AN UNHOLY MESS

Vatican Was Warned of Disgraced Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2000, Letter Shows

A top Vatican official has acknowledged that the Holy See was warned about sexual abuse complaints against a now-disgraced U.S. cardinal more than a decade before any action was taken, according to a 2006 letter published by the Catholic News Service. The 2006 letter, which appears to confirm accusations that top officials in the Roman Catholic Church were aware of complaints against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick long before he was suspended, shows Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, a high-ranking Vatican official, acknowledging the allegations against McCarrick in a message to Rev. Boniface Ramsay. Ramsay had notified the Vatican in a November 2000 letter that seminarians at Seton Hall University’s Immaculate Conception Seminary, where he worked at the time, had complained of McCarrick making sexual advances. In the 2006 letter, Sandri asks Ramsay for a recommendation for a Vatican job but also notes the “serious matters involving some of the students of the Immaculate Conception Seminary” that Ramsay was “good enough to bring confidentially to the attention of” the former Vatican nuncio to the U.S. in November 2000. Sandri’s letter appears to corroborate claims by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano that several high-ranking Vatican officials knew of McCarrick’s alleged abuse against seminarians before he resigned in July. McCarrick’s resignation came shortly after Pope Francis suspended him following a church investigation into his alleged misconduct.