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Newark archdiocese bought second beach house for use by McCarrick

CNA Wednesday, 9 September 2020 ()
CNA Staff, Sep 9, 2020 / 11:30 am (CNA).- Months before officials in the Archdiocese of Newark sold a beach house used by former cardinal Theodore McCarrick for sexual abuse and coercion, the archdiocese bought a second beach house on the Jersey Shore, at which McCarrick reportedly hosted friends and courted donors.

The second beach house, according to an investigative report from northjersey.com, was purchased in 1997 by the Newark archdiocese from the neighboring Diocese of Metuchen. The house was located in Brick, New Jersey, on Barnegat Bay.

The archdiocese bought thar home four months before it sold the Sea Girt, New Jersey beach house which McCarrick was alleged to have used for sexual abuse and coercion since the 1980s.

Both homes were owned by the Diocese of Metuchen, which McCarrick led as a bishop from 1981 to 1986, before they were purchased by the Archdiocese of Newark, which McCarrick led from 1986 to 2000.

The Sea Girt house was purchased by the Metuchen diocese in 1985, and sold to the Newark archdiocese in 1988.

The Brick house was purchased in 1987 by a Metuchen priest, Msgr. Francis Crine, and Walter Uzenski, principal of the school at Crine’s parish. Crine died in 1989, and Uzenski gave the house to St. James Parish in Woodbridge, NJ, to settle an unspecified debt of McCarrick’s. In 1994, the parish transferred the property to the diocese, northjersey.com reported.

It is not clear what debt Crine owed to the parish.

Crine was a Metuchen chancery official during McCarrick’s tenure in Newark. He was also pastor of St. James Parish during a period in which at least three priests were assigned to the parish who eventually faced allegations of sexual abuse, misconduct, and theft.

McCarrick was first accused of misconduct toward seminarians, and of compelling them to visit the Sea Girt house, in the late 1980s. He was accused in 1994 of abusing a seminarian there. According to northjersey.com, the apostolic nuncio to the U.S. ordered the Sea Girt home be sold in the late 1990s.

In April 1997, four months before the Sea Girt home was sold, the Archdiocese of Newark purchased the Brick house. In 2002, after McCarrick had become Archbishop of Washington, the archdiocese sold the home.

According to northjersey.com, there are no allegations of sexual abuse or coercion at the beach house in Brick.

News that the Archdiocese of Newark purchased a second beach house at which McCarrick entertained guests comes as Catholics await the results of internal investigations on McCarrick conducted by the Vatican, and by the archdioceses of Newark and Washington.

Little information regarding McCarrick’s misconduct has been released by those dioceses or the Holy See since news emerged in June 2018 that McCarrick was credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.

The former cardinal has since been laicized, and is accused of serially sexually abusing and coercing minors, seminarians, and young priests.

The Archdiocese of Washington has declined repeatedly to release files on slush funds controlled by McCarrick in Newark and Washington, in which several hundred thousand dollars reportedly was under the archbishop's direct control, with no auditing or oversight. McCarrick is believed to have used the funds to lavish cash gifts on other Church leaders.

The Vatican investigation is expected to report whether other senior Church leaders enabled, abetted, or ignored allegations against McCarrick. A report was initially expected to be released in late 2019, but there is not yet any indication of when it will be released. Several sources in the Vatican tell CNA the report has been completed, and can be released at any date selected by Pope Francis.
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