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McCarrick’s grooming tactics shown in letters to seminarians and abuse victims

McCarrick’s letters, published Tuesday by the Associated Press, include repeated invitations to call him, and details of his international travel schedule.

(CNS photo/Ma x Rossi, Reuters)

Vatican City, Aug 6, 2019 / 08:14 am (CNA).- Letters from Theodore McCarrick to his abuse victims were published Tuesday by the Associated Press, in advance of a promised Vatican report on a Church investigation into the life of the former bishop.

“I just wanted to say thank you for coming on Friday evening. I really enjoyed our night. You’re a great kid and I know the Lord will continue to bless you. You are very much in my prayers,” McCarrick wrote in 1987 letter to a seminarian in his diocese after the former bishop had reportedly groped him.

“We have an almost full house, and by tomorrow the couches and maybe the floor will be taken — but we would have made room even for a big guy like you,” McCarrick wrote in another letter to the same seminarian.

“I’m sorry you weren’t able to come. It would have been good to have a visit with you. If you have some time in October during the break, some of the sems might be coming away for a couple of days fishing with me. Let me know if you’re interested,” McCarrick wrote in the undated letter, apparently written from one of the ex-bishop’s trips with his seminarians.

McCarrick went on to advise the seminarian, whom he had touched inappropriately, “Don’t let the work-load overwhelm you and please make sure that you take the time to keep in shape. A little exercise will go a long way to clear the head and keep your feet on the ground.”

AP reported that this unnamed seminarian “wrote to another bishop” about the inappropriate touching and that he had seen McCarrick engage in sexual activity with other seminarians during a fishing trip.

The letters did not include information about correspondence with other bishops or curial officials indicating what they knew of McCarrick’s behavior, something hoped for in the forthcoming Vatican report.

The Vatican announced in October that Pope Francis ordered a review of all Holy See files pertaining to allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of McCarrick. The results of that review have not, to date, been released.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said May 29 that the Vatican was still investigating the documentation concerning McCarrick and will issue a declaration upon the investigation’s completion.

McCarrick is alleged to have engaged in sexually coercive and abusive misconduct with seminarians and priests for decades, inviting seminarians to sleep in his bed during weekend trips to his New Jersey beach house.

He was found guilty in a canonical process of “solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power,” according to a Feb. 16 Vatican communique.

McCarrick’s letters include repeated invitations to call him, and details of his international travel schedule.

In one August 1987 letter written on Admirals Club letterhead on a flight to Warsaw, McCarrick wrote, “I just wanted to tell you how glad I am that we had the chance to get together this summer. It wasn’t as often as I would have liked, but I know how ‘social’ my nephew is!”

“You stick with your uncle and you’ll really meet interesting people,” McCarrick wrote later in the letter.

AP also reported on McCarrick’s postcards and letters sent to two other alleged victims, including postcards sent to James Grein, who says he was serially sexually abused by McCarrick beginning at age 11.

Grein testified Dec. 27 in a canonical deposition conducted by officials of the Archdiocese of New York as a part of the Vatican investigation regarding McCarrick’s history of sexual abuse and misconduct.

To Rev. Desmond Rossi, a Newark seminarian on sabbatical in 1987 while McCarrick was archbishop, he wrote,  “You’re still very much part of the family,” in a letter AP reported on, but chose not to publish.

In 1989, Rossi moved to another diocese after he said McCarrick was inappropriately close and touched his leg in a meeting.

Pope Francis laicized Theodore McCarrick on Jan. 11. The former cardinal now longer has the right to exercise sacred ministry in the Church, except in the extreme situation of encountering someone who is in immediate danger of death After his dismissal from the clerical state, McCarrick continues to reside at a Franciscan friary in Kansas.

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  1. Even McCarrick shows himself to be a rank amateur! Individual letters? Only this?

    But also mentioned in the article is the still-awaited Vatican report on its investigations into Mr. McC–a revelation which might well serve as a smokescreen for a much more accomplished professional–one who, instead of victimizing many and then hunt-and-pecking individualized letters, has commissioned and supervised a Big Picture visual. And with more than a tiny beach house, this cathedral expenditure is aimed at the “masses.”

    Namely Archbishop Paglia and his uplifting wall-size mural at the Diocese of Termi-Narni-Amelia, and whose official “family” duties extend far beyond any cannon-fodder (Canon Father?) seminarians lured to a beach house retreat.

    Why settle for an overnight groupie when you (yes, presumably with a clean personal record) can at least demolish the John Paul II Institute on the Family and Marriage, while in command of an entire Vatican dicastery atop a captive audience of 1.2 Billion?

    Again, this:

  2. There are many, many devote and unselfish priests of whom the Catholic Church was founded on, namely the communion of saints in which the good believers outnumber the evil ones. Unfortunately, McCarrick represented a cult movement within the Catholic Church where the cult leader has sex with as many of the members as possible. Think of the Branch Davidian and David Koresh as but one recent example. Hopefully the Church weeds out these devils. Part of the symptom of the cult movement is that members are not allowed the question the motives and actions of the cult leader. Good Catholics have to stand up against these deceitful cult leaders in the name of Jesus the Christ. Pray that we are given the wisdom and discernment to shift the wheat from the shaft, because we must purify the church for the salvation of souls.

  3. Is it still true that McCarrick denies all of this and has never apologized or repented of any of this?

    Let’s not get lost in this almost non-expose/no surprise about all the “grooming.”

    Let’s not forget all the MONEY McCarrick tossed around…and still has? And that there other McCarricks…not all of them in the episcopacy. Some of them Monsignors.

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