Abp. Theodore McCarrick – Diocese of Metuchen

Archbishop Theodore McCarrick

Diocese of Metuchen

Ordained: 1958

Removed: 2018

Laicized: 2019

Assigned as follows:

  • 1959-1966      Archdiocese of New York Serving Outside the Diocese Special Assignments, Catholic University (Washington, D.C.) 
  • 1967-1969      Archdiocese of New York Serving Outside the Diocese Special Assignments (Catholic University of Puerto Rico (Ponce) 
  • 1970-1971      Blessed Sacrament (New York, NY) 
  • 1972-1977      Cathedral of St. Patrick (New York, NY)
  • 1978-1980      St. Francis De Sales (New York, NY) 
  • 1978-1981      Auxiliary Bishop Archdiocese of New York 
  • 1981                The New York Foundling Hospital (New York, NY)  
  • 1982-1986      Bishop of Metuchen
  • 1987-2000      Archbishop of Newark
  • 1989-2000      Sacred Heart Cathedral (Newark, NJ) 
  • 2001-2006      Cardinal Archbishop of Washington
  • 2006-2017      Retired (Washington, D.C.); US Conference of Catholic Bishop

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick:

Archbishop Theodore McCarrick held various leadership positions throughout his career. Once considered the most powerful Catholic priest in America, he was the archbishop of Washington DC, archbishop of Newark, bishop of Metuchen, and  auxiliary bishop of New York. He was the priest “Meet the Press” talked to about the sexual abuse crisis. He also participated at the funerals of Ted Kennedy, Beau Biden, Tim Russert and William Rehnquist. He retired from ministry in 2006, after being a priest for 60 years. 

According to media reports, in June 2018, the Archdiocese of New York substantiated allegations that Archbishop McCarrick sexually abused a 16-year-old altar boy when he was a priest in New York and Cardinal Cooke’s personal secretary in the 1970s. The Vatican quickly removed him from public ministry. Though he claimed his innocence, in July 2018, he resigned from his position as a cardinal, making him the first cardinal to ever resign over sexual-abuse allegations. 

The pope ordered him to live in seclusion, prayer and penitence. He was transferred to a friary in a remote, small town in Victoria, Kansas. The town, one of the only places that would accept Archbishop McCarrick is near a Catholic school. Parishioners were shocked, but assured by Church officials that no one, including their children would ever see the priest.

It has been reported that some in the church hierarchy had known about accusations brought against Archbishop McCarrick for decades. He had three prior allegations of sexual misconduct made against him in Newark and Metuchen. There were settlements in two of the cases. In July 2018, a man said that Archbishop McCarrick abused him for 20 years, beginning in 1969 when he was age 11. 

The alleged victim was the first baby that the priest baptized. When he brought him to meet Pope John Paul II in 1988, the man said that in the presence of several Vatican officials, he had been sexually abusing him since childhood.

“I told him I had been abused as a child by this man, and I need you to stop it,” he said. “He put both hands on my head, and told me he would pray for me.”

No other action was taken. In October 2018, the Vatican ordered a new investigation. In July 2019, under the Child Victims Act, the man filed a lawsuit.

In January 2019, a third allegation was investigated. Several priests and ex-priests have reportedly come forward alleging Archbishop McCarrick used his authority to force them to sleep with him when they were adult seminarians studying for the priesthood. All four U.S. dioceses where he served, New York, Metuchen, Newark, and Washington, DC, have launched independent investigations.

In January 2019, Archbishop McCarrick was laicized. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Metuchen.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Metuchen, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Metuchen now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.