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CBS News - Father Boniface Ramsey: "Virtually everyone knew"

23. aug. 2018

21. aug. 2018
A New York City priest says he warned senior Catholic officials about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has been suspended over claims he sexually abused seminary students and an altar boy. Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston apologized Monday night for brushing the allegations against McCarrick aside. Only on "CBS This Morning," Father Boniface Ramsey tells how he repeatedly complained about the retired archbishop of Washington. Nikki Battiste reports.

CBS News - 21. aug:

"Virtually everyone knew": Priest says he repeatedly complained about Cardinal McCarrick

A New York City priest says he warned senior Roman Catholic officials about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was suspended last month over claims he sexually abused seminary students and an altar boy. Cardinal Sean O'Malley, of Boston, apologized Monday night for brushing aside the allegations against McCarrick. Father Boniface Ramsey told CBS News' Nikki Battiste he repeatedly complained about the now retired archbishop of Washington, D.C.

O'Malley's admission is all the more startling because he is perhaps the pope's most trusted adviser on stopping sex abuse. He says he had no idea someone had complained about McCarrick and that he never saw that letter. Father Ramsey says he first heard about McCarrick's disturbing behavior as early as 1986, when he was archbishop of Newark.

"I had the impression that virtually everyone knew about it," Ramsey said. "Archbishop McCarrick was inviting seminarians to his beach house. … There were five beds … and there were six people. Archbishop McCarrick arranged it in such a way that somebody would join him in his bed." 

Ramsey, now a priest in New York City, wrote a letter in June 2015 to Cardinal O'Malley, who had just been appointed by Pope Francis to lead a commission to protect children from sex abuse.

Ramsey wrote, "Some of these stories were not presented to me as mere rumors but were told to me by persons directly involved."

"The response that I got was from his secretary, which said that this really does not fall under our jurisdiction," Ramsey said. 

Last night, Cardinal O'Malley said that was a mistake. "In restrospect," he said, "I should have seen that letter precisely because it made assertions about the behavior of an archbishop in the church."

17. aug. 2018
There is a push for new investigations after a scathing grand jury report detailed alleged sex abuse by more than 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania. The Vatican broke its silence Thursday and called for abusers and enablers to be held accountable, adding "the church must learn hard lessons from its past." Nikki Battiste reports.

O'Malley told "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell in 2014 that the church took sex abuse complaints seriously.

"Certainly, the Holy Father is very, very aware of that and very committed to zero tolerance and responding in a proper way," O'Malley said.

On Monday, the pope once again apologized to survivors. "The heart-wrenching pain of these victims, which cries out to heaven, was long ignored," Pope Francis said. "But their outcry was more powerful than all the measures meant to silence it."

Father Ramsey told us he brought his concerns about McCarrick to the Vatican's attention in 2000, 15 years before he went to O'Malley. McCarrick responded to the allegations saying he maintains his innocence.

On Monday, embattled Cardinal Donald Wuerl – who was at the center of last week's explosive Pennsylvania grand jury report – met privately in Washington with priests on his archdiocese's advisory group. Wuerl was accused of shielding 32 predatory priests when he was bishop of Pittsburgh.

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