There’s still no McCarrick Report. In case, gentle reader, you are just a little late to the party: the McCarrick Report refers to the Vatican’s promised internal review of documents on file regarding the career of the US Church’s most notorious paedophile and pervert: Theodore Edgar “Uncle Ted” McCarrick, previously Cardinal-Archbishop of Washington, DC. Uncle Ted was for decades a kingmaker within the US hierarchy, before his spectacular fall from grace in the summer of 2018.
The high-profile and habitually controversial attorney, Jeff Anderson, isn’t waiting for the Report. He filed a lawsuit last month, in which he accuses Uncle Ted of leading a “sex ring” out of his beach house – one of them, anyway – on the Atlantic coast in the US state of New Jersey.
The lawsuit claims that Uncle Ted groomed, manipulated and coerced his client – identified only as Doe 14 – into participating in McCarrick’s alleged sex ring along with others, when the plaintiff was a teenager. The suit claims McCarrick “orchestrated and directed the abuse,” which involved three other alleged clerical culprits.
McCarrick’s attorney had no comment for reporters or news agencies, but his client has denied at least the worst of the charges he’s faced in the past. “I’m not as bad as they paint me,” McCarrick told Ruth Graham, who interviewed him for Slate magazine last year, when McCarrick was living in a Kansas friary. “I do not believe that I did the things that they accused me of,” he also said.
Anderson’s latest lawsuit alleges not only that McCarrick abused a boy personally, but that he also enabled the boy’s abuse by several other priests.
One of the more salacious elements of Anderson’s suit is his rehearsal of claims made by the summer of 2018’s celebrity whistleblower cleric, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, whose original J’Accuse contained at least some allegations pertinent to the common weal of the Church and – in principle at least – verifiable.
Several of them have panned out, like the restrictions under which Pope Benedict XVI apparently placed McCarrick in or around 2008, which were known to several Churchmen – some of them very senior, including McCarrick’s successor in Washington DC, Cardinal Donald Wuerl – but never meaningfully enforced.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet for all practical purposes admitted to the presence of a so-called “lavender mafia” in the Vatican, when he responded to Viganò’s second letter in October 2018.
Archbishop Viganò’s subsequent interventions have drifted into the realm of tinfoil hat conspiracy theory (making him particularly attractive to US President Donald Trump).
Whatever one thinks of Archbishop Viganò, it is difficult to argue with what another plaintiff’s attorney on the case, Mike Finnegan, said when presenting the latest lawsuit: “It’s time today for the top officials, the bishops and the Pope to come clean about what all of them knew about Cardinal McCarrick.”
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