Just days after we reported on the sinister story of ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, defrocked in 2019 for sexually abusing boys under his care, the disgraced priest is back in the headlines, accused of even more shocking abuses of power and trust.
Lawyers Jeff Anderson and Trusha Goffe filed suit in the Superior Court of New Jersey, acting on behalf of an anonymous plaintiff, Doe 14. The accusations date to the early 1980s, when Doe alleges that McCarrick brought him to his beach home in Sea Girt. There, McCarrick and three other Newark priests sexually abused him and other boys in an arrangement Anderson described as a “sex ring.”
Doe was between 14 and 16 years old at the time, but it was not his first experience with abuse at the hands of Catholic clergymen. The lawsuit further alleges that he was first molested by his parish priest, Father Anthony Nardino, as an 11-year-old altar server — an experience that primed him for grooming and for the abuse he later received.
Still more allegations of abuse involve Brother Andrew Thomas Hewitt, who introduced Plaintiff to McCarrick:
In approximately 1982, Br. Hewitt, then-principal at Essex Catholic, orchestrated a meeting between Plaintiff and McCarrick under the guise that McCarrick would help Plaintiff pay his school tuition.
After the first meeting with McCarrick, Plaintiff was taken on overnight and weekend trips to a beach house in Sea Girt, NJ in the Diocese of Metuchen… McCarrick assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house. On these occasions, minor boys were assigned to different rooms and paired with adult clerics.
Despite these details, only McCarrick is charged with specific counts of sexual battery in connection with the Sea Girt sex ring. The suit also charges the Diocese with negligence on several counts, arguing that they had enough information at the time to know that the men Plaintiff listed represented a danger to children.
In fact, Anderson explained in a virtual press conference, the complicity of the Church goes beyond the diocesan level, all the way to the top:
This is not the first lawsuit we have brought on behalf of a survivor of sexual abuse and exploitation by McCarrick. This lawsuit does, however, detail 50 years — actually over 50 years — of the use and misuse of power by McCarrick and those to whom he answered and with whom he worked. And in particular it brings into bright and broad focus the role of the Vatican and various papacies.
Spokespeople for McCarrick and the Diocese of Metuchen have declined to comment on the allegations, though the diocese added, “our prayers are with all survivors of abuse” — a clever way to sound compassionate without actually admitting the allegations are true, but not particularly helpful to the victims in any concrete way.
Thoughts and prayers don’t buy a lot of trauma therapy.
(Thanks to Renee for the link)