Statements Regarding Cardinal McCarrick

Some months ago, I was advised by the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, that an allegation of sexual abuse of a teenager from almost fifty-years ago had been made against me. At that time I was a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

While shocked by the report, and while maintaining my innocence, I considered it essential that the charges be reported to the police, thoroughly investigated by an independent agency, and given to the Review Board of the Archdiocese of New York. I fully cooperated in the process.

My sadness was deepened when I was informed that the allegations had been determined credible and substantiated.

In obedience I accept the decision of The Holy See, that I no longer exercise any public ministry.

I realize this painful development will shock my many friends, family members, and people I have been honored to serve in my sixty-years as a priest.

While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through, as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people.

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Biography of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick was born in New York City on July 7, 1930 to Theodore Egan McCarrick and Margaret McLaughlin. The young McCarrick attended Catholic elementary school and Fordham Preparatory School. He studied in Europe for a year and a half before returning to Fordham University, his mind already made up to study for the priesthood. He entered St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY, where he earned a BA in 1954 and a Master’s Degree in History in 1958. Francis Cardinal Spellman ordained him to the priesthood on May 31, 1958 in New York City. He went on to earn a second Master’s degree in Social Sciences and a Ph.D. in Sociology from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Father McCarrick’s first assignment was as assistant chaplain of Catholic University where he went on to serve as dean of students and as director of development. He was named president of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce in 1965, where he was responsible for the intense development of the school as a major institution. That same year he received the title of monsignor from Pope Paul VI. In 1969, Terence Cardinal Cooke recalled Msgr. McCarrick to New York to serve as associate secretary for education and an assistant priest at Blessed Sacrament parish from 1969-1971 and then as the Cardinal’s Secretary from 1971-1977.

In 1977, Pope Paul VI named Msgr. McCarrick Auxiliary Bishop of New York. While auxiliary bishop, he served as Vicar of East Manhattan and the Harlems. In 1981, Pope John Paul II appointed him to be the first Bishop of Metuchen, a newly-established diocese in New Jersey. From 1986 until his appointment to the Archdiocese of Washington, he served as the fourth Archbishop of Newark.

In 1986 and again in 1992, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) elected then-Archbishop McCarrick to head its Committee on Migration. In 1992, he also was named to head the Committee for Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe; in 1996, as chair of the Committee on International Policy; and in 2001, as Chairman of the Domestic Policy Committee. Other USCCB committees on which the Cardinal has served are Administrative, Doctrine, Laity, Latin America and the Missions. He was elected one of 15 U.S. bishops to serve as a member of the Synod for America held in 1997. At the conclusion of that Synod, the bishops elected him to serve on the Post Synodal Council.

A founding member of the Papal Foundation, he has served as its president since 1997. Cardinal McCarrick also is a member of the Board of Catholic Relief Services. For the Vatican, he serves on the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.

He has visited many nations as a human rights advocate and to survey humanitarian needs. These include China, Cuba, Iran, Vietnam, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Rwanda and Burundi. He also has traveled extensively in Eastern Europe and Central America. In November 1996, then-Archbishop McCarrick was invited to serve on the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad and from 1999-2001, he was a member of the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom.

In January 2000, the President of Lebanon named him an Officer of the Order of the Cedars of Lebanon and in December 2000, the president of the United States presented him with the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights, just two of many honors he has received.

On January 2, 2001, he was installed as Archbishop of Washington, a position he held until May 16, 2006.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I think we were all shocked and saddened when we learned this past week when Cardinal Theodore McCarrick issued a public statement that a decades-old but credible and substantiated claim of abuse of a minor had been made against him in the Archdiocese of New York when he served there as a priest.

While the Archdiocese of New York investigated this claim, at the same time, I requested that a similar review be made of all Archdiocese of Washington’s records. Based on that review, I can report that no claim – credible or otherwise – has been made against Cardinal McCarrick during his time here in Washington.

We must now wait for a final determination of this case to be made in Rome. In matters such as this our first priority as a Church is to continue to offer spiritual and pastoral support for the survivors of abuse and their families, and to provide assistance to help them heal and find peace. The abuse of children is a terrible tragedy, and the Church, even as we offer profound apologies, can never express enough our deep sorrow and contrition.

At the same time, it is also important that we encourage survivors of abuse to come forward. The Archdiocese of Washington and its Office of Child and Youth Protection offer resources and confidential support to any who have suffered from abuse and who seek our help. We work diligently to ensure that our parishes, schools and youth programs remain safe and secure for the young people that are entrusted to our care.

I encourage all of the members of our Archdiocesan Church to join me in prayer for everyone involved in this matter, including the survivor who stepped forward, for all those who have been victimized by abuse, and for our Church, that everyone may experience the healing power of God’s grace.

Sometime ago, an allegation that falls under the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was made against Cardinal McCarrick when he served as a priest in the Archdiocese of New York.

The Holy See, which has exclusive authority in the oversight of a cardinal, delegated Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York to investigate the allegation, engaging the review board of the Archdiocese of New York.

In the end the review board found the allegations credible and substantiated.

The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the direction of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has instructed Cardinal McCarrick that he is to refrain from any public ministry or activity until a definite decision is made.

Cardinal McCarrick, while maintaining his innocence, has accepted the decision.

While saddened and shocked, this archdiocese awaits the final outcome of the canonical process and in the meantime asks for prayers for all involved.

At the same time, we renew our commitment to care for the victims who have suffered abuse, to prevent abuse before it occurs, and to identify and report child abuse once it has happened.

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Hace ya algún tiempo atrás, una acusación en violación de las Orientaciones del Cuidado y Protección a los Niños y Jóvenes de la Conferencia Episcopal de los Estados Unidos fue presentada en contra del Cardenal McCarrick. Dicha acusación está referida en tiempos cuando el Cardenal servía como sacerdote en la Arquidiócesis de Nueva York.

La Santa Sede, quien tiene exclusivamente la autoridad de supervisar a un cardenal, delegó al Cardenal Timothy Dolan, Arzobispo de Nueva York, para investigar la acusación por medio de la Junta de Revisión de la Arquidiócesis de Nueva York que analiza estos casos.

Al final del proceso, dicha Junta que revisó la presente acusación la encontró creíble y justificada.

El Secretario de Estado del Vaticano, el Cardenal Pietro Parolin, bajo las instrucciones de Su Santidad el Papa Francisco, le ha pedido al Cardenal McCarrick de abstenerse de toda actividad o servicio ministerial público, hasta que una decisión final sea hecha.

El Cardenal McCarrick, aun declarando su inocencia al respecto de dicha acusación, ha aceptado la decisión.

En espíritu de tristeza y abrumación al respecto de dichos acontecimientos, la Arquidiócesis de Washington esperará el resultado final del proceso canónico. A la vez, pide oraciones por todas las partes envueltas en el presente caso.

Al mismo tiempo, sea esta la oportunidad para renovar nuestro compromiso de extender un cuidado pastoral a todas las víctimas que han sufrido un abuso y para reiterar que continúa nuestro compromiso en prevenir cualquier abuso que podría pasar. También se continuará identificando e informando cualquier caso de abuso a menores de edad en esta Arquidiócesis.