Cardinal Tobin reportedly declined to investigate McCarrick misconduct rumors

Newark, N.J., Sep 1, 2018 / 08:41 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Joseph Tobin told a journalist Friday that he heard rumors shortly after his 2017 arrival in the Archdiocese of Newark about the sexual misconduct of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. He said he did not investigate those rumors because he found them unbelievable.

In a column published Aug. 31 in the North Jersey Record, journalist Mike Kelly reported that “Tobin told me that soon after arriving in Newark, he heard ‘rumors’ about McCarrick’s beach house. But he never bothered to check them out. He says he thought the story was too ‘incredulous’ to believe.”

“Shame on me that I didn’t ask sooner,” Tobin reportedly told Kelly.  

McCarrick served as Archbishop of Newark from 1986 to 2000.

The Archdiocese of Newark declined to comment on when Tobin was informed that McCarrick was under investigation in New York for an allegation that he had serially sexually abused a teenage boy in the 1970s. A source close to Cardinal Donald Wuerl, McCarrick’s successor as Archbishop of Washington, told CNA that Wuerl learned of the investigation in 2017.

On June 20, 2018, the Archdiocese of New York announced it had found the allegation to be credible. After that announcement, reports surfaced alleging that for decades McCarrick sexually coerced and assaulted seminarians and young priests. Several reports alleged that McCarrick regularly took seminarians to a New Jersey beach house, where he is reported to have sexually assaulted some of them.

The Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen also acknowledged June 20 that they had reached legal settlements with some alleged victims of McCarrick in 2005 and 2007.

Tobin told Kelly that he did not learn about those settlements until June 2018, shortly before they were publicly announced.

Tobin did not specify what he found “incredulous” about the McCarrick rumors he heard after arriving in the Archdiocese of Newark. But the cardinal has previously been involved in addressing situations connected to serious sexual misconduct in the Church.

Tobin served from 2010 to 2012 as secretary to the Vatican office overseeing religious life.

Months before Tobin began working in that office, the Vatican concluded an apostolic visitation- an investigation- into the Legion of Christ, a men’s religious order founded by Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, who, in 2005 was removed from public ministry after he was found to have fathered children, and maintained several properties at which he reportedly sexually abused minors and seminarians connected to the order.

Tobin told Vatican journalist John Allen in 2010 that his Vatican office would want to “stay informed” on the situation of the Legion of Christ.

Crux reported in 2016 that Tobin “was also responsible for the visit and reform of the male communities in Ireland during the sex abuse crisis in the country” while he was working in the Vatican.

In May 2016, the Vatican appointed Tobin to oversee the reform of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a “society of apostolic life,” consisting of laymen and priests. (CNA’s executive director, Alejandro Bermudez, is a member of the group). The Sodalitium was founded by Peruvian Luis Fernando Figari, who is reported to have physically, psychologically, and sexually abused young men, and who is forbidden by the Vatican from having contact with members of the Sodalitium.  

Tobin told Kelly he plans to initiate an archdiocesan investigation into the reasons he was not told about McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct.

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  1. Tobin allowed an lgbtq Mass at the Newark cathedral of in some cases known couples who were free according to the NY Times to receive Communion hopefully based on a sincere bizarre erroneous conscience but the Times did not mention that. We’re in more trouble than Woody Allen doing stand up at an ISIS reunion dinner. It’s simple. Popes since 1960 (allowing for ten previous years to learn) did not put a priority on children being sodomized in some cases. Perhaps they are so used to hearing sexual sins in confession that for them….gross is normal. I don’t get it. Toynbee was correct…with all our pluses, we have aspects of an arrested culture…he didn’t even know at the time, that many of our clergy should have been under arrest.

  2. He did nothing which is a direct violation of the Dallas Charter! It’s nit about whether he thinks it might be true or not. He could have saved a poor victim of McCarrick and Tobin did NOTHING!

  3. Who’s beach house?
    If it belonged to the archdioces and seminarians were rumored to be involved and Tobin didnt investigate then out with him. No credibility. Stop all funds to this man he is not thinking about his flock.

  4. Was it really “incredulous” (vs. incredible) to Tobin that seminarians would be invited to a beach house by McCarrick and that “rumors” happened there?

    Is it “incredulous” that Cardinal Tobin tweeted “Nighty-night, baby. I love you” to his sister?

    Maybe the most honest (and then revised) statement in a long time is Fr. Rosica’s: “Our Church has indeed entered a new phase. With the advent of this first Jesuit pope, it is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.”

    They expect us to hand over money to support all this, on the Diocesan and parish level. This rot is not simply from the top down. It’s more like an infection that meets in the middle.

    They think we’re stupid.

  5. Tobin is a huckster, a liar, a thug, and a barbarian who doesn’t even know the 4th grade difference between “incredulous” and “incredible”. This is hellish level to which the Church has been reduced in its so-called “shepherds” and “Princes”. He must think we are utter morons to believe he is going “to initiate an archdiocesan investigation into the reasons he was not told about McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct” when by his own explicit admission he “told a journalist Friday that he heard rumors shortly after his 2017 arrival in the Archdiocese of Newark about the sexual misconduct of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. He said he did not investigate those rumors because he found them [unbelievable].”

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