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On Monday, the Boston cardinal preached, "Abuse and its cover-up must stop," and "the wrongs done to God's people must be corrected."
But years ago, the New York Times reported that O'Malley "had been contacted as early as 2015 about former Cdl. Theodore McCarrick's sexual assault of seminarians."
O'Malley denied the claims, saying, "Recent media reports also have referenced a letter sent to me, which I did not personally receive."
Cdl. Seán O'Malley: "Within our families and social groups, the sins and crimes of sexual abuse cannot be held in secret and in shame."
The cardinal often comes across as a stalwart defender of abuse victims, claiming the Church has the "moral and ethical responsibility" to report abuse.
C.J. Doyle, head of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, doesn't buy those words: "We are supposed to believe that when a cardinal, one of the pope's closest advisers, receives a letter exposing depraved immorality, his secretary does not inform him and argues to do nothing? Pontius Pilate was more candid than this."
In spite of that 2015 letter, O'Malley welcomed McCarrick to a fundraising gala later the same year.
Days later, he flew to Havana with a "wonderful group of people, including Cardinal Theodore McCarrick," to immerse themselves in Cuban culture, alongside Pope Francis.
Norah O'Donnell: "Should there be more women in positions of power in the curia?"
O'Malley: "Yes, I think there should be, and hopefully there will be."
Critics are wondering why O'Malley continued to associate with Theodore McCarrick.
In 2014, Pope Francis picked Cardinal O'Malley to head the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.'
According to BishopAccountability.org, "Cardinal O'Malley's review board "cleared" 45% of priests investigated for child sexual abuse from July 2003 through December 2005."
In 2002, Bristol County district attorney Paul Walsh publicly rebuked O'Malley for delaying an entire decade to submit the names of accused priests.
Paul Walsh: "By the time O'Malley gave DA Walsh the priests' names in 2002, the time window for prosecuting had closed for all but one of the cases."
Cdl. O'Malley: "Regrets and sorrow over what these victims have suffered as a result of clergy abuse."
Critics of Cdl. O'Malley believe when it comes to safeguards against clerical sex abuse, his actions often fail to match his words.
According to a Boston Globe investigation, Cdl. O'Malley refused to put 70 religious/priests on his list of "credibly accused" in August of 2011, including some who went to prison for child sex abuse.