A man whose family was close to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick says the church leader sexually abused him for 20 years beginning when the boy was 11 years old in New Jersey, according to a report in the New York Times.
The man, identified only as James, said he was baptized at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Tenafly by McCarrick when the future cardinal was a newly-ordained Catholic priest. James and his six siblings referred to McCarrick, who frequently spent time with the family, as “Uncle Teddy.”
Years later, McCarrick allegedly pulled his pants down in front of the then 11-year-old boy in his bedroom, the report said. When the boy was 13, McCarrick began touching him sexually, James said.
The alleged sexual abuse included incidents in San Francisco and at a fishing camp in New York, the report said.
The alleged abuse continued when James was an adult and he occasionally stayed overnight with then-Bishop McCarrick when the rising church leader lived in the rectory in the Diocese of Metuchen, the report said. James also said he stayed overnight with McCarrick after he became head of the Archdiocese of Newark in 1986.
Last month, McCarrick was removed from public ministry after he was accused of sexually abusing a teenage altar boy in New York nearly 50 years ago. A church panel found that allegation credible.
McCarrick, 88, is one of the highest-ranking American church leaders removed from ministry over sex abuse allegations. He has said he does not remember the New York incident 50 years ago and believes he is innocent.
James said that news of McCarrick’s removal last month prompted him to begin talking publicly about his alleged abuse.
“I got down on my knees and I thanked God that I am not alone and it is going to be O.K.,” James told the New York Times. “And I can tell somebody and someone is going to believe me.”
McCarrick’s spokeswoman, Susan Gibbs, said he had not been notified of James’ accusation, the report said. The cardinal will follow the church’s procedure for investigating alleged abuse, she said.
James’ account of his alleged abuse will be sent to police in San Francisco, New Jersey and possibly New York, his attorney said. The alleged victim plans to seek a financial settlement from the church, which has compensation funds for victims of priest sexual abuse.
Earlier this week, the New York Times reported the dioceses in New Jersey has previously reached financial settlements with alleged adult victims of McCarrick’s sexual misconduct.
They included an $80,000 settlement in 2005 and a $100,000 settlement in 2007. Both involved former priests who said McCarrick inappropriately touched them.