Archbishop Theodore McCarrick
Archdiocese of Newark
Assigned as follows:
- 1959-1966 Archdiocese of New York Serving Outside the Diocese Special Assignments, Catholic University (Washington, D.C.)
- 1967-1969 Archdiocese of New York Serving Outside the Diocese Special Assignments (Catholic University of Puerto Rico (Ponce)
- 1970-1971 Blessed Sacrament (New York, NY)
- 1972-1977 Cathedral of St. Patrick (New York, NY)
- 1978-1980 St. Francis De Sales (New York, NY)
- 1978-1981 Auxiliary Bishop Archdiocese of New York
- 1981 The New York Foundling Hospital (New York, NY)
- 1982-1986 Bishop of Metuchen
- 1987-2000 Archbishop of Newark
- 1989-2000 Sacred Heart Cathedral (Newark, NJ)
- 2001-2006 Cardinal Archbishop of Washington
- 2006-2017 Retired (Washington, D.C.); US Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 2018-2021 Unknown
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick:
Archbishop Theodore McCarrick was ordained a priest in 1958 and served in the Archdiocese of Newark. Once considered the most powerful Catholic priest in America, he was the archbishop of Washington DC, archbishop of Newark, bishop of Metuchen, and auxiliary bishop of New York. He was the priest “Meet the Press” talked to about the sexual abuse crisis. He also participated at the funerals of Ted Kennedy, Beau Biden, Tim Russert and William Rehnquist. He retired from ministry in 2006, after being a priest for 60 years.
According to media reports, in June 2018, the Archdiocese of New York substantiated allegations that Archbishop McCarrick sexually abused a 16-year-old altar boy when he was a priest in New York and Cardinal Cooke’s personal secretary in the 1970s. The Vatican quickly removed him from public ministry. Though he claimed his innocence, in July 2018, he resigned from his position as a cardinal, making him the first cardinal to ever resign over sexual-abuse allegations.
The pope ordered him to live in seclusion, prayer and penitence. He was transferred to a friary in a remote, small town in Victoria, Kansas. The town, one of the only places that would accept Archbishop McCarrick is near a Catholic school. Parishioners were shocked, but assured by Church officials that no one, including their children would ever see the priest.
It has been reported that some in the church hierarchy had known about accusations brought against Archbishop McCarrick for decades. He had three prior allegations of sexual misconduct made against him in Newark and Metuchen. There were settlements in two of the cases. In July 2018, a man said that Archbishop McCarrick abused him for 20 years, beginning in 1969 when he was age 11.
The alleged victim was the first baby that the priest baptized. When he brought him to meet Pope John Paul II in 1988, the man said that in the presence of several Vatican officials, he had been sexually abusing him since childhood.
“I told him I had been abused as a child by this man, and I need you to stop it,” he said. “He put both hands on my head, and told me he would pray for me.”
No other action was taken. In October 2018, the Vatican ordered a new investigation. In July 2019, under the Child Victims Act, the man filed a lawsuit.
In January 2019, a third allegation was investigated. Several priests and ex-priests have reportedly come forward alleging Archbishop McCarrick used his authority to force them to sleep with him when they were adult seminarians studying for the priesthood. All four U.S. dioceses where he served, New York, Metuchen, Newark, and Washington, DC, have launched independent investigations.
In January 2019, Archbishop McCarrick was laicized.
In December 2019, a man filed a lawsuit under New Jersey’s new Victim’s Rights Bill alleging that he was sexually abused by Archbishop McCarrick as a teenager in 1995 at a parish in Hackensack.
“The reality is simple,” the man said. “The Catholic Church can do better, should do better, and must do better to protect the children in its care. If it wants to have a future filled with young people, it’s time for eloquence of action and an end to eloquence of words.”
In July 2020, Cardinal McCarrick was named in a lawsuit alleging that he participated with other priests in a sex ring involving children.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused in the Archdiocese of Newark, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.