SNAP Responds to Motion to Dismiss Case Against Former Cardinal McCarrick

SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [Chicago IL]

February 28, 2023

By Zach Hiner

Lawyers for former Roman Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick filed a motion on Monday to dismiss the criminal charges against him.  McCarrick is accused of sexually assaulting a boy decades ago. His attorneys claim that the 92-year-old once-powerful American prelate has dementia and is not competent to stand trial.

McCarrick is the first current or former U.S. Catholic cardinal to face criminal charges for child sex offenses. He entered a not-guilty plea in the case in September 2021.

Our hearts ache for McCarrick’s victim and we stand in solidarity with him as this case drags on. We are glad that the prosecution is hiring its own expert to conduct a second opinion on competency. Like the lawyer representing this survivor, Mitchell Garabedian, we are suspicious of the incompetency claim. Regardless of the final decision in this case, we will always believe the testimony of this victim.

Everyone, including those accused of child sexual abuse, is entitled to due process. However, we are skeptical that someone who held one of the most powerful positions in the Catholic Church not that long ago is now unable to assist in his own defense. Given our experience, we suspect that this tactic has more to do with protecting the reputation of the institution from what would be revealed at trial.

We urge anyone who sees McCarrick acting like a competent adult to immediately contact the prosecutor so that the survivor’s truth will be allowed to come to light.

Contact:  Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ( 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (, 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President (, 814-341-8386)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is