In a shocking reversal, the Vatican reportedly indicated that it deemed the allegations of sexual abuse by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick against an altar boy, found to be credible by the Archdiocese of New York, to be “not credible,” essentially nullifying the grievous testimony upon which the Holy See’s case against the prelate was being built.
The former altar boy, 16 years old at time the abuse occurred in 1972, had testified that in preparation for Christmas Mass at New York’s venerable St. Patrick’s Cathedral, McCarrick sexually abused him in the Cathedral’s sacristy and then again a year later in a lavatory.
“The credible evidence has been dropped because the altar boy went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to solicit sex from McCarrick,” according to James Grein, another man whom McCarrick had abused as a boy. As a newly ordained priest, McCarrick had baptized Grein when he was an infant and then molested him repeatedly for 18 years beginning when Grein was just 11 years old.
“He was 16 years old,” so “he was a consensual adult,” added Grein in his recent interview with Taylor Marshall. “There was no crime.”
Despite the fact that the United States views a 16 year old as a minor, Canon law views a young person of that age as having reached the age of majority.
“The Vatican is attempting to recast the molestation as somehow ‘consensual sex,’” noted Church Militant’s Michael Voris in a video report.
Voris also pointed out that this echoes a notion promoted by Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meeting in November, that consensual homosexual sex involving priests with young men is somehow not all that egregious.
The Vatican’s apparent attempt to discredit and downplay the charges against McCarrick raises a “big red flag,” said Voris, who asserted, “The Vatican is more concerned with cover-up than the truth.”
“Many are thinking that all of this is just one huge smoke screen,” said Voris, who suggested “Rome has no real concern about this issue, too easily adopts a ‘blame the victim approach,’ and is content to treat this scandal as just an ‘American thing’ that will be forgotten soon enough.”
Because the initial case against McCarrick seems to be crumbling, Grein’s sworn testimony last week to Church authorities conducting the Vatican’s investigation into McCarrick’s long history of sexual predation may soon become the cornerstone –– and the last hope –– for any canonical action to be taken by the Holy See against McCarrick.
Though canon law may be lenient on McCarrick for his despicable sexual abuse of the altar boy in the sacristy of a St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Grein’s abuse occurred during confession, which canon law views as a capital crime.
Grein explained that when he was a young boy, McCarrick, who was a close friend of his parents, brought him to a third floor bedroom in the Grein family’s house to hear his confession, far away from the others who were gathered on the main floor.