Letter reveals Vatican knew of allegations against McCarrick
© Getty

A 2006 letter from a top Vatican official to a New York priest reveals that the Vatican had knowledge of allegations of sexual misconduct against then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

In the letter, which the Catholic News Service published Friday, then-Archbishop Leonardo Sandri asked Father Boniface Ramsey, who at the time was working at a parish in New York, to provide more information about McCarrick's alleged wrongdoing at a seminary in New Jersey.

"I ask with particular reference to the serious matters involving some of the students of the Immaculate Conception Seminary, which in November 2000 you were good enough to bring confidentially to the attention of the then Apostolic Nuncio in the United States, the late Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo," Sandri wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ramsey told CNS that he had written to Montalvo about the allegations against McCarrick.

"I complained about McCarrick’s relationships with seminarians and the whole business with sleeping with seminarians and all of that; the whole business that everyone knows about," Ramsey said. 

Ramsey told CNS he was never given a formal response, but that he was sure his complaint had been received because of the letter from Sandri. 

The letter also appears to confirm elements of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano's accusations that Pope Francis and other church officials covered up sexual misconduct.

Vigano specifically cited Ramsey's letter and named Sandri on a list of officials who knew of McCarrick's alleged misdeeds.

Sandri's letter also shows that the matter was known to the Vatican a year before Pope John Paul II made McCarrick a cardinal, something Vigano had alleged.

McCarrick was removed from public ministry after he was accused of abusing a teenager 47 years ago. McCarrick has insisted that he is innocent.

Francis refused to confirm or deny Vigano's allegations, saying, "I won't say a word about it."

Last Monday, the pope told listeners in his homily to face those seeking "scandal" and "division" with "silence and prayer."