Ex-car­di­nal ac­cused in ’90s mo­lest

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY LEONARD GREENE

For­mer Car­di­nal Theodore McCar­rick, who re­signed in dis­grace amid sex­ual abuse al­le­ga­tions, is ac­cused in a new law­suit of mo­lest­ing a teenage boy in the 1990s when the prelate led Ne­wark’s arch­dio­cese.

In 2018, McCar­rick, 89, be­came the first car­di­nal in nearly a cen­tury to re­sign from his po­si­tion fol­low­ing his sus­pen­sion from the min­istry af­ter a sex­ual abuse al­le­ga­tion was deemed cred­i­ble that in­volved a teen al­tar boy nearly 50 years ago in New York.

Pope Fran­cis ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tion and or­dered him to a life of “prayer and penance.”

But the abuse scan­dal, which has rat­tled the Catholic Church, con­tin­ues to dog McCar­rick (in­set) in the wake of a newly en­acted New Jersey law that gives ac­cusers more time to make le­gal claims.

The lat­est charge against McCar­rick in­volves a man who says McCar­rick sex­u­ally as­saulted him when he was 14.

In a law­suit filed Mon­day, John Bel­loc­chio al­leges McCar­rick mo­lested him when McCar­rick was vis­it­ing Bel­loc­chio’s par­ish in Hack­en­sack. The law­suit also names as a de­fen­dant the Ne­wark Arch­dio­cese that McCar­rick ran.

The law­suit does not name the Vat­i­can as a de­fen­dant, but does claim Vat­i­can of­fi­cials were aware of McCar­rick’s be­hav­ior, yet con­tin­ued to pro­mote him to higher po­si­tions, in­clud­ing the Wash­ing­ton Arch­dio­cese.

“He never would have been able to do the things he did and rise up the ranks the way he did with­out their com­plic­ity or con­sent, im­plied or oth­er­wise,” Bel­loc­chio, now 37, said at a news con­fer­ence.

The law­suit against McCar­rick, once one of the most pow­er­ful fig­ures in the U.S. Catholic Church, said the al­leged abuse oc­curred in “ap­prox­i­mately 1995 or 1996” and that the cleric “in­flicted un­per­mit­ted harm­ful and of­fen­sive bod­ily sex­ual con­tact” on the ac­cuser, who was 13 or 14 and did not con­sent.

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