Editorials in national Catholic publications have taken the US Catholic Church to task for its failure to root out all forms of clergy sexual abuse in the light of allegations made by former seminarians against Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington.
“The Catholic Church cannot pretend to be shocked about the pattern of sexual abuse of adult seminarians” allegedly by Cardinal McCarrick, said a July 17 editorial by the editors of America magazine. “Many church leaders had received multiple notices of the cardinal’s behavior.
“The church and its leaders should be ashamed of their failure,” to call Cardinal McCarrick to account, the editorial added.
The New York Times, in an article published on July 19, recounted the case of James, allegedly abused from age 11, when the cleric was 39. The abusive relationship lasted nearly 20 years, according to James.
A spokeswoman for the cardinal, told the New York Times that he had not been notified of the accusation, so he could not respond. But she said Cardinal McCarrick was committed to following the process the Church has put in place for abuse allegations.
The cardinal, who ceased exercising public ministry in June, said he was shocked and saddened by the report but said he had no recollection of that episode of abuse.
In a July 18 editorial, the editorial board of OSV Newsweekly said: “The revelations regarding McCarrick will shed an uncomfortable but necessary light on an enabling culture.”