Lesson from McCarrick case: Pay attention to misconduct with adults


July 2, 2018

By Charles Collins

When the Archdiocese of New York announced a “credible and substantiated” allegation of sexual abuse against a minor was confirmed against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick – the former Archbishop of Washington, who had served as a priest in New York – it was the first time an American cardinal was personally charged with a crime involving a minor, against the backdrop of a crisis that’s enveloped the Church for nearly two decades.

Yet the most overlooked announcement was from across the state line, when the Archdiocese of Newark, which McCarrick led from 1986-2000, revealed that the cardinal had been accused of having “engaged in sexual behavior with adults,” and that “two of these allegations resulted in settlements.”

It was not that surprising because such rumors have dogged McCarrick for years. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat said on June 23 that journalist friends had told him, “McCarrick or ‘Uncle Ted’ as he urged his paramour-victims to address him, had such a long history of pursuing seminarians and priests that a group of Catholics went to Rome to warn against making him Washington’s archbishop (to no avail).”

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