The church allegedly knew of the abuse inflicted upon him and other men and boys.
The sexual abuse that has been reported in religious ministries is horrendous, especially considering that many of such occurred as a result of notable leaders and clergymen being trusted as stewards of God as they had been appointed.
Last month, a highly regarded former cardinal with the Catholic church was removed from his position pending what were considered to be “‘credible’ allegations” of former abuse. This prompted another of the cardinal’s victims to recently come forward to police, as he horrifically detailed the 20-year abuse he experienced.
Former Cardinal and Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore Edgar McCarrick’s recent victim, identified only as ‘James’ came forward about the abuse on Monday, July 16, in filing a police report with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Leesburg, Virginia.
James is now 60; however, his abuse from then-Father McCarrick allegedly began when James was 11 and continued for over 20 years.
McCarrick, now 88, was 39 at the time that the molestation began. He was a long-time family friend, introduced by James’ uncle. Father McCarrick was known to James and his siblings as ‘Uncle Ted’ and James was said to have been the first child that McCarrick had ever baptized, making him particularly ‘special.’
According to James’ recollection, the first sexual encounter with McCarrick occurred when he was living in “northern New Jersey” when he was 11.
McCarrick allegedly walked in on James while changing to which the priest ordered him to “turn around.” James noted in an interview that, as a child, he recalls not wanting to expose himself to McCarrick.
However, McCarrick insisted, removing his own pants, followed by saying, “See, we are the same.”
The physical contact, according to James, did not begin until he was 13 when “he said, the priest first touched [him].”
James and his family since moved to Hillsborough, California; however “Father McCarrick visited repeatedly.”
At the age of 14, it escalated to “Father McCarrick masterbat[ing] him in a beach parking lot.”
By the time James was 15, the priest continued to sexually molest him, often times getting him intoxicated off vodka at the Tonga Room in San Francisco and then taking the teen “back to his hotel room.”
“I was absolutely disgusted, afraid,” James later recalled.
However, the deranged McCarrick had successfully groomed James into accepting the abuse while never raising suspicion within the family.
When James was about “15 or 16” he claims to have attempted to tell his father about the assault; however, it was brushed aside.
“Father McCarrick was so beloved by his family, he said, and considered so holy, that the idea was unfathomable,” claimed James.
However, following the recent revelation, James said that his sister, Karen, now recalls that “It was explained to us how Jimmy was special to Father McCarrick, because of that very special thing that happened, that he was his first baptism.”
When James was “16 or 17,” Father McCarrick took him and other underage boys “to a fishing camp in Eldred, New York.”
During these trips, James described that the boys and the priest would “sleep together naked” and that McCarrick used such as yet another opportunity to assault them, a claim later verified by several other of McCarrick’s victims.
James noted that the abuse continued throughout his adulthood, with McCarrick continuing to pursue him while he served in the Navy and lived throughout the country. The then-bishop allegedly enticed him with lavish vacations and the opportunity to meet notable figures such as comedian Bob Hope and actor Ray Bolger who played the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
Still, James kept quiet about the prior assault, saying that they only people who knew about it were “his older brother; his uncle, Cardinal McCarrick’s former friend, now deceased, who advised him to take the secret to his grave; and his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor and a therapist,” as the prior victimization had led to heavy drinking and a suicide attempt in 1991.
Thankfully, decades later, McCarrick was finally “removed from the ministry last month” after another victim claimed that he had been assaulted at the age of 16 in 1971.
James noted upon hearing of the recent news, “I got down on my knees and I thanked God that I am not alone and it is going to be okay. And I can tell somebody and somebody is going to believe me,” he continued of his decision to finally come forward.
Yet investigations surrounding McCarrick revealed that James and the other victim to recently come forward were not the only victims who the deemed-holy man had assaulted, as he appears to have been inappropriate with males in the church, both minors and those of legal age.
Former priest Robert Ciolek “received an $80,000 settlement in 2005” for the abuse he sustained while studying to be a priest under McCarrick’s guidance. Ciolek later reported that while the abuse occurred in his 20s, “he felt unable to say ‘no’” due to prior abuse within a religious organization which McCarrick was aware of.
Another anonymous former priest was awarded “a $100,000 settlement for allegations in 2007.”
Upon hearing of James’ recent claims, one of McCarrick’s spokeswoman, Susan Gibbs, failed to respond for comment as of last Wednesday.
James’ lawyer, Patrick Noaker, however, noted that his legal team will take the police report seriously despite “the statute of limitations on child sex crimes [which] may block criminal charges or civil lawsuit.”
Of course, no amount of money will amend the damage which had been inflicted on James and countless others.
Yet just as James gained strength in learning that he was not McCarrick’s only target, he noted hoping that this will help other victims come forward.
McCarrick is said to currently reside in Washington, D.C. where he lives “in seclusion.”
While the former cardinal may ultimately avoid legal repercussions given his age and claims that he “is in frail health,” if the allegations are true, he may simply have to deal with his sins with God directly.