Alleged McCarrick victim says in lawsuit he told Pope John Paul of sex abuse in 1988
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A man claims in a new lawsuit that he told then-Pope John Paul II in 1998 about being sexually abused as a child by then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, but the Vatican did nothing to respond to the claim. 

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by James Grein, who alleges that McCarrick, a family friend, abused him for decades beginning when he was 11, The Associated Press reported. Some of the abuse allegedly occurred on trips that he took with McCarrick to other states, as well as to the Vatican. 

On one trip to Rome, Grein said he waited until McCarrick was out of the room to tell John Paul and other Vatican officials about the abuse. Grein also made the claims in a lawsuit filed over the summer in New York. 


McCarrick was defrocked in February after a Catholic Church investigation found that he committed acts against children and adults. He is the first cardinal in the Catholic Church to be punished by dismissal from the clerical state.

Grein’s lawsuit is the second filed against McCarrick in New Jersey since the state’s new window for filing sexual abuse cases that were previously time-barred went into effect Sunday. The Diocese of Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Newark are cited as defendants in the case, which alleges gross negligence. It also alleges that McCarrick committed assault, battery and infliction of emotional distress.

“I was introduced as ‘his special nephew’ to presidents and heads of state, to the pope, bishops, cardinals and the rich and famous, and to other predators across the world as his ‘special boy,’” Grein said, the AP reported. “The word special was a signal that I am groomed. How sad is that?”

Grein also alleges he was abused at least two more times in the state of New Jersey as an adult, and he sought to notify the pope.

The case seeks unspecified damages, the AP reported.

The lawsuit Grein filed in New York over the summer names the Archdiocese of New York, but not McCarrick specifically. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian said he was seeking to add the Vatican as a defendant, according to the AP.

Barry Coburn, an attorney for McCarrick, declined to comment Thursday.

Anthony P. Kearns III, spokesman and chancellor of the Diocese of Metuchen, confirmed to The Hill that the diocese is aware of the lawsuit but could not comment on specific litigation. He said every allegation of abuse "has been and will continue to be reported to law enforcement." 

"Though this is a painful and horrific chapter in the history of the Church, the Diocese of Metuchen has taken many steps to protect children and will continue on this path, remaining vigilant in our efforts to protect the young and the vulnerable and to prevent these abuses from ever happening again. We will continue to work with survivors, their legal representatives and law enforcement to promote healing, restore trust and further transparency," Kearns said. 

An official for the Archdiocese of Newark told The Hill in a statement that it "takes all allegations of sexual abuse seriously. We are carefully reviewing the allegations in new lawsuits. Today and every day, we stand with survivors of clergy abuse on their journey towards healing. We reassure the faithful that we continue to do all we can to promote the healing of victims, to enact structures of accountability, and to provide greater transparency into the activities of the Archdiocese of Newark." 

If you are a sexual assault survivor, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or reach it online at