Back in June, Pope Francis suspended Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington who was accused of sexually assaulting a teen. It wasn’t long before other abuse allegations started flooding in. McCarrick became the highest ranking American official in the Church formally accused of child sexual assault.
And now it’s getting worse.
One of those “other” allegations has now been fleshed out in court. A man named James Grein testified on Thursday that McCarrick “sexually abused him for years starting when he was 11, including during confession.” The testimony was part of the Vatican’s case against McCarrick.
Grein testified that McCarrick — a close family friend who baptized Grein — would take him upstairs to hear his confession before celebrating Mass for the family at home.“He touched James’ genitals as part of the confessional. That became the course, it happened almost every time,” [Grein’s attorney Patrick] Noaker said. McCarrick would absolve Grein and “touch him on the forehead, shoulder, chest and genitals.”
Another time, Grein said, McCarrick masturbated the child in a car, leaving a mess inside. When they arrived at Grein’s house, McCarrick told his mother the mess was caused by a “spilled soda.” His mother then proceeded to clean up the car seat. She had no idea.
“That was a really psychologically damaging moment,” Noaker said, adding that Grein had to relive it during his testimony. “He closed his eyes. He was sitting in that car with McCarrick, and you could see it. It was moving and terrifying.”
For now, the 88-year-old disgrace is living comfortably in a religious residence in Kansas. If he’s convicted, he could be defrocked from the Church for good… which holds mostly symbolic value for the rest of us, though it would still mark a new chapter in the Church’s ongoing abuse scandal. Noaker also filed a police report against McCarrick for his crimes, though it’s unclear if anything can be done since it took place nearly five decades ago.
(Thanks to Scott for the link)