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Former Cardinal McCarrick charged with assault in 1970s case

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BOSTON — The Boston Globe reported July 29 that police in the Boston suburb of Wellesley have charged former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 in a criminal complaint filed by Wellesley Police in a district court in nearby Dedham, Mass.

A summons has been issued ordering McCarrick, now 91, to appear at the court for arraignment Aug. 26.

The Globe reported that McCarrick is now living in Missouri. The address listed for McCarrick in the court filings is the Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, Mo., located in Jefferson County, a suburban county of St. Louis on the eastern side of the state.

The Vianney Renewal Center is a treatment center for Catholic clergy with sexual or other disorders.

The crimes for which McCarrick is charged allegedly took place in 1974, when he was a New York archdiocesan priest and secretary to New York Cardinal Terence Cooke.

According to the Globe, the man told investigators that McCarrick was a family friend who began molesting him when he was a boy and had sexually abused him on trips with the then-teenager's family in New Jersey, New York, California and Massachusetts. He also provided four photographs of postcards he had received from McCarrick.

The man, whose name was not released, is represented by Mitchell Garabedian, long known as an attorney for those who have made abuse accusations against Catholic clergy.

McCarrick's attorney, Barry Coburn of Washington, told the Globe: "We will look forward to addressing this issue in the courtroom."

In 2018, the prelate resigned from the College of Cardinals after The New York Times published a series of stories detailing abuse episodes by the then-priest and bishop during assignments in New York and New Jersey, principally in the 1970s and '80s.

A year later, Pope Francis laicized him after a canonical process found him guilty.

Last year, the Vatican released its own report detailing the McCarrick case. It said the now-disgraced former prelate was able to rise up the Catholic hierarchical structure based on personal contacts, protestations of his innocence and a lack of church officials reporting and investigating accusations made against him, according to the Vatican report on the matter.

The report said St. John Paul II "personally made the decision" to name McCarrick archbishop of Washington in 2000 and make him a cardinal.

Many commentators dispute critics that say the pope and his associates knew about McCarrick's misdeeds and proceeded with his promotion anyway, because McCarrick was a "master at gaining the trust of others, including Pope John Paul II, and then betraying that trust."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021