clearn.png
Thursday November 26th, 2020 9:35PM

Vatican hears testimony from alleged McCarrick abuse victim

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has taken testimony from a man who says ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sexually abused him for years starting when he was 11, evidence that the initial case against the retired archbishop has expanded to include serious allegations of sexual misconduct, including in the confessional.

James Grein testified Thursday in New York before the judicial vicar for the New York City archdiocese, who was asked by the Holy See to take his statement, said Grein's civil attorney Patrick Noaker.

The testimony, which lasted about an hour, was difficult and stressful but Grein was proud to have done it, Noaker said.

"He wants his church back. He felt that in order to accomplish that end, he had to go in and testify here and tell them what happened, and give the church itself the chance to do the right thing," Noaker said in a telephone interview Friday.

Grein initially came forward in July after the New York archdiocese announced that a church investigation determined that an allegation that McCarrick had groped another teenage altar boy in the 1970s was credible.

Grein's claims, first reported by The New York Times, are more serious. He has alleged that McCarrick, a family friend, first exposed himself to Grein when he was 11 and then sexually molested him for years thereafter.

Noaker said in his testimony Thursday, Grein also gave "chilling" details about alleged repeated incidents of groping during confession — a serious canonical crime on top of the original offense of sexually abusing a minor.

Noaker said combining sexual abuse with confession haunts Grein today.

"People are vulnerable in the confessional. Very vulnerable," he said. "If you manipulate that, and try to sexualize that, it's extremely emotionally damaging."

McCarrick denied the initial groping allegation of the altar boy and has said through his lawyer that he looks forward to his right to due process. It wasn't clear when his testimony would be given.

The McCarrick scandal has sparked a crisis in credibility in the U.S. and Vatican hierarchies, since it was apparently an open secret in some church circles that "Uncle Ted" slept with adult seminarians. Yet McCarrick still rose to the heights of church power, and even acted as the spokesman for U.S. bishops when they enacted a "zero tolerance" policy against sexually abusive priests in 2002.

Pope Francis initially ordered McCarrick removed from public ministry in June after he was accused of groping the teenage altar boy — the first known allegation against him involving a teen. A month later, after former seminarians and Grein came forward, Francis removed McCarrick as a cardinal and ordered him to live a lifetime of penance and prayer while the canonical process ran its course.

Now 88, the former archbishop of Washington is living at a Kansas religious residence.

The Vatican is under pressure to finalize its case against McCarrick before Francis hosts church leaders at a February sex abuse prevention summit, since Francis himself has been implicated in the yearslong cover-up of McCarrick's misconduct with adults.

While victims have long complained about the way they have been treated during canonical proceedings, Noaker praised the judicial vicar, the Rev. Richard Welch, saying he was compassionate, respectful and patient during Grein's testimony.

Noaker said Welch gave Grein time to compose himself when he testified about an incident in which McCarrick allegedly masturbated Grein in a car. When McCarrick dropped Grein back at home, he allegedly told Grein's parents that the mess was caused by a spilled soda, so Grein's mother went to clean up the car seat.

"That was a really psychologically damaging moment," Noaker said, adding that Grein had to relive it during his testimony. "He closed his eyes. He was sitting in that car with McCarrick, and you could see it. It was moving and terrifying."

The Associated Press does not identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission. Grein has gone public with his full name.

In addition to the canonical case against McCarrick, Noaker filed a police report against McCarrick in July.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tesla names independent board members in SEC settlement
Tesla names 2 independent board members as part of settlement with US regulators
12:37PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Jerry Brown wraps a 5-decade history in California politics
California Gov. Jerry Brown will leave office Jan. 7 after a record 16 years leading the nation's most populous state
12:31PM ( 13 minutes ago )
The Latest: Turkey-backed Syrians brace for key town clash
Turkey-backed Syrian fighters say their forces are on alert and ready for an offensive in a flashpoint Kurdish-held town after Syrian troops announced that they have entered it and raised the government's flag there
12:12PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Utah gears up to implement nation's lowest DUI limit
New Year's Eve revelers in Utah could find themselves with more than a hangover as 2019 dawns: If they drink and drive, they could end up on the wrong side of the nation's newest and lowest DUI threshold.
11:44AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Democrats refuse to fund Trump's "immoral" wall
Nancy Pelosi's office says Democrats will not fund Trump's "immoral, ineffective and expensive wall" as partial government shutdown drags on
11:30AM ( 1 hour ago )
GOP and Democrats trade blame for shutdown, no deal in sight
The partial government shutdown will almost certainly be handed off to a divided government to solve in the new year
11:20AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
The Latest: White House and Dems are "far apart" on shutdown
With President Trump and Democrats "far apart" on wall funding dispute, shutdown to continue
9:29AM ( 3 hours ago )
Tesla names Oracle's Ellison to board in SEC settlement
Tesla names Oracle's Ellison and Walgreens executive to board as part of settlement with US regulators
8:52AM ( 3 hours ago )
Syria military says it entered flashpoint Kurdish-held town
Syria military says it entered flash-point Kurdish-held town to avert Turkish offensive
8:50AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
New scandal around fired Macron aide troubles France
France's Foreign Ministry is threatening legal action against a former security aide to President Emmanuel Macron, amid reports that he continued using his diplomatic passports after being fired for beating a protester
10:44AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: US-led coalition says no Syrian troops in Manbij
The U.S-led coalition has denied that there were changes to the military deployment in Syria's Kurdish-held Syrian Manbij, refuting the government account that its troops have entered the town
10:17AM ( 2 hours ago )
Italy's premier insists budget deal not dictated by EU
Italy's premier denies that the new budget was dictated by the European Commission, saying that he held firm on key points like the basic income and the rollbacks in an unpopular pension reform
10:04AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
Tesla names independent board members in SEC settlement
Tesla names 2 independent board members as part of settlement with US regulators
12:37PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Jerry Brown wraps a 5-decade history in California politics
California Gov. Jerry Brown will leave office Jan. 7 after a record 16 years leading the nation's most populous state
12:31PM ( 13 minutes ago )
The Latest: Turkey-backed Syrians brace for key town clash
Turkey-backed Syrian fighters say their forces are on alert and ready for an offensive in a flashpoint Kurdish-held town after Syrian troops announced that they have entered it and raised the government's flag there
12:12PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Markets Right Now: US stocks waver in midday trading
Stocks are wavering between small gains and losses as the market continues to churn amid the volatile trading that has gripped the market throughout December
12:10PM ( 34 minutes ago )
The Latest: Report: Iran hails Syrian troops entering Manbij
Iran's official IRNA news agency is reporting that the country's foreign ministry has welcomed the Syrian army's announcement that its troops had entered the northern town of Manbij
11:57AM ( 48 minutes ago )