McCar­rick ac­cuser aids NYC prose­cu­tors

Sex abuse case against ex-car­di­nal now part of broader in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Tulsa World - - Front Page - By Nicole Win­field McCar­rick

VAT­I­CAN CITY — The key ac­cuser in the sex abuse case against ex-Car­di­nal Theodore McCar­rick has met with New York City prose­cu­tors, ev­i­dence that the scan­dal that has con­vulsed the pa­pacy is now part of the broader U.S. law en­force­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion into sex abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church.

James Grein gave tes­ti­mony last month to Man­hat­tan As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Sara Sul­li­van, who is in­ves­ti­gat­ing a broad range of is­sues re­lated to clergy abuse and the sys­tem­atic cover-up by church su­pe­ri­ors, Grein's at­tor­ney, Pa­trick Noaker, told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

The devel­op­ment is sig­nif­i­cant, given that the Vat­i­can in­ves­ti­ga­tion against McCar­rick has al­ready cre­ated a cred­i­bil­ity cri­sis for the Catholic hi­er­ar­chy in­clud­ing Pope Fran­cis, since it was ap­par­ently an open se­cret that McCar­rick slept with adult sem­i­nar­i­ans. Grein's tes­ti­mony, how­ever, in­cludes al­le­ga­tions that McCar­rick, a for­mer fam­ily friend, also groomed and abused him start­ing when he was 11.

The Man­hat­tan District At­tor­ney's of­fice launched a hot­line last year and in­vited vic­tims to re­port even decades­old sex abuse, say­ing it would pur­sue “any and all in­ves­tiga­tive leads” to en­sure jus­tice.

Grein met with Sul­li­van be­fore Christ­mas af­ter fil­ing a com­pen­sa­tion claim with the New York City arch­dio­cese al­leg­ing that McCar­rick, the re­tired arch­bishop of Wash­ing­ton, first ex­posed him­self when Grein was 11 and con­tin­ued abus­ing him for some two decades, in­clud­ing dur­ing con­fes­sion, Noaker said. The church's com­pen­sa­tion pro­ce­dures re­quire that vic­tims no­tify the district at­tor­ney of their al­le­ga­tions, which Grein did on Nov. 1.

Noaker, how­ever, said Grein's tes­ti­mony to Sul­li­van went beyond the re­quired pro forma no­ti­fi­ca­tion and cov­ered is­sues re­lated to a broader in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

On Dec. 27, Grein tes­ti­fied to Vat­i­can in­ves­ti­ga­tors as part of the Holy See's in­ter­nal probe against McCar­rick. That in­ves­ti­ga­tion has now fin­ished and shifted to Rome, where a fi­nal ver­dict is ex­pected within weeks, Vat­i­can of­fi­cials say.

McCar­rick, who has also been ac­cused by two other men in the Vat­i­can in­ves­ti­ga­tion, faces pos­si­ble de­frock­ing if Fran­cis de­ter­mines the ac­cu­sa­tions against him are cred­i­ble.

Crim­i­nal charges in New York City against McCar­rick are un­likely for any ac­tual abuse, due to the statute of lim­i­ta­tions, Noaker said. But Grein's tes­ti­mony could still prove use­ful as prose­cu­tors in­ves­ti­gate pat­terns of abuse, con­spir­acy and cover-up over decades by Catholic lead­ers.

McCar­rick was or­dained a priest in New York City in 1958 and served as an aux­il­iary bishop to New York's then-Car­di­nal Ter­ence Cooke be­fore be­ing named bishop of Me­tuchen, New Jersey, in 1981. It was dur­ing his years as a New York City priest — in the early 1970s — that he al­legedly groped a teenage al­tar boy in St. Pa­trick's Cathe­dral.

Af­ter the New York City arch­dio­cese found the ac­cu­sa­tion cred­i­ble and an­nounced that McCar­rick had been re­moved from pub­lic min­istry, Grein and for­mer sem­i­nar­i­ans came for­ward to say that McCar­rick mo­lested them as well. Fran­cis re­moved McCar­rick as a car­di­nal in July.

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