In 2015, a letter containing allegations against Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick was sent to Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s office. McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, was removed from the ministry in June, just before resigning in July, due to allegations that he had sexually assaulted seminary students and minors, including a 16-year-old altar boy, more than 50 years ago.
Recently, O’Malley issued a statement just over a month after it was reported that Rev. Boniface Ramsey, a New York priest, had penned the letter pertaining to McCarrick’s alleged behavior. Though in July, O’Malley had issued a statement explaining how Ramsey’s letter had gone unseen, this time around he spoke of the Catholic Church’s credibility, seemingly more apologetic.
Is it Possible to Repair Trust?
In his most recent statement, O’Malley expressed his understanding that many will not believe that he did not know about the allegations, but explained that he hopes that the church can repair the trust and faith of all Catholics and the wider community. According to various media reports, it appears that McCarrick’s behavior was a well-known secret in the church hierarchy, though O’Malley stands by the fact that he learned of the sexual abuse allegations only after the stories about them were published.
Ramsey Letter was Wrongly Handled
O’Malley claims that he never saw the letter, as it was handled by another staff member who told him that individual cases, such as this one with McCarrick, were not handled by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. However, O’Malley has acknowledged that he should have seen the letter because it pertained to assertions about the behavior of a church archbishop.
O’Malley’s priest secretary stated that O’Malley is responsible for child protection policies and procedures in the church, and seems adamant to not let this happen again. He takes responsibility and is prepared to modify procedures due to this experience. O’Malley also gave a direct apology to Ramsey for not responding appropriately.
As O’Malley explained, priests are greatly vetted before they are named as bishops. If there is any doubt or question concerning faithfulness to their promise of celibacy, it would result in removal from consideration to be named bishop. The Bishops Conference is requesting an investigation by the Vatican to ensure that this never happens again.
Middletown Sexual Harassment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Handle Various Types of Sexual Harassment Cases
If you are an employer or employee dealing with issues of sexual harassment, the Middletown sexual harassment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. are here to help you. Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.