s subsequent placement of Martin.

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