According to a former papal nuncio, the late Cardinal John O’Connor of New York carried out an investigation into Theodore McCarrick in 1994.
Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan, 93, told John Duncan of the Catholic News Servicethat when he was the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, he alerted O’Connor to information he received shortly before Pope St. John Paul II’s 1995 visit to the U.S.
“I remember in 1994, during the preparation of the papal visit to New York, Newark[,] and Baltimore, I received a telephone call,” Cacciavillan said.
It was from a woman who was worried that there would be a “media scandal” if Pope John Paul II went to Newark, the retired diplomat stated, because of rumors “about McCarrick’s behavior with seminarians.”
The woman was not making a complaint but tabling a concern.
McCarrick, who this summer resigned from the College of Cardinals after a credible report he sexually abused a minor decades ago and an avalanche of sex abuse allegations from former seminarians and priests, was at the time the archbishop of Newark.
Cacciavillan said that he spoke to Cardinal O’Connor because, as the archbishop of New York, he was “the closest bishop” to Newark.
“No one better than the archbishop of New York would know what was happening in the Archdiocese of Newark,” he said.
Cacciavillan believes that O’Connor responded by carrying out “an inquiry, an investigation.” The then-Archbishop of New York reported back to say that there was no reason why the Pope should not go to Newark.
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