BOSTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Cardinal Seán O'Malley is launching an investigation into alleged homosexual activity at St. John's Seminary, after ex-seminarians went public with disturbing revelations.
"The allegations made this week are a source of serious concern to me as Archbishop of Boston," he said in a statement released Friday, announcing that he had placed the rector, Msgr. James P. Moroney, "on sabbatical leave for the Fall Semester, beginning immediately."
On Wednesday, Church Militant published an article written by John Monaco, former seminarian at St. John's Seminary in Brighton, which he attended from 2014–16.
"During my two years at this seminary, I witnessed in abundance inappropriate behavior by faculty and seminarians alike," he said in his article. "Some priests were known to 'groom' other seminarians with lavish gifts and favoritism. Other priests would form cliques with seminarians and would even invite certain ones into their rooms for private 'parties.'"
He mentioned the pervasive problem of alcoholism at the seminary, as well as a homosexual "sexting" scandal that resulted in no punishment or action on the part of seminary leadership. Monaco eventually left St. John's.
"When I wrote my testimony on One Peter Five (and later on Church Militant)," Monaco told Church Militant Friday, "I did so not out of vengeance or bitterness, but as an antidote to the poison of clergy abuse and misconduct, most infamously seen by the perversions of 'Uncle Ted' McCarrick."
"Since then, my testimony has allowed others to come out and share their stories," he added.
In O'Malley's Friday statement, he announced the appointment as interim rector of Fr. Stephen Salocks, professor of Sacred Scripture. The investigatory board will include Auxiliary Bp. Mark O'Connell, Dr. Francisco Cesareo (president of the U.S. Bishops' National Review Board) and Kimberly Jones, CEO of Athena Legal Strategies Group.
O'Malley has come under heavy fire for doing nothing after his office received a letter in June 2015 detailing Abp. Theodore McCarrick's sexual predation. Church Militant reported that three months after that letter, O'Malley welcomed McCarrick to a prestigious fundraising gala, which netted nearly $2 million for the archdiocese.
Days after the 2015 gala, O'Malley flew to Cuba with McCarrick and others to attend a Mass in Havana with Pope Francis, calling McCarrick "wonderful" on his blog and repeatedly singling him out in his comments.
"We had a wonderful group of people including Cardinal Theodore McCarrick who had learned about the trip and wanted to go with us as well," O'Malley wrote in his September 25 post.
"Saturday, our first full day in Havana, was something of an immersion into the culture of the Cuban people," he continued. "We began the day with a talk by me and Cardinal McCarrick, speaking a little bit about the history of U.S.-Cuba relations and our experience visiting there over many years."
A few days later, O'Malley and McCarrick and a group of pilgrims traveled to a Carmelite convent in Havana, where the two cardinals concelebrated Mass together.
Father Boniface Ramsey, the priest who sent O'Malley the letter in June 2015, has called for an investigation into what they knew about McCarrick and what they did with his letter.
Thousands are expected to gather at a demonstration in Baltimore, Maryland November 12–15, during the annual meeting of the U.S. bishops, with a number calling for the resignations of cardinals and bishops who knew about McCarrick's predation and stayed silent.
"I pray that Cdl. O'Malley and the investigation into St. John's Seminary uncovers the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may be," Monaco told Church Militant. "There can be no healing in our Church until the rot is revealed for what it is — rot and decay. May God have mercy on us."