Former Roman Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the once-powerful American prelate who was expelled from the priesthood for sexual abuse, has pleaded not responsible to sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy throughout a marriage reception in Massachusetts almost 50 years in the past.
McCarrick, 91, on Friday wore a masks and entered suburban Boston’s Dedham District Court docket hunched over a walker. “Disgrace on you!” a protester shouted.
He didn’t communicate throughout the listening to, at which the court docket entered a not responsible plea on his behalf, set bail at $5,000, and ordered him to avoid the sufferer and haven’t any contact with minors.
McCarrick is the one US Catholic cardinal, present or former, to ever be criminally charged with little one intercourse crimes.
McCarrick’s lawyer, Katherine Zimmerl, mentioned afterwards that they’re “wanting ahead to addressing the allegations in court docket” and would haven’t any different rapid remark.
The following listening to was set for October 28.
McCarrick, who now lives in Dittmer, Missouri, faces three counts of indecent assault and battery on an individual over 14, in response to court docket paperwork.
Demonstrators had gathered exterior the courtroom on Friday with one holding up an indication that mentioned “Ordained and betrayed”.
Susan Renehan, 73, who mentioned a priest sexually assaulted her when she was a young person, mentioned she hoped McCarrick’s case was a “starting, not the top”.
“So many kids misplaced their lives, their innocence,” she mentioned exterior the Dedham, Massachusetts courthouse. “No person appears to care within the Catholic Church.”
Whereas different instances of abuse towards Catholic clergy within the US weren’t prosecuted as a result of they occurred too way back, McCarrick can nonetheless face prices as a result of he was not a Massachusetts resident and had left the state, stopping the clock on the statute of limitations.
He has been charged with sexually molesting a then-16-year-old boy at a marriage reception in 1974. The accuser alleged McCarrick abused him for years, starting when he was a younger boy and going down in a number of states together with New York, California, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
McCarrick’s fall started in 2017 when a former altar boy got here ahead to report the priest had groped him when he was a young person in New York.
The next 12 months, the Archdiocese of New York introduced that McCarrick had been faraway from ministry after discovering the allegation to be “credible and substantiated,” and two New Jersey dioceses revealed that they had settled claims of sexual misconduct towards him previously involving adults.
Pope Francis defrocked McCarrick in 2019 after a Vatican investigation decided he sexually abused minors, in addition to adults.
A two-year inner investigation into McCarrick discovered that three a long time of bishops, cardinals and popes downplayed or dismissed experiences of sexual misconduct. Correspondence confirmed they repeatedly rejected the data outright as hearsay and excused it as an “imprudence”.
The investigative findings launched final 12 months pinned a lot of the blame on Pope John Paul II, who appointed McCarrick archbishop of Washington, DC, regardless of having commissioned an inquiry that confirmed McCarrick slept with seminarians.
Within the Massachusetts case, authorities started investigating McCarrick after the accuser’s lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, despatched a letter to the district lawyer’s workplace alleging the abuse, in response to the court docket information.
The accuser, who has not been named publicly, instructed authorities throughout an interview in January that McCarrick was near his household when he was rising up and that the priest would carry out wedding ceremony plenty, baptisms and funerals for them.
The person mentioned that throughout the 1974 incident at a marriage, the 2 of them went for a stroll round campus and McCarrick groped him earlier than they went again to the occasion. The person mentioned McCarrick additionally sexually assaulted him in a “coat room kind closet” after they returned to the reception, authorities wrote within the paperwork.
The person instructed investigators that earlier than leaving the room, McCarrick instructed him to “say three Our Fathers and a Hail Mary or it was one Our Father and three Hail Marys, so God can redeem you of your sins,” in response to the report.
He additionally described different situations of sexual abuse by McCarrick over time, together with when the person was an grownup, in response to the court docket information.
Ordained as a priest in New York Metropolis in 1958, McCarrick ascended the church ranks regardless of obvious frequent data within the US and Vatican management that “Uncle Ted,” as he was identified, slept with seminarians.
The case towards McCarrick and different Catholic clerics is particularly uncooked in Boston, the place the worldwide priest intercourse abuse scandal first was uncovered.
Reporting by The Boston Globe’s Highlight workforce helped break open the scandal within the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002. The reporting uncovered how dozens of clergymen within the archdiocese had molested and raped kids for many years whereas church higher-ups coated it up and shuffled abusive clergymen from parish to parish.
A film concerning the Globe’s reporting, “Highlight,” gained the 2016 Academy Award for greatest image.
McCarrick turned some of the seen Catholic Church officers within the US and even served because the spokesman for fellow US bishops once they enacted a “zero-tolerance” coverage towards sexually abusive clergymen in 2002.
Cardinal George Pell was convicted of sexual abuse in his native Australia, however his conviction was in the end thrown out. And French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin was convicted however later acquitted of prices that he coated up for a infamous paedophile priest.