New Abuse Lawsuit Filed Concerning Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

Title: New Abuse Lawsuit Filed Concerning Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick
Author: Joseph H. Saunders
Publisher: Los Angeles Legal Examiner
Date: 03AUG2020

Today, I filed a civil sexual abuse lawsuit against the Diocese of Metuchen concerning a courageous survivor who was abused by McCarrick in the early 1980’s when McCarrick was the bishop of Metuchen.Apart from all the recent news stories about McCarrick, I learned about McCarrick and his secret life about 15 years ago from Richard Sipe, a good friend and colleague.  When our discussions turned to the Catholic Church and sexual abuse, Richard never hesitated to share his frustration with the hierarchy, including popes and bishops, whom he said knew about McCarrick’s sexual abuse of children and seminarians.  His frustration stemmed from the fact that he had warned bishops about McCarrick for years but the warnings had fallen on deaf ears.  These warnings were not hearsay either.  Seminarians would come to Sipe and tell him what McCarrick was doing and the power and influence he exerted on them and others to submit to his sexual advances.

While the lawsuit I filed today in Middlesex County New Jersey  rightly focuses on the abuse in Metuchen, McCarrick had a long history of abuse, some of which predates his time as founding bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen.

Ordained a priest in 1959 for the Archdiocese of New York, he abused children while stationed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and continued to abuse throughout his career as a priest, bishop, archbishop, and cardinal.  Part of his predatory grooming practice concerned his charismatic, folksy charm as well as his ready access to money.  From his earliest days as a Catholic cleric, McCarrick knew how to access money by making the right connections.  He was a consummately skilled at networking and making his contacts and his growing influence work to his advantage whether in gaining the trust of young men aspiring to the priesthood or paying off Church leaders who may have exposed him as a serial predator.

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