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 U.S. Institute of Peace / Flickr

July 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — This is the second in a two-part series. You may read the first part here.

It was the unplanned move to Fordham Prep that set McCarrick on his path to the cardinalate — because Fordham is where he became best friends with Werner Edelmann at the start of their junior year.

Werner was the son of Otto Edelmann, a wealthy businessman in Teaneck, N.J., who patented a method to manufacture bras and girdles in the 1930s. The scrawny but charming “Ted” McCarrick, an only child whose father died when he was three, was welcomed into the family like a surrogate son by the deeply Catholic, well-connected Otto Edelmann.

Otto took Werner and Ted to St. Gallen, Switzerland, the Edelmann family’s ancestral home, for the first time in 1947. He introduced the teenagers to his Swiss friends and business partners, as well as influential clerics connected with the historic Abbey of Saint Gall. As a present to Werner and Ted upon their graduation from Fordham Prep in 1949, Otto Edelmann paid all expenses for the pair to return to St. Gallen for a year of study at the prestigious Rosenberg Language Institute.

Those trips marked the beginning of McCarrick’s lifelong ties to St. Gallen, which would later come to be associated with a network of high-ranking Catholic clergy, the “St. Gallen Mafia,” that pushed a liberal, pro-homosexual agenda and reportedly helped elect Pope Francis.

When Ted returned home from St. Gallen in 1950 and announced he wanted to become a Catholic priest, Otto was ecstatic. He footed the bill for Ted’s full tuition at Fordham University, and even bought him a new car when he was ordained in 1958 by Cardinal Francis Spellman, a friend of Otto’s. Fr. McCarrick then essentially became the house chaplain to the Edelmanns and a second family: the Greins.

Ruth Edelmann, Otto’s daughter, became Ruth Grein upon her marriage to Fred Grein, who later managed the women’s undergarment factory owned by Otto. James Grein was born three days before Ted’s ordination and became his first baptism two weeks later. McCarrick eventually celebrated the wedding Masses for five of the seven Grein children, and continued to be treated as a member of both families for many years.

The New York Times in its front-page story in July 2018 identified James Grein by his first name only, but included a color photo of a grinning McCarrick with his arm around James’ waist, as they stood wearing swimsuits beside the pool in the Grein backyard. James had just turned 13 when the photo was taken in 1971, and “Uncle Ted” had already been sexually abusing him for two years.

McCarrick molested Grein, then 11, in the Edelmann home during Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations in 1969. On both occasions the abuse occurred within the sacrament of confession, performed upstairs in Werner’s former bedroom, located farthest away from the holiday festivities on the first floor. Altogether, McCarrick sexually abused Grein in five American states over a period of 18 years, often plying him with alcohol and date rape drugs.

Investigative reporter Randy Engel connected many of these dots in “The McCarrick Report — After the Dust Has Settled,” an article published earlier this year. “Clearly, the Edelmann-Grein story should have been put front and center in the McCarrick Report,” Engel wrote, dismissing the Vatican document as a “dead letter” partly because James Grein’s name is nowhere to be found.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Vatican’s former apostolic nuncio to the United States, called on Pope Francis to resign in August 2018, stating that he had personally informed Jorge Bergoglio of McCarrick’s abuse soon after he assumed the papacy in 2013.

The nearly 500-page McCarrick Report, formally the “Report on the Holy See’s Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick,” basically calls the former Vatican ambassador a liar, then turns the tables by blaming Viganò for failing to investigate allegations of McCarrick’s misconduct as instructed. Neither Viganò nor Grein were among the roughly 100 witnesses in the U.S., Italy, and elsewhere interviewed for the report.

Viganò referenced Grein when he appeared on EWTN to defend himself on the day the report was released last November. He told the interviewer it was significant “that James Grein, the only victim of McCarrick’s sexual molestations who had the courage to denounce him publicly, does not appear in the Report, and that there is no trace of his testimony.”

The omission of Grein’s victimization was no accident. The McCarrick Report’s lead author, California-based lawyer Jeffrey Lena, is essentially the Vatican’s defense attorney. Lena interviewed Grein over two days in connection with his ongoing lawsuits against the Archdiocese of New York, the Archdiocese of Newark, and the Diocese of Metuchen in New Jersey. Grein is also suing McCarrick personally.

Grein’s attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, was featured in Spotlight, the 2015 movie about the clerical sexual abuse crisis in Boston that won the Academy Award for Best Picture. They rejected the New York archdiocese’s settlement offer of $500,000 in 2019, viewing the sum as insufficient compensation for the lifelong impact of McCarrick’s years of abuse.

More importantly, Grein is determined to go to trial to pry loose secrets the McCarrick Report keeps buried — even if we never learn why Ted really got tossed out of Xavier High.

William Underwood, Ph.D., is currently writing a book with James Grein, the most prominent victim of sexual abuse by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.