The Catholic Church’s Highest-Ranking Member Ever to be Criminally Charged will be Arraigned Tomorrow

Disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is due in court tomorrow where he will be arraigned on charges of sexually abusing a minor. This is a landmark moment in the fight against clergy abuse and we hope that this news will inspire vigilance among parishioners and change among church leaders.

For the first time, a high-ranking church official will stand trial on charges directly related to the abuse of children. While several priests have seen the inside of criminal courts in the past, to date the only prelate convicted of criminal charges has been former Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn who was convicted of misdemeanor failure to report. The case against McCarrick represents a large step forward in the efforts to hold church officials accountable for abuse and cover-up.

We hope that this trial will encourage still-silent victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers to come forward. Without such voices, this case never would have gotten to this point. We also hope that other survivors who are still experiencing feelings of shame and self-doubt will find the strength to make a report to local law enforcement, trusted therapists, close friends and family, or groups like ours. Finally, we hope that these charges will carried forward and that the wheels of justice can continue moving.

The timing of this arraignment is ironic given that church officials from the Vatican this week “exonerated” accused Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of claims that he abused children. Church officials similarly cleared Cardinal McCarrick and argued that he too was innocent of the accusations made against him, despite the fact that they had evidence that McCarrick was a serial abuser of seminarians and minors. Hopefully, the McCarrick situation will compel investigators in New York and New Jersey to look more closely at the charges levied against DiMarzio.

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager (267-261-0578, [email protected]), Becky Ianni, SNAP Virginia State Leader (703-801-6044, [email protected]), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])

(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

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