Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was ousted from office after a Vatican investigation confirmed that he had sexually abused adults and children, has been accused of sexually abusing a teenager at a wedding reception in Massachusetts in 1974, according to reports show. court records.
McCarrick is the first cardinal in the US to be criminally charged with a sex offense against a minor, according to Mitchell Garabedian, a well-known church sex abuse attorney representing the man alleging McCarrick’s abuse.
“It takes a great deal of courage for a victim of sexual abuse to report that they have been sexually abused to investigators and to proceed with the criminal process,” Garabedian said in an email. “That the facts are presented, the law is applied and a fair verdict is issued.”
McCarrick faces three counts of indecent battery and battery on a person over the age of 14, according to documents filed in Dedham district court on Wednesday.
McCarrick’s attorney, Barry Coburn, told the Associated Press that they “hope to address the case in the courtroom” and declined to comment further. McCarrick, who now lives in Missouri, was ordered to appear in Massachusetts for his arraignment on Aug. 26.
The charges against McCarrick were first reported by the Boston Globe on Thursday.
The man said the abuse started when he was a child, according to court records. The man told authorities during an interview in January that McCarrick was close to his family and that he would perform wedding Masses, baptisms and funerals for them.
The man said that during his brother’s wedding reception at Wellesley College in June 1974, when he was 16 years old, McCarrick told him that his father wanted him to talk to McCarrick because the boy was “doing mischief at home and not attending church”.
The man said the two went for a walk around campus and McCarrick touched him before heading back to the party. The man said McCarrick also sexually assaulted him in a “wardrobe closet” after they returned to the front desk, authorities wrote in the documents.
Before leaving the room, McCarrick told him to “say three Our Fathers and a Hail Mary or it was an Our Father and three Hail Marys, so that God can redeem you from your sins,” according to the report.
The man also described other cases of sexual abuse by McCarrick over the years, including when the man was an adult, according to the report.
Authorities began investigating McCarrick after Garabedian sent a letter alleging the abuse to the district attorney’s office, according to court records.
McCarrick, 91, was ousted by Pope Francis in 2019 after a Vatican investigation confirmed decades of rumors that he was a sexual predator.
The case created a credibility crisis for the Church as the Vatican had reports from authoritative cardinals dating back to 1999 that McCarrick’s behavior was problematic, but he became an influential cardinal, kingmaker and emissary of “soft diplomacy. “of the Holy See.
It led to a two-year investigation that found bishops, cardinals, and popes downplaying or dismissing multiple reports of sexual misconduct. An internal investigative report released last year put most of the blame on Pope John Paul II, who made McCarrick archbishop of Washington DC.
Of the thousands of Catholic clergymen implicated in sexual abuse in recent decades, McCarrick distinguished himself as having reached the highest circles of church leadership, even as awareness of his suspicious behavior constantly swept through the hierarchy.
Ordained a priest in New York City in 1958, McCarrick was promoted to Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, in 1986 and then Archbishop of Washington, DC, in 2000. He was elevated to the rank of cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II.
In June 2018, McCarrick suddenly became the face of the protracted Catholic sexual abuse crisis when Pope Francis removed him from public ministry over allegations that he abused a teenager when he was a priest in New York. A church panel found allegations by a former altar boy that McCarrick fondled him before Christmas Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1971 and 1972 were “credible and proven.”
The church also acknowledged that it had made previously undisclosed financial settlements with adults who accused McCarrick of sexual misconduct decades ago.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism