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McCarrick used intimidation, sexually harassed seminarians, investigation finds

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SOUTH ORANGE, New Jersey, September 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In a departure from standard policy, Seton Hall University has made public key findings of a yearlong investigation into now defrocked Theodore McCarrick’s predatory sexual behavior toward seminarians while he was Archbishop of Newark.     

The review by the law firm Latham & Watkins found that McCarrick “created a culture of fear and intimidation” and that he “used his position of power as then-Archbishop of Newark to sexually harass seminarians.”

“Individuals, communities and parishes across the country have been affected by former archbishop McCarrick and others who have profoundly and forever negatively altered so many lives,” the report stated. 

Last year, reports of McCarrick’s abuse of seminarians while serving as their archbishop were widely circulated as news of Catholic priest and prelate sexual predation mounted.  

It came to light that Fr. Boniface Ramsay, a professor at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University from 1986 to 1996, sent a letter to the papal nuncio in November 2000 detailing complaints from seminarians about McCarrick. Archbishop Carlos Maria Viganò referred to Ramsey’s letter in his now famous testimony, first published in English by LifeSiteNews.   

“I complained about McCarrick’s relationships with seminarians and the whole business with sleeping with seminarians and all of that; the whole business that everyone knows about,” Ramsey told Catholic News Service. 

The Archdiocese of Newark admitted last year that it had reached legal settlements with two adult males who had been abused by McCarrick a few decades ago while they were seminarians.  

The review also revealed that while Seton Hall University’s Title IX policies are consistent with state and federal law, they “were not always followed at Immaculate Conception Seminary and St. Andrew's Seminary, which resulted in incidents of sexual harassment going unreported to the University.”   

St. Andrew's College Seminary is the undergraduate seminary of the Archdiocese of Newark, and Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology is the Archdiocese’s major seminary.  Both are part of the Seton Hall University campus and are now deemed to be fully compliant with Title IX requirements.

In the report issued by the university, the Board of Regents said it has established what it decsribes as five “proactive” in-progress measures to prevent further sexual abuse on campus, including commissioning an independent and thorough Title IX review of the McCarrick allegations, and exceeding Title IX compliance expectations by “conducting prompt reviews of any allegation of sexual harassment with assurances of non-retaliation.” 

Seton Hall is the oldest Roman Catholic diocesan university in the country, founded in 1856 by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, who named the school after his aunt, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. The campus has about 10,000 students.

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