At Least Seven More McCarrick Survivors Come Forward, SNAP Urges Outreach
At least seven more men have come forward to allege that a now-disgraced cardinal abused them as children. We applaud these survivors for coming forward and hope that these men are getting the help and support that they need.
Sadly, these latest allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick are likely not the last. Studies have shown time and again that that most cases of sexual violence are never reported in the first place. This is why it is critical that church officials use their substantial resources and standing to warn parishioners and the public about abusers, urge victims and witnesses to make reports to police, and, critically, continue to do so regularly.
Even more importantly, this is why we believe that civil authorities such as Attorneys General or state police should open investigations into the dioceses into their state, armed with subpoena power and the ability to compel testimony under oath. We know that institutions cannot police themselves and that the best way for the fullest truth to emerge is for all records to be reviewed by independent professionals in law enforcement.
This is especially critical for the safety of children, as we also know that there is no special age at which an abuser stops abusing. There have been many cases where abusers have gone on to abuse again, despite being monitored as McCarrick supposedly is. We hope that church officials in Kansas will warn the public about McCarrick’s presence and that their colleagues in every diocese in which he served will again reach out to their flocks to share this news and urge other victims to come forward.
This story is further proof that it is impossible to fully know the depth of abuse and perpetrated by religious figures like McCarrick. That these men have come forward now is exactly why we constantly ask church officials to continue outreach efforts to victims and survivors, not simply make a simple public statement after abuse allegations are revealed.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)