ISSN 2330-717X

Cardinal McCarrick’s Cross – OpEd


A little over a year after assuming the reins of the Catholic League, I started exchanging letters with Newark Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. He was genuinely supportive of our efforts. On October 17, 1994, he wrote to me saying, “I have been speaking to the bishops of New Jersey at our Provincial meeting and encouraging them to support the work of the Catholic League in their own dioceses.”

Now he is bearing a heavy cross. The takeaway for me is clear.

On June 12, I wrote the following: “The problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church occurred mostly between 1965 and 1985. Now that it is harder for practicing homosexuals to enter the priesthood—they are responsible for 8 in 10 cases of the sexual abuse of minors (pedophiles are responsible for less than 5 percent)—there is no need for the annual study [of clergy sexual abuse].”

I added that in the last two years, “an average of .005 percent of the clergy had a substantiated charge made against him.” I also credited the training programs and screening procedures instituted by the bishops, saying they should be continued.

How is this relevant to the situation that Cardinal McCarrick is in?

The three key points that I made are: the timeline (1965-1985); the sexual orientation of the molester (most were homosexuals); and the progress that has been made (practicing homosexuals have a harder time becoming priests and efforts to check this problem have worked).

In the case of Cardinal McCarrick, the alleged abuse took place a half century ago (in the 1970s), and the alleged victim was a teenager, thus ruling out pedophilia.

Pray for Cardinal McCarrick and anyone whom he may have hurt.

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William Donohue

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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