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Investigation of Theodore McCarrick alleged child sexual abuse reported to Pope John Paul II; yet still promoted to highest official

An internal investigation conducted by the Vatican alleging that the late Pope John Paul II was warned about allegations that Theodore McCarrick sexually abused children was just disclosed to the public today.


The investigation concludes that Pope John Paul II knew of these allegations and still promoted McCarrick to Archbishop of Washington.

McCarrick was one of the highest ranking Church officials to be defrocked over sexual abuse allegations and the two year investigation outlined how McCarrick was allowed to rise through the hierarchy.

In 2001, John Paul assigned McCarrick to Archbishop of Washington, where McCarrick continued his growth and rise to power, both in the Church and in Washington DC.

McCarrick built himself a valuable reputation of power and influence and excelled in his fundraising overseas.

He was defrocked by the Vatican last year after a Church trial found him guilty of sexually abusing minors. He resigned in 2018 from the College of Cardinals.

The Vatican’s report implies that Pope Francis had no prior reports on McCarrick until 2017.

“Until 2017, no one … provided Pope Francis with any documentation regarding allegations against McCarrick,” the executive summary stated in the report.

“Pope Francis had heard only that there had been allegations and rumors related to immoral conduct with adults occurring prior to McCarrick’s appointment to Washington,” the report added that Francis thought “that the allegations had already been reviewed and rejected by Pope John Paul II.”

The detailed report alleges that at the time when Pope John Paul II made McCarrick Archbishop of Washington, there were reports that a priest claimed to have watched McCarrick engaging in sexual behavior with another priest.

In the report it said that McCarrick was “known to have shared a bed with young adult men in the bishop’s residence in Metuchen and Newark;” in addition that he was also “known to have shared a bed with adult seminarians at a beach house on the New Jersey shore.”

Those two alleged incidents referenced the time John Paul appointed him as bishop of Metuchen from 1981 to 1986, and as Archbishop of Newark from 1986 to 2000 and personally appointed him Archbishop of Washington.

The report goes into detail about the interview subjects over the course of the two year probe and “numerous individuals who had direct physical contact with McCarrick were interviewed”.

“During extended interviews, often emotional, the persons described a range of behavior, including sexual abuse or assault, unwanted sexual activity, intimate physical contact and the sharing of beds without physical touching. These interviews also included detailed accounts related to McCarrick’s abuse of authority and power,” it said.

The report claims that the Vatican’s Office for Bishops told McCarrick to retire from public. He was told verbally in 2006 and again in 2008, this time in writing. McCarrick ignored those recommendations

According to the report, Pope Francis knew about the “rumors related to immoral conduct with adults” prior to McCarrick’s appointment to Washington but did nothing to alter “the course adopted by his predecessors.”

When the first accusation of sexual abuse of a child came out in 2018, Pope Francis immediately dismissed McCormick from the priesthood.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual abuse, Herman Law may be able to help you achieve justice. Jeff Herman is a trailblazer in the representation of victims of sexual abuse, devoting 100% of his practice to the cause. Renowned for his aggressive and tireless advocacy on behalf of his clients, and his determination to help his clients heal through the litigation process, Jeff understands the unique issues involved in the representation of survivors of rape and sexual abuse.

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