Posted: 03:51 GMT, Dec.. November 2020 | Updated: 04:42 GMT, Jan.. November 2020
Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s four accusers have filed a lawsuit against the Vatican, arguing that he should be held responsible for allowing the now-ashamed clergyman to serve in multiple positions in New York and New Jersey, when one of numerous knowledge of sexual allegations has abuse against him.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, where McCarrick served as archbishop from the mid-1980s through 2000.
Previously, he was Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen, also in New Jersey, and a priest in the Archdiocese of New York.
He was named Archbishop of Washington, D. . C.. . , in 2000 by Pope John Paul II. and became one of the highest ranking, most visible Roman Catholic officials in the United States and a skilled fundraiser.
Now four men are suing the Vatican in Newark, New Jersey for sexual abuse by McCarrick
McCarrick, pictured in 2000, said he had no memory of child abuse and did not speak publicly on allegations of adult misconduct. Now, at the age of 90, he lives in isolation
1999: Allegations are contained in a letter from Cardinal O’Connor, then Archbishop of New York.
2005: Settlement with a former seminar student who alleged abuse; remains a secret until 2018
Three of the plaintiffs were parishioners who claim McCarrick molested them as teenagers in the 1980s.
The fourth is a priest who claims McCarrick molested him in a New Jersey beach house in the 1990s and that a fellow priest told him to forget what happened for the good of the Church. ‘
An internal Vatican report released last week found that bishops, cardinals and popes had downplayed or dismissed several reports of sexual misconduct by McCarrick, now 90, who lives as a layperson in a priestly residence.
Plaintiffs are demanding unspecified financial damages and an injunction to compel the Vatican to remove the names of more than 3. 000 clergymen who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse and all documents related to these claims.
Popes of John Paul II. through Benedict to Francis have decided to hide and condone this behavior, said Jeff Anderson, a lawyer who represents the plaintiffs, on Thursday.
The lawsuit characterizes the Holy See, the government of the Catholic Church in Vatican City, as a « giant corporation » that had total control over McCarrick, his employee, and had sole power to remove him, but refused to do so because of its policy of keeping sexual abuse allegations secret.
« If the Defendant Holy See had not raised money, recruited members and engaged in other commercial activities through its huge enterprise, and had not deceived the plaintiffs in that commercial activity, the plaintiffs would not have been abused, » the lawsuit states.
The claims of the lawsuit include violations of international human rights law, consumer fraud, breach of contract, negligence, and infliction of emotional stress.
After hours on Thursday, an email was left with a spokesman for the Vatican in Rome.
The Holy See has successfully defended previous lawsuits by Anderson and others, arguing that as a foreign sovereign he is immune and that his priests are not Vatican employees.
This October. 12, 1988 File Photo, President Ronald Reagan (center) and Newark Archbishop Theodore McCarrick (right) attend a Republican Party election freeze in West Orange, N.. . J
President Bush, left, laughs with Cardinal Theodore E. . McCarrick Archbishop of Washington, D. . C.. . , Center and Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, in 2005. A new report says the U. . S.. . The church hierarchy was aware of the abuse claims, but promoted McCarrick to Archbishop of Washington D.. . C, one of the most prestigious posts in the U. . S.. . Church, in 2000
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Theodore McCarrick, Vatican City, Catholic Church, Pope Francis
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