Elizabeth Bruenig: ‘Amid the darkness of Church abuse, one shining star still gives us hope’


December 27, 2018

By Elizabeth Bruenig

Somehow it doesn’t come as a surprise that the allegations of sexual misconduct that finally brought down the former cardinal and archbishop emeritus of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, happened at Christmastime.

When he was removed from ministry in June, McCarrick stood accused of molesting a teenage boy while measuring him for a cassock for a special Christmas service in 1971, the victim alleged, and then again in 1972, during preparations for that year’s Christmas service. Was there ever a faith for McCarrick other than opportunity?

Once the archdiocese of New York declared those allegations credible, other claims poured forth: The portrait that has emerged suggests McCarrick had been perpetrating sexual abuse against boys and young men for years, without a hitch in his rise through the ranks of the Church. Shortly thereafter, McCarrick was moved to a friary on the lonely plains of Kansas.

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