The McCarrick Timeline


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July 30, 1930
McCarrick was born into an Irish American family in New York City to Theodore E. and Margaret T. (née McLaughlin) McCarrick. His father was a ship captain who died from tuberculosis when McCarrick was three years old, and his mother then worked at an automobile parts factory in the Bronx. As an only child, McCarrick served as an altar boy at the Church of the Incarnation in Washington Heights.

May 1944

McCarrick graduates 8th grade from New York City’s Washington Heights Incarnation School in May of 1944 at age 13. He would turn 14 on July 7 (DOB 7-7-30).

September 1944 – May 1946

McCarrick starts high school at Xavier High School at age 14 on an oratory scholarship in September 1944 and completes 2 academic years there – Freshman and Sophomore years – by May 1946 when he is 15, soon to be 16.

May 1946 – September 1947

At age 15 (two months from his 16th birthday) to age 17 McCarrick is missing for 16 months with undisclosed whereabouts after he is EXPELLED from Xavier. He quietly disappears for one academic year – actually a total of 16 months counting the summer months.

His story differs as to what happened. In one story he says he was “confused”. In another he says he was expelled for truancy and a third says he was making bad grades resulting in expulsion from Xavier. However, never does he explain exactly where he was (sitting around the house? meeting with Spellman?) or what he was doing (being groomed by Cardinal Spellman’s Lavender Mafia?) during those 16 months.

September 1947 – May 1949

After being missing for a year and a half, McCarrick reappears at Fordham Prep at age 17 for his Junior and Senior years and immediately zooms to the top of their “best student chart”, graduating in 1949 two months before his 19th birthday, with 4 superlatives in Prep’s Ramkin yearbook – Most Likely to Succeed, Best Speaker, Most Diplomatic, and Did the Most for Prep.

May 1949 – September 1950

After graduating from high school at Fordham Prep in May, 1949, McCarrick disappears for another year and a half when he is 18-20 years old.

Again his stories differ. In one account he says that he and a “friend” traveled Europe, never mentioning the identity of this person; in another account McCarrick says he went to a Carthusian Monastery in Switzerland to “study”, however never mentions the name or location of the monastery or what the particular study was.

September 1950 – May 1954

McCarrick returns to the United States a year and a half after graduating from Fordham Prep. He is now 20 years old. He enters Fordham University graduating in 1954, one academic year behind his former Prep classmates who graduated university in 1953 and two academic years behind his former classmates from Xavier, some of whom also went to Fordham University and graduated from there in 1952.

June 14, 1958

Father McCarrick ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New York by Cardinal Francis Spellman.

1958 to 1963

McCarrick furthered his studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earning a Ph.D. in sociology. He then served as an assistant chaplain at the Catholic University, becoming dean of students and director of development.


Father McCarrick performs his first baptism in Tenafly, New Jersey. The child, James, later would allege he was abused by Father McCarrick.

1965 to 1969

McCarrick served as president of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico from 1965 to 1969, and was raised to the rank of Domestic Prelate of His Holiness the same year. In 1969, Cardinal Terence Cooke recalled McCarrick to New York.

1969 to 1971

McCarrick was named assistant secretary of education for the Archdiocese of New York and an assistant priest at Blessed Sacrament parish from 1969 to 1971.  During this time, McCarrick allegedly exposes himself to James, then an 11-year-old boy, in Northern New Jersey. As reported by The New York Times July 19, 2018, James alleged that an abusive relationship continued for nearly 20 years.

1971 to 1977

McCarrick is personal secretary to Cardinal Terence Cooke of New York. McCarrick allegedly abuses a 16-year-old altar boy in the Archdiocese of New York prior to Christmas Mass in 1971. A year later he allegedly abuses the same altar boy, again before Christmas Mass. Both incidents were reported to the archdiocese sometime between March 1, 2017, and April 15, 2018.

June 29, 1977

McCarrick ordained as an auxiliary bishop of New York by Cardinal Cooke.

Jan. 31, 1981

McCarrick installed as first bishop of newly created Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey.


Bishop McCarrick authorizes Diocese of Metuchen to purchase beach house in Sea Girt, New Jersey, according to The New York Times. He is alleged to have abused seminarians at the house.

July 25, 1986

Archbishop McCarrick installed as archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.


Archbishop McCarrick allegedly abuses unnamed seminarian for the Diocese of Metuchen in New York City. The former priest received a settlement from the Archdiocese of Newark and Diocese of Metuchen in 2007, as reported by The New York Times July 16, 2018.


The unnamed Metuchen priest writes a letter to Archbishop McCarrick’s successor in Metuchen, Bishop Edward T. Hughes, stating that abuse he allegedly endured from Archbishop McCarrick and other priests triggered him to touch two 15-year-old boys inappropriately. In the letter he also claimed he saw Archbishop McCarrick having sex with a young priest and that the archbishop invited him to be next. The letter was in a file the priest provided to the Times on the condition his name not be used.

October 1995

Archbishop McCarrick hosts Pope John Paul II in Newark during his Oct. 4-9 visit to the United States.

Nov. 21, 2000

Archbishop McCarrick appointed by Pope John Paul as archbishop of Washington.

Nov. 22, 24, 2000

Seminary instructor Father Boniface Ramsey says he spoke Nov. 22 with Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, the Vatican nuncio in Washington, about his concerns about Archbishop McCarrick. He also expressed his concerns in a letter addressed to the nuncio and mailed Nov. 24. Father Ramsey, who taught at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in New Jersey from 1986-1996, said he was told by seminarians about Archbishop McCarrick’s alleged sexual abuse at the New Jersey beach house.

Jan. 3, 2001

Archbishop McCarrick installed as archbishop of Washington and is elevated by Pope John Paul the next month to cardinal.

April 23-24, 2002

U.S. cardinals including Cardinal McCarrick meet at the Vatican for a summit with Pope John Paul as sex abuse crisis unfolds in the United States. Cardinal McCarrick is on drafting committee of document that emerges from summit. He also is a spokesman for the bishops in Rome and one of three U.S. prelates to give a news conference at the Vatican.

April 28, 2002

Cardinal McCarrick speaking on “Fox News Sunday” urges a distinction between past offenders and anyone who offends from now on. He said he supports the removal of any priest accused in the future but added that cardinals are divided about whether such a policy should be applied to past allegations.

June 2002

Cardinal McCarrick helps draft “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” in Dallas during a meeting of all the U.S. bishops. Charter does not specify abuse committed by bishops or cardinals or abuse of adults over the age of 18; a statement of commitment in the charter obliges bishops to report to the apostolic nuncio if they themselves are accused of sexually abusing a minor or if they become aware of an allegation of such abuse by a bishop. Cardinal McCarrick tells the Catholic Standard, his archdiocesan newspaper, that he had been hesitant to support the charter’s “no strikes” policy of removing from ministry everyone against whom there has been a credible charge of sexual abuse.


Unnamed priest who wrote letter to Bishop Hughes of Metuchen in 1994 claiming abuse by Archbishop McCarrick is forced to resign under the U.S. church’s new zero-tolerance policy against child abuse, based on his admission in the 1994 letter of having abused children.

June 2004

McCarrick concealed the contents of a letter from Vatican’s chief doctrinal watchdog on whether priests should refuse Communion to pro-choice Catholic politicians. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sent his letter in early June to Cardinal McCarrick and Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in the context of dealing with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, a Catholic whose positions on several issues, including abortion, contradict church teachings.

Oct. 1, 2004

The Washingtonian magazine runs a profile article on Cardinal McCarrick, the archbishop of Washington. The article states that “for the past 20 years he has vacationed for a week every year on the New Jersey shore, where a friend loans him a house. He usually takes along a group of priests or seminarians.”


Robert Ciolek, former priest of the Diocese of Metuchen, receives a secret payment of $80,000 from the Diocese of Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Newark as a settlement for alleged abuse by Archbishop McCarrick.

May 16, 2006

Cardinal McCarrick’s resignation as archbishop of Washington is accepted by Pope Benedict XVI. He had submitted his resignation when he turned 75 on July 7, 2005, as required by canon law.


McCarrick was named a counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in 2007.  An unnamed former priest of the Diocese of Metuchen who was allegedly abused as a seminarian in 1987 in New York by Archbishop McCarrick receives secret settlement of $100,000 from the Diocese of Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Newark.


McCarrick spoke at the graveside service of U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery and read from a letter Kennedy had written to Pope Benedict XVI.

April 22, 2008

Richard Sipe, a former priest who was an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, posts open letter on the internet to Pope Benedict alleging Cardinal McCarrick sexually abused seminarians and young priests. He said seminarians came to him with their concerns while he was teaching at seminary.

May 12, 2010

Sipe states in an internet post that the case of a financial settlement by the Diocese of Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Newark for Cardinal McCarrick was sent to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles clergy sex abuse claims among some of its responsibilities. He says the congregation has not responded. Sipe posts graphic information from the settlement about an alleged incident involving Archbishop McCarrick and a seminarian and two young priests.

March 1, 2017 to April 15, 2018

During this time the Archdiocese of New York receives an allegation that Msgr. McCarrick abused a teenage boy in 1971 and 1972. Allegation handled according to procedures in “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

June 20, 2018

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan announces that Cardinal McCarrick has been removed from ministry at direction of the Vatican after an investigation by the Archdiocese of New York found credible a charge that he sexually abused a teenager.

June 20, 2018

Cardinal McCarrick issues statement saying that he was advised months ago by Cardinal Dolan about the allegation against him. Cardinal McCarrick maintains that he is innocent and says he does not have recollection of the abuse.

June 20, 2018

Newark Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin issues statement about Cardinal McCarrick saying the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen “received three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago; two of these resulted in settlements.”

June 20, 2018

Metuchen Bishop James F. Checchio says a re-examination of diocesan archives did not uncover “any report or allegation that Cardinal McCarrick ever abused any minor during his time in Metuchen.” Bishop Checchio acknowledges that in the past there have been allegations that then-Bishop McCarrick engaged in sexual behavior with adults.

June 20, 2018

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington issues statement saying that concurrent with the Archdiocese of New York investigation he requested a review be made of Washington archdiocesan records. He states that no claims were made against Cardinal McCarrick during the prelate’s time in Washington.

July 16, 2018

he New York Times publishes a front-page story detailing alleged abuse of two seminarians who became priests in the Diocese of Metuchen, by Cardinal McCarrick in the 1980s that resulted in settlements to both men. These are the settlements concerning “sexual misconduct with adults” as described by the Newark Archdiocese and Diocese of Metuchen June 20.

July 24, 2018

Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, issues a statement confirming that his office in 2015 received a letter from Father Boniface Ramsey alerting them to the abuse of Cardinal McCarrick. Cardinal O’Malley states he did not “personally receive” the letter and that at the staff level a reply was made to Father Ramsey that it “did not fall under the purview of the Commission or the Archdiocese of Boston.”

July 28, 2018

Pope Francis accepts resignation of Cardinal McCarrick from College of Cardinals and suspends him from public ministry. The pope orders him to a “life of prayer and penance” until the accusations against him are examined in a canonical trial.

Aug. 1, 2018

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, announces that the conference “will pursue the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick’s conduct to the full extent of its authority.”

September, 2018

The Archdiocese of Washington announces that Archbishop McCarrick has been sent to live among a small community of Capuchin Franciscan friars in rural Kansas.

Oct. 6, 2018

The Vatican issues a statement noting that a year earlier there had been a preliminary investigation into an allegation against Archbishop McCarrick and the results will be combined with a further study of documents. The Vatican promised that a complete report on how McCarrick was able to continue to rise through church ranks would be made public “in due course.”

Dec. 27, 2018

James Grein, a Virginia man who said Archbishop McCarrick sexually abused him for years beginning when he was 11, gives testimony before a judicial vicar for the New York Archdiocese.

His testimony was requested by the Vatican.

Jan. 5, 2019

The online Catholic news outlet Crux reports that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is reviewing a third case involving Archbishop McCarrick and a minor, one more case than previously reported.

Jan. 10, 2019

Church officials confirm that Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, now retired archbishop of Washington, had forwarded an allegation of sexual misconduct against Archbishop McCarrick to the papal nuncio in Washington in 2004, when Cardinal Wuerl was bishop of Pittsburgh.

Feb. 13, 2019

Dioceses in the state of New Jersey make public the names of priests whom they said had been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of minors, including Archbishop McCarrick. His inclusion is based “on the findings of the Archdiocese of New York that allegations of abuse of a minor against then-Father McCarrick were credible and substantiated.”

Feb. 16, 2019

Pope Francis confirms McCarrick’s removal from the priesthood after he was found guilty of “solicitation in the sacrament of confession and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.”

Dec. 2, 2019

John Bellocchio files suit against McCarrick and the Archdiocese of Newark claiming McCarrick sexually assaulted him when he was 14 and the then-Archbishop McCarrick was visiting Bellocchio’s parish in Hackensack, New Jersey. Bellocchio also alleges Vatican officials were aware of McCarrick’s behavior over his more than 60 years as a cleric and yet continued to promote him as a church leader.

Jan. 3, 2020

McCarrick moves out of the Capuchin friary in Kansas; his current location has not been made public.

July 22, 2020

Attorney Jeff Anderson announces he filed a lawsuit in New Jersey’s Middlesex County Superior Court alleging his client, identified only as John Doe 14, was abused as a boy by McCarrick in the Sea Girt beach house.

Nov. 6, 2020

The Vatican announces that the McCarrick report, first promised in October 2018, will be released Nov. 10.


RELATED: The McCarrick Network