Accusations from seminarians and priests
1989-1996: Three priests, identified as Priest 1, Priest 3, and Priest 4, reported to Bishop Edward Hughes (McCarrick’s successor in Metuchen) instances sexual assault they suffered by McCarrick while he was in Metuchen. The accusations, reported in separate meetings, included sharing a bed with McCarrick and sexual touching and assault that occurred during overnight stays at the beach house at the Jersey shore while two of the priests were seminarians. One of the incidents, reported by Priest 3, occurred while he was a priest. These priests later said that Hughes listened to them, but either sent them on for therapy, or urged them to forgive McCarrick. There is no evidence that Hughes told anyone else of these priests’ reports of McCarrick’s misconduct.
January 1990: Monsignor Dominic Bottino, of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, attended a small celebration with McCarrick. Both Bottino and his Bishop, James Thomas McHugh, noticed McCarrick groping the crotch of a young priest. McHugh dismissed Bottino’s voiced concerns, and said that McCarrick was just “different.” Bottino told his spiritual director at the time of the incident, but no one else, since his bishop dismissed the incident.
1992-1993: Six anonymous letters and one pseudonymous letter alleging sexual misconduct by McCarrick were mailed to various Catholic prelates, including nuncio Cacciavillan, Cardinal O’Connor, and leaders of the U.S. bishop’s conference. The letters accuse McCarrick of pedophilia or incest and sharing beds with young men. Some of McCarrick’s “nephews” with whom he shared beds were his distant relatives.
The accusations against McCarrick at this time are dismissed on the basis of McCarrick’s good reputation, and due to the anonymity of the letter and the lack of specific accusations.
1993-1995: Newark is evaluated as a potential site for a papal visit by Pope John Paul II.
During this evaluation, Mother Mary Quentin Sheridan, Superior General of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma (Michigan), and a priest called Nuncio Cacciavillan about reports they had heard of seminarians abused by McCarrick. After consulting Cardinal James Hickey of Washington, D.C., about the allegations, Cacciavillan dismissed them as “possible slander or exaggeration.”
Hickey told the nuncio he knew McCarrick and his associates very well and had never heard of or seen any inappropriate behavior from McCarrick.
1995: Pope John Paul II visits Newark, and the visit proceeds without any report of scandal.
1996-1997: Priest 1 had been accused of sexual assault of two minors and was on leave. In the course of an evaluation of his fitness for ministry, Priest 1 told psychiatrist Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons and priest-psychologist Msgr. James Cassidy of the sexual assault he witnessed and experienced at the hands of McCarrick. Cassidy reported the matter to Cardinal O’Connor, who told Bishop Hughes. In 2000, in an account to Nuncio Cacciavillan, Hughes stated that he was not sure whether to believe the report, as Priest 1 has a “history of blaming others for his own problems.”
March 1997: Dr. Fitzgibbons traveled to Rome to share the information he had received from Priest 1 with an official at the Congregation for Bishops. The Congregation unsuccessfully attempted to contact Priest 1. There is no evidence of further action taken.
Consideration for New York and Washington, D.C.
June-July 1999: Pope John Paul II tells Cardinal O’Connor that he was considering appointing McCarrick to the Archdiocese of New York.
July 1999: Cardinal O’Connor advised Nuncio Montalvo that McCarrick should not be elevated to New York due to moral issues. Montalvo asked O’Connor to put his concerns in writing.
October 27, 1999: Nuncio Montalvo sent a report to Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, regarding the Archbishopric of New York. Based on recommendations from U.S. bishops and cardinals, Montalvo recommended McCarrick for the position and noted he would be a “worthy member” of the College of Cardinals. He added that McCarrick has been accused of “misplaced affection” but that there was no supporting evidence.
October 28, 1999: After a delay for cancer treatment, Cardinal O’Connor wrote Montalvo with his concerns about McCarrick. O’Connor stated that it was common knowledge among clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark that McCarrick frequently shared beds with male guests, including priests and seminarians. He also noted that there had been a priest very close to McCarrick who accompanied him on at least one international trip who had since left the priesthood. Furthermore, he recalled that a psychologist and psychiatrist had confirmed the veracity of the claims of at least one priest who said he was victimized by McCarrick.
O’Connor also stated that McCarrick had written a letter of defense of a young man convicted of murdering a young woman. He also noted that the general attitude among clergy in Newark and Metuchen was that their concerns about McCarrick had been ignored.
Montalvo forwarded the letter to the Congregation for Bishops and to the Secretariat of State. Archbishop Re, then Substitute of the Secretariat of State, informed Pope John Paul II of the letter. At the request of the Pope, Re consulted Cacciavillan, who had been nuncio in the U.S. when most of the allegations against McCarrick had occurred.
Cacciavillan cast serious doubt on all six of O’Connors concerns, saying the incidents were just a few rumors. He added that McCarrick had not been given a chance to defend himself. Still, he recommended that McCarrick go to Washington D.C. instead of New York, because O’Connor had not recommended McCarrick as his successor.
November 22, 1999: Archbishop Re, per the request of the Pope, wrote to Montalvo, asking him to look into the claims against McCarrick at his convenience “for the sake of the truth.”
February 8, 2000: Cardinal Neve of the Congregation of Bishops told Montalvo that, based on the accusations against McCarrick, as well as his age (almost 70), he should not be transferred to a different diocese.
May-June 2000: Following the death of O’Connor, Montalvo investigated the claims against McCarrick. He asked Bishop James T. McHugh (Diocese of Rockville Centre, 1998-2000); Bishop Vincent D. Breen (Diocese of Metuchen, 1997-2000); Bishop Edward T. Hughes (Diocese of Metuchen, 1987-1997); and Bishop John M. Smith (Diocese of Trenton, 1997-2010), to send him any factual information or other observations about any moral weaknesses in McCarrick.
May 12, 2000: Bishop McHugh responds to Montalvo. He confirms knowledge of McCarrick sharing beds with seminarians, priests and other men, though he said he had not witnessed “improper behavior” but rather a “familiarity (that) was imprudent.” He confirmed McCarrick’s defense of the young man convicted of murder, and offered to be of further assistance.
May 16, 2000: Bishop Breen responds to Montalvo, saying he head rumors of “illicit activities with young men” but that he had no way to prove them. He recommends contacting Bishop Hughes for more information.
May 18, 2000: Bishop Smith responds to Montalvo. He said while he lived with McCarrick, he would be visited by his “nephews” from New York on occasion, and that they would sometimes spend the night, but never indicated the next morning that they were upset or that anything improper had happened. He said he would be “completely shocked” if an individual were to accuse McCarrick of serious wrongdoing or moral failure.
May 22, 2000: Bishop Hughes responds to Montalvo. He said he does not have factual information regarding McCarrick’s moral weaknesses. He noted that two priests who came forward with accusations, Priest 6 and Priest 1, did so in the course of admitting their own moral failures and may have been attempting to justify their actions. He recommends against McCarrick’s promotion, but also against disciplinary actions.
June 21, 2000: Montalvo sent his findings to Archbishop Re, informing him that his investigation found that accusations against McCarrick “are neither definitively proven nor completely groundless.” Based on this, he said, it would be “imprudent” to consider McCarrick for any kind of promotions.
May-July 2000: Montalvo received more endorsements for McCarrick’s appointment for Washington.
July 2000: Archbishop Re and Pope John Paul II concluded that it would be unwise to promote McCarrick to Washington, D.C.
August 6, 2000: McCarrick wrote to Bishop Stanisław Dziwisz, Pope John Paul II’s secretary, refuting the accusations against him. He said he was “tipped off” by a Curia friend about O’Connor’s letter which had “deeply attacked” him and left him “bewildered.”
“Your Excellency, sure I have made mistakes and may have sometimes lacked in prudence, but in the seventy years of my life, I have never had sexual relations with any person, male or female, young or old, cleric or lay, nor have I ever abused another person or treated them with disrespect,” McCarrick wrote. “...if I understand the accusations that Cardinal O’Connor may have made, they are not true.”
McCarrick added that he would accept whatever decision the Holy Father made.
August 2000: Dziwisz delivered McCarrick’s letter to the Pope, who gave the letter to Archbishop Re. Re later said John Paul II had become convinced of McCarrick’s innocence after that letter.
Sept. 16, 2000: Pope John Paul II appointed Archbishop Re Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
Sept. 20, 2000: The secretary for the Congregation of Bishops wrote to Archbishop Cacciavillan and asked that McCarrick be reconsidered for the Washington Archbishopric based on his letter to Dziwisz pleading innocence.
September 25, 2000: In a written memorandum, Archbishop Cacciavillan recommended McCarrick to the Congregation for Bishops for the Washington position. He said McCarrick could defend himself against any accusations that may come to light with the appointment, since they were false.
October 2000: McCarrick traveled to Rome for a private audience with Dziwisz and Pope John Paul II. There is no record of what occurred in the meeting.
October 11, 2000: Re recommended McCarrick as one of two candidates for the Washington position to Pope John Paul II.
Cardinal McCarrick in Washington, D.C.
November 2000: Pope John Paul II appointed McCarrick as the Archbishop of Washington, D.C.
November 24, 2000: Dominican priest Boniface Ramsey, who taught at the seminary at Seton Hall University from the late 1980s-1996, knew of prevalent rumors of McCarrick sharing beds with seminarians. Alarmed at the news of McCarrick’s promotion, he wrote to Nuncio Montalvo, stating that he had heard from multiple seminarians about sharing McCarrick’s bed at the Jersey beach house. He added that while he did not know of any certain sexual relations that had occurred, “at the least the archbishop was seen to be acting with extreme impropriety and to be playing with fire.”
Father Ramsey declined to name specific seminarians, and suggested the nuncio speak with other rectors at the seminary to confirm the rumors. Father Ramsey told a friend and Montalvo that he strongly feared backlash for expressing his concerns. He did not recall receiving any response.
Early 2001: Montalvo received an anonymous note warning of serious scandal if McCarrick is made a Cardinal.
January 2001: Montalvo forwarded the anonymous note and Ramsey’s letter to Secretary of State Cardinal Sodano, who forwarded the letters to Pope John Paul II. The Pope gave them back to Sodano, who made a note: Nihil dicens, or “nothing is produced.”
January 3, 2001: Archbishop McCarrick is installed as Archbishop of Washington.
February 21, 2001: McCarrick is elevated to a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II.
Early 2000s: McCarrick continued extensive work on numerous national and international committees of the U.S. bishop’s conference, including a prominent role in constructing new policies for addressing child sexual abuse within the Church. He is also appointed to numerous Vatican council positions.
His position in Washington meant he regularly met with federal government officials, including President George W. Bush. Following Sept. 11, 2001, McCarrick played a prominent role in addressing the crisis with national figures.
McCarrick, despite refusing a salary as an Archbishop, continued large donations and financial gifts to the Holy Father, other prelates, religious orders, and disaster relief funds. His extensive international travels continued. He was also tasked by the U.S. government in 2001 with developing diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, a project he enthusiastically undertook and which was supported by the nuncio.
November 15, 2001: Cardinal Hickey, then Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, received a letter from a Catholic layman and former student about “wrongdoing” by a bishop, but he did not mention McCarrick specifically. The man requested a meeting to discuss the matter more. Montalvo assigned Bishop William Lori to meet with the man. In a written report, Lori said that the man could not recall any specific details of wrongdoing by McCarrick, and ultimately dismissed the allegation as “hearsay.”
January 2002: The Boston Globe published a series of stories about child sexual abuse by U.S. priests, and a major scandal erupted in the Church in the U.S.
March 2002: Montalvo received another letter from a layman, who had spiritually directed a transitional deacon at Seton Hall, who claimed that McCarrick had been “sexually inappropriate” with him at the Jersey beach house. Montalvo contacted Newark Archbishop John Myers, who later responded that he did not recognize the deacon’s name. He added that he had received other anonymous accusations against McCarrick but that they were untraceable rumors and not concrete incidents. No further action or investigation is undertaken.
April 2002: McCarrick admitted to Susan Gibbs, communications director for the Archdiocese of Washington, that he had shared beds with seminarians as she questioned him about rumors. He told Gibbs that he only ever traveled with groups of seminarians and not alone, and that they were always clothed when they shared a bed. He said he shared beds with them because he thought it was inappropriate to ask seminarians to share beds with each other.
Gibbs questioned McCarrick multiple times about the rumors, and contacted former diocesan personnel of his, but none of them reported any specific instances of improper behavior. She also talked to reporters from the Washington Post and the New York Times, who also could not get anyone to go on the record or on background with any specific allegations.
McCarrick was questioned for two separate media interviews about the sex abuse crisis, including the allegations against him. He told reporters that the accusation was anonymous, that he had brought it forward, and that he had never had sexual relations with anyone in his life.
November 15, 2004: Bishop Donald Wuerl of the Diocese of Pittsburgh sent Montalvo a signed statement from Priest 2, the former seminarian and priest of the Diocese of Metuchen. In it, the priest recalled “problematic” and “extremely inappropriate” behavior including backrubs and bed sharing with McCarrick. He did not overtly accuse him of sexual abuse in the statement. There is no record that Montalvo forwarded the letter to the Vatican.
February 24, 2005: Archbishop Myers of Newark wrote to Nuncio Montalvo warning him that McCarrick’s behavior, according to Priest 2’s lawyer, may constitute abuse. There is no record that Montalvo contacted the Vatican about this.
April 2005: McCarrick traveled to Rome after the death of Pope John Paul II and participated in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI.
June 2005: A settlement was reached with Priest 2 and the Diocese of Metuchen for $80,000. No lawsuit was filed, and McCarrick was not named specifically in the settlement, which also covered accusations of abuse from a high school teacher in the diocese. McCarrick sent $10,000 to the diocese around this time, apparently as part of the settlement. There is no indication that the nuncio or the Vatican knew of this settlement.
Late June 2005: In a dispute about Priest 1’s fitness for ministry, summaries of the instances of abuse from McCarrick suffered by Priest 1 are sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
June 22, 2005: The night before his 75th birthday, McCarrick submitted his resignation as Archbishop of Washington to Pope Benedict XVI, as is customary per canon law.
Summer 2005: Cardinal Re, after consulting Pope Benedict XVI, extended McCarrick’s position in Washington two more years.
September 2005: A canonist working with the CDF wrote in an internal memorandum that Priest 1 had indicated that he did not want to cause public scandal in the Church with his allegations against McCarrick. Priest 1’s petition to return to active ministry was denied and the case considered closed by the Vatican.
November 5, 2005: Pope Benedict XVI reversed the decision to extend McCarrick’s term in Washington, based on credible accusations against him, likely obtained by Archbishop Levada, the new prefect for the Congregation of Bishops. Re informed the Congregation of Bishops of the request.
November 7, 2005: Re sent Nuncio Montalvo a copy of McCarrick’s August 6, 2000 letter pleading innocence to Bishop Dziwisz. Re added a note stating that new information had surfaced, making the accusations seem credible, and that he was going to ask McCarrick to withdraw from Washington. Cardinal Re also wrote to McCarrick asking him to come to Rome before the end of the month to discuss the decision.
December 5, 2005: Re met with McCarrick in Rome. McCarrick admitted to sharing beds with seminarians but said that nothing sexual ever happened, including no “incomplete” acts. He accepted moving his resignation up to Easter 2006 but asked that it be done in a way that would not be seen as a “punishment.”
Shortly thereafter, Bishop Bootkoski of the Diocese of Metuchen forwarded to Nuncio Montalvo specific allegations previously made by Priest 1 and Priest 2. Priest 2 recalled specific instances of sharing a small bed with McCarrick during which there was “inappropriate...although not clearly sexual” physical contact.
Priest 1 said he had witnessed “sexual touching” of McCarrick with his sleeping partner on one trip, and that he was told he “would be next.” On a subsequent trip, McCarrick shared a bed with Priest 1 and touched him in a sexual way. The reports were forwarded to Cardinal Re.
December 17, 2005: Montalvo announces his retirement from the U.S. nunciature, and Archbishop Pietro Sambi is named as his successor.
December 28, 2005: Cardinal Re wrote to Nuncio Montalvo, still in office, to inform him of his meeting with McCarrick and to ask him to start the process of finding McCarrick’s successor in Washington, D.C.
January 17, 2006: McCarrick met again with Re in Rome. This time, McCarrick brings a three-page handwritten refutation of the allegations against him. He emphasized that he never had sexual relationships with anyone in his life, and vigorously denied that he had ever had any inappropriate contact with anyone, swearing to it on his “oath as a bishop.” He then said he would accept the judgement of the Holy Father.
March 2006: McCarrick asks Msgr. Robert Sheeran, president of Seton Hall University, about residing part-time in an on-campus residence for priests, close to the seminary. Archbishop Myers told Sheeran he strongly opposed the move. McCarrick arranged to live part-time at the Redemptoris Mater seminary in Hyattsville, Maryland.
May 16, 2006: Pope Benedict XVI accepted McCarrick’s resignation as Archbishop of Washington. Bishop Donald W. Wuerl is selected as his successor. As Archbishop emeritus, McCarrick received housing, a stipend, health benefits, an office, a secretary, and transportation. He declined to draw a pension.
June 2006: An attorney representing Priest 1 met with officials from the Diocese of Metuchen, and an incident report was filed with the diocese. Priest 1 had since moved to a different state and had been removed from the clerical state due to accusations that he had sexually assaulted two minors. The report noted that Priest 1’s allegations against McCarrick had also been filed with multiple district attorney’s offices as well as dioceses in New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
In the report, Priest 1 recalled that he witnessed McCarrick having sex with another priest, and that on multiple, specific occasions, he felt forced to share a bed with McCarrick, who would touch him in a sexual manner.
August 2006: Priest 1’s attorney and representatives of the dioceses of Newark and of Metuchen agreed to a mediation conference with a former civil judge on November 15, 2006.
October 3, 2006: Archbishop Myers of Newark faxed the incident report to the U.S. nunciature. In a memorandum, a nunciature official noted the unequal relationship of McCarrick to Priest 1, as the incidents took place when Priest 1 was a seminarian - “thus a ‘superior – subordinate’ relationship.” The nunciature faxed the report to the Congregation of Bishops.
October 17, 2006: Re, prefect of the Congregation, responded to U.S. Nuncio Sambi and, fearing media scandal, advised that McCarrick move out of his seminary residence and live a life of quiet prayer “so as to not cause himself to be spoken of.” Re added that he discussed McCarrick’s situation with Wuerl in Rome, but that the nuncio should be the one to ask McCarrick to move and live a quiet life of prayer.
November 2006: Priest 1’s testimony about incidents regarding McCarrick were video recorded. No records indicate that the recording was sent to the Vatican. The parties agreed to a settlement for Priest 1’s claims.
Nuncio Sambi advised Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone against involving McCarrick in further foreign and domestic affairs of the Church due to allegations of abuse against McCarrick.
Dec. 6, 2006: Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, at the time the Delegate for Pontifical Representations within the Secretariat of State, wrote a memorandum related to the November 2006 communication from Nuncio Sambi to Cardinal Bertone.
In it, he noted that Priest 1’s accusations “amount to the crimes of entrapment, solicitation of seminarians and priests to commit wicked acts, repeatedly and simultaneously with more than one person, making a mockery of the young seminarian who tried to resist the Archbishop’s seduction in the presence of two other priests, absolution of the accomplice to these wicked acts, and sacrilegious concelebration of the Eucharist with the same priests after committing such acts.”
Viganò’s memorandum was read by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri and Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone, who phoned Cardinal Re to speak about the matter. The memorandum is then archived.
December 2007: Nuncio Sambi met with McCarrick to discuss his move out of the Redemptoris Mater seminary and the request that he live a quiet life of prayer. An emotional McCarrick told Sambi that because Priest 1 was 25 at the time of the allegations, what had happened was not a crime, and that his continued pursuit of the allegations seemed to be a grab for money.
January 2007: Sambi reported his meeting with McCarrick to Re, and added that he looked into whether the leaders of Redemptoris Mater seminary considered McCarrick an active threat. Seminary leaders said McCarrick was “touchy” they did not consider him to be a threat.
January 15, 2007: Bertone and Pope Benedict XVI discussed problems relating to McCarrick in a private and unrecorded audience. Bertone later recalled that Benedict XVI wanted McCarrick’s activities “contained” but did not think it necessary to pursue a CDF investigation.
May 2007: Legal counsel for McCarrick tried to get Priest 1, as part of the settlement, to sign a statement saying that McCarrick never had sexual relations with Priest 1 nor did Priest 1 observe McCarrick having sexual relations with anyone. Priest 1 refused to sign.
August 2007: Priest 1 reached a $100,000 agreement with the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen. The settlement does not name Archbishop McCarrick or include an admission of wrongdoing. There is no record that the Vatican was informed that a settlement was reached.
2007-2008: McCarrick remained active in work for multiple U.S. bishop’s conference committees, as well as work with other Catholic nonprofits and maintains an extensive international travel schedule for this work. He attended several international events where Benedict XVI was present, and engaged in occasional diplomatic work for the Vatican.
McCarrick kept Sambi regularly informed of his extensive travels. McCarrick wrote to Nuncio Sambi about having spoken with Pope Benedict XVI during a 2008 General Audience: “I did see the Holy Father during the public audience and his greeting to me was, ‘You are still traveling a lot.’” McCarrick admitted he did not know if this was a warning or a friendly greeting.
Sambi sought McCarrick’s input on numerous matters including politics, international affairs, and U.S. bishop appointments. He regularly encouraged McCarrick’s activities and thanked him for his work. It appeared Cardinal Re was unaware of McCarrick’s travels at this time.
McCarrick maintained residence at Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Hyattsville, Maryland during this time, where he lived in his own wing.
April 2008: Pope Benedict XVI traveled to the U.S. Cardinal McCarrick concelebrated Mass with Pope Benedict XVI at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and attended dinner with the Pope in New York.
Spring 2008: Shortly after the Pope’s trip, psychotherapist and former Benedictine monk Richard Sipe published an online “open letter” to Pope Benedict XVI titled Statement for Pope Benedict XVI About the Pattern of the Sexual Abuse Crisis in the United States.
Sipe claimed that abuse in the Church was “systemic” and used McCarrick as an example. He said he had heard from several seminarians about the sleepovers at the beach house, and that he had written testimony from priests about sexual advances made toward them by McCarrick.
May 2008: Cardinal Re wrote to Sambi regarding the open letter, telling him to follow McCarrick closely and to let Re know if he needs to repeat his warnings to McCarrick about his residence and travels. He suggested working with Wuerl to find McCarrick an alternative residence to the seminary.
Archbishop Viganò wrote a second internal memorandum related to McCarrick to the Congregation for Bishops, noting the accusations in the open letter. He includes an urgent appeal to Benedict XVI to discipline McCarrick. He said dealing with the McCarrick case before legal authorities and before a scandal erupts could be healthy for the Church, and he recommended a CDF investigation. No action was taken.
Mid-May 2008: McCarrick traveled to Rome and appeared at a public event with Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Re was displeased to see McCarrick in Rome and confronted him about disobeying instructions to live a more private life. McCarrick “does not take it well.”
May 27, 2008: Sambi reported to the Congregation of Bishops that he and Wuerl recommended that McCarrick cease public appearances in the U.S. but that he should be allowed to keep his international travels, as they believe it would cause McCarrick “psychological collapse” to live a life of full retirement.
June 2008: Cardinal Re responded to Sambi and McCarrick separately. Re told them both that McCarrick was not to travel publicly in the U.S. or abroad, barring rare exceptions made by the Holy See. McCarrick was also to seek residence in a home run by religious sisters or a monastery, Re suggested. Re later recalled he had communicated the substance of the letters to Pope Benedict XVI, who responded “Good, very good.”
August 2008: McCarrick wrote to Sambi about the restrictions against him. He said he was “bewildered” by Re’s letter because he thought he had been following Vatican instructions by not actively seeking invitations to travel, but rather by accepting them from bishops.
He said he was concerned that sudden cancellations of events, or a sudden move to a monastery, would raise red flags in the media. He asked to be moved to a parish, Seton Hall University or other Universities, or Rome for his retirement, rather than a home for the elderly or a monastery. He promised to cease public engagements.
McCarrick kept numerous domestic and international public commitments made prior to this letter, which had been left to his judgement.
September 2008: McCarrick appealed to Re and Bertone for leniency regarding his residence and travels.
September 8, 2008: Cardinal Re responded to Nuncio Sambi, saying that McCarrick must consult with Wuerl about moving to a parish, and must decline public engagements both in the U.S. and abroad, unless he has explicit permission from the Vatican to do otherwise.
September 17, 2008: Cardinal Bertone met with McCarrick in Rome and reiterated restrictions from Re, regarding his residence and public engagements.
October 1, 2008: McCarrick wrote to Nuncio Sambi to clarify the sanctions against him, and asked permission to attend some interreligious meetings with the Catholic Delegation to the Vatican. He added that he will appeal to the Holy Father for permission to visit Rome.
October 3, 2008: Sambi responded to McCarrick and reiterated the sanctions against him, including that he should not travel for groups and agencies of which he is a member.
October 7, 2008: McCarrick wrote his letter to Cardinal Re, with blind copy to Cardinal Bertone. He asked for leniency on the travel sanctions, particularly to be allowed to go to Rome to pray and attend public audiences of the Pope. He also asked to be allowed to travel to help with Catholic Relief Services projects in developing countries.
October 21, 2008: Cardinal Re responded to McCarrick. He said McCarrick would be allowed to visit Rome for private pilgrimages and to visit friends. He told McCarrick to decline future invitations to engage in meetings for Muslim-Christian dialogue and Catholic Relief Services work, unless given explicit permission from the Congregation for Bishops.
Early November 2008: McCarrick met with Re, on Re’s invitation. There is no record of the meeting.
November 4, 2008: McCarrick emailed CRS president Kenneth Hackett and Archbishop Timothy Dolan (then chairman of CRS’s board of directors), with a blind copy to Sambi. McCarrick reported that he had permission to continue work with CRS “as long as I can do it without too much publicity.”
December 21 2008: Following the election of President Barack Obama, McCarrick wrote to Sambi and Bertone, saying he had made important contacts in the new administration and asking if he should keep those contacts as a liason for the Holy See with the new administration.
December 27, 2008: Sambi relayed McCarrick’s message to Re, and said it would be dangerous to allow McCarrick to have permission to act as a liaison to the White House. Sambi said he told McCarrick that he should instead suggest the President of the USCCB or the Archbishop of Washington in his place.
January 5, 2009: McCarrick sent a confidential letter to Cardinal Francis George of Chicago. He told him of the Vatican sanctions against him “in case you do want to pursue this.” He also told him of the political connections that he has “so that you too can guide me in any efforts that I should make in the political arena in whatever years ahead the Lord desires to give me.”
January 7, 2009: McCarrick wrote Sambi to report on a meeting he had with an Obama foreign policy advisor.
January 15, 2009: McCarrick wrote a letter to Sambi, which enclosed a letter to Cardinal Re. McCarrick tells Sambi that he is “doing his best” to keep to the sanctions from Re, and asks Sambi to look over his letter to Re. He also informed Sambi that he will be traveling to Israel for a Council of Religious Institutions meeting.
January 19, 2009: After speaking with Sambi, McCarrick wrote to Re, asking if he may participate in APSA meetings since he considers them low profile. He adds that it has been “very difficult” to turn down invitations to attend public event invitations from the White House. He added: “it is so interesting that my reputation among so many of my brother Bishops and among the leaders of government, who have access to investigative agencies, still remains so high that they want me present at their functions while the Church seems unwilling to have any confidence in me.”
He added that he was “trapped” into accepting an invite to say the prayer at the Opening of Congress for the House of Representatives. He also noted that he will be traveling to Israel for a project with the State Department, as well as to Kosovo, Serbia and Georgia for CRS projects.
February 23, 2009: Archbishop Mamberti, the Secretary for Relations with States, wrote to Nuncio Sambi regarding McCarrick’s activities with the White House. Mamberti wrote that McCarrick should hand over all civil invitations to Cardinal Wuerl or to the President of the USCCB. Mamberti forwarded a copy of the letter to Cardinal Re.
Early 2009: McCarrick moved to St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Washington, D.C., as arranged by Cardinal Wuerl. According to the report, McCarrick still maintained an office at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary “and traveled there frequently for work.”
McCarrick’s Holy See diplomatic passport was renewed, and was sent to him through Sambi. The passport came with a note that said it would be particularly useful for trips to the Middle East.
May 15, 2009: McCarrick wrote to Re, asking permission to attend APSA meetings in Rome and the Pallium ceremony for Archbishop Dolan’s induction to the Archdiocese of New York.
May 30, 2009: Re responded to McCarrick, approving his attendance at APSA meetings since they are private. He added that McCarrick must not attend the Pallium ceremony for Dolan, due to the media attention the event will receive.
Mid 2009: There is no further record of correspondence between McCarrick and Re or any other member of the Congregation of Bishops. No investigation was launched into the investigations against McCarrick.
Heretofore, the “indications” or sanctions imposed upon McCarrick were not explicit directives of the Holy Father and thus not considered “orders” under Canon Law. McCarrick was still allowed to continue active ministry, include publicly celebrating Mass, and the activities previously mentioned.
July 16, 2009: Archbishop Viganò left his position in the Secretariat of State and was appointed Secretary General of the Governorate of Vatican City, “where he would not have been involved in matters pertaining to McCarrick,” according to the report.
Fall 2008-Fall 2011: McCarrick maintained membership in a number of USCCB committees and attended its semiannual meetings. He also remained on the board and foundation for CRS and made a number of trips for this work. He maintained an extensive international travel schedule during this period. He communicated his travel plans to the Vatican only “on rare occasions” during this time. He also continued to participate in public liturgies and consistories in Rome. There is no record he was reprimanded for this.
He continued to celebrate public Masses in the Archdiocese of Washington, give public statements, and testify before Congress.
According to the report, he kept Sambi informed on most of his travels and activities and thanked him for his support. Sambi corresponded with him regularly, particularly about foreign affairs, and thanked McCarrick for his work.
May 2010: An official with the Archdiocese of Washington contacted Monsignor Peter B. Wells, the Assessor for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, seeking a letter from the Pope or Cardinal Bertone offering blessings on the occasion of McCarrick’s 80th birthday. Wells had heard “rumors” of McCarrick’s misconduct with seminarians but was not aware of the restrictions placed on McCarrick’s movements.
June 2, 2010: In an internal memorandum of the Secretariat of State, Cardinal George and Archbishop Wuerl said a birthday message from the Holy Father “seemed inopportune” because it could prompt a “nasty” article from the New York Times about McCarrick’s moral life. Wells decided that a birthday message will not be sent.
June 2010: A Mass was celebrated for McCarrick’s 80th birthday and attended by prominent political officials and Catholic prelates.
Late 2010-early 2011: McCarrick moved from St. Thomas the Apostle Parish Church to a small house near the Church of the Saint John Baptist de la Salle Parish in Hyattsville (Chillum), Maryland, which was under the care of the IVE religious order.
January 12, 2011: McCarrick was appointed by the Library of Congress as the distinguished senior scholar in the Library’s John W. Kluge Center to study the role of religion in diplomacy and peace negotiations. He accepted the appointment after consulting Sambi.
July 27, 2011: Nuncio Sambi died suddenly. Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume was the person responsible for the Nunciature until Sambi’s successor was appointed.
McCarrick communicated to Sambi and then the Lantheaume his interest in continuing to help build relationships with China and offered his assistance as needed in this area.
August 2011: Priest 3 filed a civil complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey against the Diocese of Metuchen, the Archdiocese of Newark and Bishop Bootkoski. It did not name McCarrick but describes three incidents involving him in explicit detail. The complaint was not forwarded to the nunciature.
September 2011: McCarrick traveled to Iran to meet with the country’s president and other officials about two American hikers being held in the country. The hikers are soon after released, and the trip was highly publicized.
October 19, 2011: Archbishop Viganò was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Sambi’s successor as U.S. nuncio. According to the report, Viganò received no written instructions regarding McCarrick, though Cardinal Ouellet, who was appointed Prefect in 2010, recalled telling Vigano that McCarrick’s movements were restricted due to past conduct.
In his 2018 testimony, Vigano said he repeated sanctions to McCarrick in a meeting with him. According to the report, there is no record of this meeting, and McCarrick denied that it took place.
During Vigano’s nunciature, McCarrick kept up his normal activities with the USCCB committees of which he was a member, as well as his activities with CRS. He also continued extensive international travels and made numerous public appearances.
McCarrick regularly communicated his activities and travels to Vigano, and according to the report, there is no record that Vigano recommended McCarrick stop them.
March 2012: Priest 3’s counsel filed a certification in the New Jersey case “signed by Priest 3 under penalty of law, which detailed the three incidents involving McCarrick.” There are no records of the nunciature being informed of the certification.
June 2012: McCarrick wrote to Vigano, letting him know of multiple upcoming international trips and meetings. McCarrick said that though he enjoyed “the give and take of these meetings, I am most willing to go into a more retirement mode if Your Excellency or my other Superiors feel that this would be preferred.”
There is no record that Archbishop Vigano asked McCarrick to enter into a more low-profile retirement mode.
June 29, 2012: A parishioner from Maryland wrote to the Archdiocese of Washington expressing concerns about McCarrick, calling him a “predator.” She expressed concerns about his residence at the seminary, his assignment of priest “secretaries”, and his freedom to “roam the world seeking the destruction of souls.” There were no specific accusations made.
Vigano notes the “serious” accusations, but the record does not indicate that he followed up with anyone about the letter.
July 24, 2012: McCarrick and his priest secretary attend a dinner at the nunciature with Vigano. McCarrick sends a thank-you note the next day.
August 6, 2012: Priest 3 wrote a letter to Vigano. He said he was sexually assaulted by McCarrick during his time in Metuchen, which he believed was the cause of his “recent problems with the Diocese of Metuchen.” He said he felt he had been wrongfully accused of financial mismanagement and transferred from the Portuguese and Brazilian communities he had been serving.
“Cardinal McCarrick was a sexual predator. As one of his victims, I saw firsthand what it was to be a priest in America,” he wrote.
He added that his civil case was pending, but that regardless, he planned to go public with his accusations against McCarrick, as well as accusations of misconduct against Bishop Bootkoski, and to take his case to the CDF.
August 13, 2012: Viganò wrote to Congregation for Bishops Prefect Cardinal Ouellet, attaching Priest 3’s letter and a copy of Cardinal Re’s June 2008 letter directed to McCarrick. He noted that this was the first he was hearing of accusations against Bootkoski.
Vigano noted that McCarrick had not followed Re’s instructions to live a private life, and traveled extensively and continued to accept public invitations. He also added that he only recently changed residences, and that his new residence still gave him access to young religious of the IVE.
“Accordingly, one can affirm that Cardinal Re’s admonition to him is a dead letter,” Vigano wrote. He said he awaited instructions on how to act, and feared a public scandal regarding McCarrick was imminent.
Copies of the letter were sent to Archbishop Becciu, the Substitute in the First Section of the Secretariat of State, and to Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the new Prefect of the CDF.
September 8, 2012: Viganò wrote Ouellet, after seeing an advertisement that McCarrick has been invited to be a featured speaker at a vocations retreat in the Archdiocese of Washington. He asks Ouellet to issue new restrictions against McCarrick. Vigano then informs Wuerl, who said he was unaware of the event and would cancel it.
September 12, 2012: Ouellet responded to Vigano with instructions for McCarrick. He told him to 1.) Clarify Priest 3’s accusations, 2.) Reiterate to McCarrick that he should live a reserved life of prayer and only travel or accept invitations with the explicit permission of the Holy See. He told Vigano to evaluate McCarrick’s current residence to see whether it presented a problem.
According to the report, there is no record that Vigano ever contacted Priest 3, who later recalled that he was disappointed to not hear a response from Vigano. Viganò instead “telephoned Bishop Bootkoski, who informed Viganò that Priest 3 was neither credible nor reliable.”
There is no record of Vigano informing leadership of the USCCB or CRS about the renewed restrictions against McCarrick, or of an investigation into McCarrick’s new residence.
Mid-November 2012: At the Fall General Assembly of the USCCB, McCarrick met with Vigano to complain that he went through Wuerl to cancel the vocations dinner. McCarrick recalled in later interviews that he told Vigano to talk with him directly if he had a problem. McCarrick said Vigano stayed silent during the meeting and “never said anything more to me. He never said I was doing anything wrong. He never did say anything to me about my ‘conduct.’”
McCarrick reported this meeting to Wuerl. There is no record of this meeting elsewhere, in correspondence to the Vatican or in nunciature files.
February 10, 2013: Pope Benedict XVI announced his intent to resign. While McCarrick was too old to vote in the next conclave, he attended meetings in Rome with the cardinals and remained in Rome for the duration of the conclave.
March 13, 2013: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope and took the name Francis.
Pope Francis met with McCarrick prior to his papacy during McCarrick’s trips to Argentina in 2004 and 2011. According to the report, Francis knew McCarrick was an “indefatigable traveler” engaged in Church work throughout the world despite being retired.
Prior to becoming Pope, Francis would not have known of the accusations or restrictions against McCarrick, nor were they discussed in meetings with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Early May 2013: Cardinal McCarrick ordained an IVE seminarian in California, without the proper authorization required by the Code of Canon Law. Wuerl, recognizing the error, writes to Vigano to grant McCarrick the authorization, as he was also scheduled to ordain priests at the end of May for the Archdiocese of Washington.
Vigano submitted the request to Rome, and informed Wuerl once permission was granted. There was no discussion about whether it would be appropriate for McCarrick to perform ordinations.
McCarrick wrote to Vigano and Pope Francis to thank them for the prompt granting of permission to ordain priests.
May 20, 2013: Bishop Bootkoski wrote to Vigano, informing him that a confidential settlement had been reached with Priest 3, the Diocese of Metuchen, and Bootkoski, without “any admission of liability.”
Bootkoski enclosed a letter sent to Priest 3 after the settlement was reached. Priest 3 had been placing flyers on windshields in the dioceses, accusing Bootkoski of engaging in homosexual relations and accusing McCarrick of being a sexual predator. Bootkoski outlined “remedial measures” for Priest 3, including supervision, therapy and spiritual direction.
June 13, 2013: Nuncio Viganò wrote to Cardinal Ouellet, forwarding Bootkoski’s letters. According to the report, this “constituted Viganò’s sole response to Ouellet’s letter of September 12, 2012.” There was no other correspondence with Vatican officials about the accusations or restrictions against McCarrick, or Priest 3’s case.
The report noted that Pope Francis was still not consulted in matters regarding McCarrick. It added that Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, who was serving as Substitute in the Secretariat of State since mid-2011, later recalled that he had mentioned restrictions in McCarrick to Pope Francis sometime in 2013, and once again in the next few years.
Pope Francis later recalled that he had never heard specific accusations, and that he assumed that had been found to be without grounds, because of John Paul II’s elevation of McCarrick. John Paul II was so “morally strict, of such moral rectitude, that he would never have permitted a rotten candidacy to move forward,” Francis said.
June 20, 2013: Pope Francis received McCarrick in a brief private audience at the Domus Santa Marta.
June 21, 2013: Pope Francis individually greeted over 100 nuncios gathered for a meeting in Rome, including Vigano.
June 23, 2013 and October 10, 2013: Pope Francis meets with Viganò at Santa Marta. Vigano later said that during these meetings, he told Francis that there is a thick file of accusations against McCarrick at the Congregation of Bishops, that he had committed “crimes” and was a “serial predator.”
Pope Francis said in a later interview that he did not recall Vigano speaking of McCarrick with any “force or clarity.” He said he likely would remember being told of any crimes or abuse committed by McCarrick since he was familiar to him.
There are no written records of these meetings, nor any other written records of Vigano communicating with the Secretariat of State or the Congregation of Bishops or Cardinal Ouellet about McCarrick.
McCarrick’s activities 2013-2017: McCarrick kept up his activities with CRS, the USCCB, as well as numerous public events, Masses, ordinations, and the consecration of bishops, as well as an extensive international travel schedule. He also continued his customary gift-giving to Vatican officials at Christmas.
Until 2016, McCarrick lived in the second story of a house at the IVE seminary in Maryland. In early 2017, he moved to a retirement home run by the Little Sisters of the Poor, at the request of Wuerl and due to declining health.
Between these years, he also wrote 17 known letters to Pope Francis, often discussing his overseas travels. He also made recommendations for bishop appointments in the U.S. He was occasionally thanked for these letters by Cardinal Parolin, Archbishop Becciu, and a few times by the Pope.
In the course of his travels, McCarrick met with Pope Francis privately on June 2013, February 2016 and February 2017. He also occasionally saw him while staying at the Santa Marta in Rome.
McCarrick regularly communicated with Vigano as well, including about his travels and participation in ordinations and other public events.
2013-2014: McCarrick increased his trips to China in order to improve Vatican-China relations. According to the report, these trips were funded by private lay U.S. Catholic donors. Pope Francis’ advisor on China at the time was Cardinal Parolin.
April 2014: McCarrick was sent by the U.S. State Department with other religious leaders to the Central African Republic on a conflict resolution mission. The trip receives some media publicity in the U.S.
May 5, 2014: Vigano, concerned with McCarrick’s movements, writes to Cardinal Parolin. He asks whether there are new instructions regarding McCarrick, given that he was continuing to make public appearances despite the Congregation of Bishops’ restrictions.
July 14, 2014: After a brief conversation with Parolin, Ouellet wrote a letter to the Secretary of State about the restrictions given against McCarrick, including that he move out of Redemptoris Mater seminary, and that he live a private life of prayer and not accept invitations in the U.S. or abroad.
Parolin made a note to speak with McCarrick about what he had learned from Vigano and Ouellet. The report added that Parolin “adhered to the diplomatic precept that it is best to promote dialogue and ‘never close a door’” and thus allowed McCarrick’s China project to continue. Parolin did not take any further action.
March 16, 2015: Archbishop Becciu responded to Vigano’s May 2014 letter regarding McCarrick’s travels. He said the information had been “carefully noted.”
February 2016: McCarrick traveled to Beijing and discussed environmental policy and the encyclical, Laudato Si, with an NGO leader. After the trip, he met with Parolin in Rome to discuss what he had learned.
March 8, 2016: McCarrick wrote to Pope Francis thanking him for allowing him to continue his work and travels, but offers to go into retirement at any time. He also wrote to Parolin, informing him of upcoming meetings with Muslim leaders, but also offering to go into retirement.
Parolin later recalled briefly mentioning “gossip” about McCarrick’s “past imprudent acts” to Pope Francis around this time, but he said he did not present it as grave matter. He said Francis responded that perhaps McCarrick could still be useful.
April 12, 2016: Vigano’s resignation was accepted by Pope Francis. Archbishop Christophe Pierre is appointed the new U.S. Nuncio. Toward the end of his term, Vigano thanked McCarrick in a letter “for your commendable ministry to the Church Universal and your reaching out most recently to China and the Muslim world, efforts that will no doubt bear much fruit.”
June-November 2016: McCarrick attended several meetings with Chinese officials in Rome. According to the report, these “secondary contacts initiated by Cardinal McCarrick appear to have played no role in leading to the eventual formal agreement between China and the Holy See related to bishops in September 2018.”
June 8, 2017: The Archdiocese of New York received a claim through its Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program alleging that McCarrick “unlawfully touched” Minor 1 in the early 1970s, when Minor 1 was 16 or 17. This was the first allegation against McCarrick involving a named minor. The allegation was reported to local law enforcement.
September 7, 2017: Cardinal Dolan wrote to Parolin for instructions on how to proceed with the allegation.
October 18, 2017: Pope Francis, via the Cardinal Secretary of State, told Dolan to conduct the preliminary investigation called for in Canon Law, and to have the Review Board of the Archdiocese examine the allegation according to its own norms and that of the USCCB.
October 28, 2017: Parolin, at the request of Pope Francis, told Dolan to submit the findings of these initial investigations to the CDF.
December 2017-April 2018: The preliminary investigation was conducted with the assistance of lay investigators. The Review Board conducted interviews with the claimant and McCarrick and unanimously found the allegations to be credible.
April 23, 2018: Dolan communicated the Board’s findings to Parolin.
May 8, 2018: Dolan recommended to Parolin that, given the gravity of allegations against McCarrick, he be permanently removed from public ministry to a life of prayer and penance, and that the case be made public, as it involved sexual abuse of a minor.
May 2018: Becciu informed Pope Francis that the allegation against McCarrick involving Minor 1 was found to be credible. He later recalled that the Pope was “shocked” by the news.
May 22, 2018: Parolin wrote to Nuncio Pierre, asking him to send a letter to McCarrick. The letter told McCarrick “in the name of the Holy Father” to strictly refrain from public ministry and appearances “until a final decision is made” regarding the allegation.
June 20, 2018: The decision to pull McCarrick from public ministry was made public. Following this, more individuals and information came forward about McCarrick’s misconduct, including a second minor. The Holy See started a search to identify even more possible victims.
July 28, 2018: Pope Francis accepted McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals.
December 14, 2018: Pope Francis authorized the CDF to conduct an administrative penal proceeding regarding the McCarrick case. With CDF support, Fr. Richard Welsh, the Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese of New York, gathered evidence and testimonies from witnesses.
January 3, 2019: McCarrick was heard and his legal counsel submitted a defense. The information from the proceedings was sent to the CDF and to the civil authorities.January 11, 2019: Based on the findings of the proceeding, the Congresso of the CDF issued a decree which stated that McCarrick was found guilty of solicitation during the Sacrament of Confession, as well as “sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.”
The prescribed penalty was dismissal from the clerical state. McCarrick attempted an appeal of the decision.
February 13, 2019: After considering McCarrick’s appeal, the CDF confirmed the original verdict and penalty, which was soon after confirmed final by Pope Francis.
2018-2019: The USCCB, and the dioceses of New York, Newark, and Metuchen, as well as Seton Hall University, all launched their own investigations into files related to McCarrick, or cooperated with Vatican and civil investigations.
Besides knowledge of bed sharing and inappropriate conduct with seminarians, as well as the reports made to the Diocese of Metuchen by the priests, these investigations did not uncover prior knowledge of sexual abuse of minors by McCarrick by anyone at these entities.