White McCarrick Book Draft
Ordained by a Predator, Chapter 1 “Summer 2018”
“Cardinal McCarrick has been credibly accused!”
David the summer seminarian stood at my office door, upset.
That morning we had sat on the front porch of the little rectory in Rocky Mount, Virginia. We drank coffee and prayed Morning Prayer together. After being born in California and spending his early years in Mexico, David grew the rest of the way up in this town between Roanoke and the North Carolina border, in the piedmont of the Blue Ridge.
David was attending seminary in the city I grew up in, Washington, D.C. Theordore McCarrick reigned as Archbishop there, from the end of 2000 to summer 2006. On May 24, 2003, he ordained me a priest, with eight other brother seminarians–an annual Memorial-Day-weekend ritual for the Cardinal.
I had not given old Cardinal McCarrick a moment’s thought in years, but David crossed paths with him sometimes. A Cardinal of the Roman Church, Archbishop-emeritus–McCarrick was a minor fixture in their seminary lives. So the news hit the pious twenty year-old hard. The poor young man looked deeply confused, standing in the doorway. “Accused by a minor. Or–he was a minor, fifty years ago. They suspended the Cardinal from ministry.” My phone vibrated in my pocket–my mom texting me the same news. “McCarrick removed from ministry.” I tried to have a comforting tone with my summer seminarian. “Thanks for telling me, David. I’m sorry to hear this. I’ll see you in church in a few minutes.”