Church Militant discovered that O’Malley invited McCarrick to an archdiocesan fundraiser three months after receiving a letter complaining of McCarrick’s predation. O’Malley runs a new papal commission on preventing child abuse.
Of the damning letter, O’Malley says he “did not personally receive” it.
According to O’Malley, “In keeping with the practice for matters concerning the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, at the staff level the letter was reviewed and determined that the matters presented did not fall under the purview of the Commission or the Archdiocese of Boston, which was shared with Fr. Ramsey in reply.”
“I have blown the whistle for 30 years without getting anywhere,” Fr. Ramsey told the New York Times as details of McCarrick’s monstrous abuses began to emerge.
O’Malley’s statement, which read more like something from an attorney than a prince of the Church tasked with ridding the clergy of pedophiles, does not indicate whether O’Malley actually knew of the letter’s contents and existence – only that he did not “personally” receive it.
Did Father Robert Kickham, the cardinal’s secretary, really not say anything to his boss about such a shocking allegation made against one of the most well-known cardinals in the U.S.? Why did O’Malley’s staff, if they knew about the abuse allegations that didn’t “fall under [their] purview,” not at least mention it to him before he brought McCarrick in to join him in soliciting funds from Catholics in the northeast?
“Church Militant asked the Boston archdiocese why it would welcome McCarrick to the fundraiser after receiving a letter detailing his serial sex abuse, but did not receive a response as of press time,” the outlet reported. “It remains unclear whether he was also invited to subsequent fundraisers.”
Just days after that fundraising gala, which raised $1.8 million for the Archdiocese of Boston, O’Malley flew to Cuba with McCarrick to join Pope Francis for Mass.
“We had a wonderful group of people including Cardinal Theodore McCarrick who had learned about the trip and wanted to go with us as well,” O’Malley wrote on his blog. That blog post features photos of Cuban children that their group met. There are also photos of O’Malley, McCarrick, and other bishops together at Mass.
McCarrick, who was the face of the U.S. bishops’ clerical sex abuse damage-control campaign in 2002 and was known for being an excellent fundraiser, is accused of molesting underage boys and abusing adult male seminarians over whom he had significant authority. The Archdiocese of New York found the allegation McCarrick molested an altar boy 50 years ago credible. Another victim, who had been the first baby McCarrick baptized as a priest, came forward, too, detailing horrific abuse for decades. McCarrick had been a close family friend.
The Dioceses of Trenton, Metuchen, and Newark paid an $80,000 settlement to a former priest who told them of McCarrick’s predatory behavior; another priest received a $100,000 settlement.
The existence of these settlements has raised many questions about which bishops knew about McCarrick and when. Once the news of McCarrick’s abuse and the settlements became public, the current bishops of Metuchen and Newark – Bishop James F. Checchio and Pope Francis-appointed left-wing Cardinal Joseph Tobin – apologized to one of the ex-priests.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who succeeded McCarrick as archbishop of Washington, had his vicar general send a letter to D.C. priests saying Wuerl didn’t know about the settlements until media reports about them. That vicar general, Monsignor Charles Antonicelli, was McCarrick’s secretary when he was the archbishop of Washington.
Pope Francis accepted McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals on July 27.