He resigned from the College of Cardinals in July 2018, and took up residence in the friary that September.
Graham spent at least several days in Victoria, interviewing locals as well as friars who live with McCarrick.
She said McCarrick spoke with her briefly before lunch at the friary. He told her he doesn't leave the friary, even to enter the adjoining Basilica of St. Fidelis; a condition of his residence is that he remain on the grounds of the friary. He indicated that he spends much of his time in the chapel and the library.
McCarrick discussed in particular the accusations by James Grein that he had solicited him during confession: “The thing about the confession, it’s a horrible thing. I was a priest for 60 years, and I would never have done anything like that … That was horrible, to take the holy sacrament and to make it a sinful thing.”
The former cleric told Graham that he thinks men who said he abused them while they were seminarians during weekend trips to his New Jersey beach house “were encouraged” to develop similar stories, attributing this encouragement to unnamed “enemies.”
“There were many who were in that situation who never had any problems like that,” he said.
McCarrick also addressed the claims of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, emeritus apostolic nuncio to the US, who said McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct had been known to some Vatican officials for years, eventually leading to a restriction on the archbishop’s ministry by Benedict XVI and a subsequent restoration of McCarrick’s place as a papal advisor by Pope Francis.
The now-layman said Viganò “was talking as a representative of the far right, I think,” adding, “I don’t want to say he’s a liar, but I think some of the bishops have said that he was not telling the truth.”
Father Christopher Popravak, the former provincial of the Capuchin's St. Conrad province, told Graham that McCarrick will likely remain at St. Fidelis Friary, saying: “It’s become impossible for him to move because no one will have him.”
According to Graham, McCarrick had hoped to return to the east coast, but told her, “I don’t know how many years are in my calendar. One tries one’s best to accept where one is.”
The former cardinal said he receives little mail, and “the vast majority of the mail I get is looking for some help. I don’t have a lot of money, but I try to be helpful. It’s what you’re supposed to do.”
Once he was dismissed from the clerical state, McCarrick's room and board of about $500 a month were no longer paid for by the Archdiocese of Washington, and he offered to pay out of pocket.
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According to Graham, Fr. John Schmeidler, pastor of the Basilica of St. Fidelis, declined McCarrick's offer.
Fr. Popravak said: “I know that itself could be construed as problematic, like the church is continuing to cover for him or harbor him. But we’re not attempting to profit from this. This is simply an attempt for us to show mercy.”
Graham wrote that McCarrick participates in the friary's daily routine, including Mass, breakfast, and evening prayers, as well as weekly confession.