WASHINGTON - There are new questions about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal – what did the church know about the allegations surrounding ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and when did the church know about it?
Father Boniface Ramsey of St. Joseph's Church in New York City said he repeatedly complained about McCarrick, the now-retired Archbishop of Washington, and sexual misconduct. Father Ramsey said he sent a letter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston.
"McCarrick would invite seminarians to his beach house in I believe Sea Girt, New Jersey, and he would always invite five seminarians and there were five beds,” Father Ramsey said. “So there were six people in other words – McCarrrick and five seminarians – meaning that one of those seminarians had to sleep with McCarrick.”
Now, Cardinal O’Malley has apologized to Father Ramsey for not following up on the information on McCarrick in a 477-word statement on the Archdiocese of Boston’s website.
O’Malley wrote in part, "Allegations regarding Archbishop McCarrick’s sexual crimes were unknown to me until the recent media reports. I understand not everyone will accept this answer given the way the Church has eroded the trust of our people. My hope is that we can repair the trust and faith of all Catholics and the wider community by virtue of our actions and accountability in how we respond to this crisis.”
Pope Francis has removed McCarrick from public ministry and the College of Cardinals last month. However, McCarrick has maintained his innocence.
Father Ramsey's allegations come one week after a grand jury report criticized Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the current archbishop of Washington, for mishandling sex abuse cases when he ran Pittsburgh’s archdiocese.
Priest sexual abuse survivor Chris O'Leary told FOX 5 that given the daily developments in the sex abuse scandal, Cardinal Wuerl and other church leaders should resign.
“I believe that all the cardinals need to be removed, probably all the archbishops, maybe all the bishops,” said O’Leary. “The hierarchy of the Catholic Church going to the very top, based on what we saw in South America, is full of doubters, deniers, fixers at best.”
Cardinal Wuerl has insisted he will not resign. On Monday, he held a meeting with his priest council in Washington.
Sources familiar with the meeting told FOX 5 that those attending displayed only mixed support for Cardinal Wuerl while others urged him to pray and do the right thing for the church.