I can’t even report on stories like this without first thinking of the long history of fire and brimstone judgment permeating throughout organized religion and particularly in the Catholic church. That specific division of Christianity has been marred with scandal more than ever in recent years, with multi-million lawsuits filed with charges of sexual misconduct and sex minors. A news story that broke tonight at the Jersey Shore only further adds to the list of such accusations.
A new lawsuit file by a man under the alias Doe14 alleges that former Cardinal, Theodore McCarrick ran a secret sex ring of underaged boys in a beach house in the quaint ocean town of Sea Girt, New Jersey.
Court filings show that the suit filed under New Jersey’s Child Victims Act, alleges that “On these occasions, minor boys were assigned to different rooms and paired with adult clerics.” So, this allegation far exceeds a singular adult as the culprit. Instead, implicated additional adults were a part of the ring, betraying the trust of minors as young as 14 on overnight retreats.
The now-adult victim alleges the incidents in question frequently occurred in 1982 and 1983, beginning when he was 14. He claims the Cardinal McCarrick orchestrated the weekend overnight trips and coordinated all the sexual assaults methodically, even organizing which adult would pair with what child, and in what room, like a depraved owner of a brothel – but only one that victimized children. Just to type that last sentence made me nauseous, it’s so repulsive.
The suit claims goes on to claim the victim met McCarrick through Brother Andrew Hewitt. At that time, Hewitt was the principal at Essex Catholic Boy’s High School, and he, too, was accused of sexual abuse.
What is staggering to me is how the song almost remains the same every time we see another story of abuse involving members of the Catholic church. As with claims of the past, this suit also claims an alleged coverup. If found to be accurate, that coverup allowed the abuse to continue for decades with multiple Archdiocese named as part of the efforts to conceal the alleged assaults. The Archdiocese of Newark is named in the suit as well.
In case you are wondering why Theodore McCarrick is referred to as “Former Cardinal,” you may recall a year ago McCarrick was defrocked from the Catholic Church for allegations of wide spread sex abuse. it was a rare move for the Vitican that has come under fire in recent years for not doing enough to bring such crimes to justice. According to a CBS report,
“The Catholic Church took the extraordinary step Friday night of defrocking Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop and cardinal of Washington, after the church found him guilty of widespread sex abuse. It’s the pope’s most serious punishment yet in the clerical sex abuse scandal”
Sexual predators in the church can be very cunning in grooming their victims. Their abuse can go undetected for years without parental alarms going off because of the blind trust people have when dealing with religion. Sadly stories such as Doe14’s are all too familiar. It’s long overdue that abusers in the church, especially priests, should be imprisoned if found guilty. What has occurred instead, though, is the abuser getting relocated to another parish without facing justice?
Before I get messages and emails claiming that I’m bashing Catholicism, I reject that claim. However, I am pointing out the hypocrisy. The same religion that condemns women for exercising their productive rights, and the same religion that rejects marriage between two legal-aged, consenting same-sex adults, is the same religion that keeps having to dish out money for lawsuits to settle cases of alleged sex abuse of minors.