NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - (caution: graphic content) James Grein, the victim on whom Abp. Theodore McCarrick preyed for 18 years, gave his sworn testimony of abuse in the archdiocese of New York Thursday.
In emotional testimony that lasted just under 45 minutes, Grein met with Fr. Richard L. Welch, judicial vicar for the archdiocese, at the chancery office on 1011 First Avenue Thursday morning. Although Grein's attorney was present as well as two canon lawyers in Albany representing McCarrick, no one was allowed to speak but Grein and Welch, who had been assigned directly by the Holy See to take down the testimony. An unnamed priest was also present at the meeting to ensure the session was conducted fairly and properly.
"He was there to listen, and not to twist and turn anything," Grein told Church Militant, speaking of Welch. "He was there to gather information for the Holy See. Period."
During the session, Welch told Grein he'd been following him ever since he went public with his testimony in The New York Times, reading about him and watching him at the Silence Stops Now rally and in other interviews. He told Grein he believed him.
"When he told me at the very, very beginning that he believes me, I cried, worse than I've ever cried before," Grein said.
Although Welch has conducted multiple sessions with abuse victims, this was the first time he had ever been appointed by the Holy See to do so, signaling the magnitude of the case. He made clear that Grein's testimony would go directly to Pope Francis, who would then make a final decision regarding McCarrick.
Grein began the private session by detailing abuse he suffered at McCarrick's hands starting at age 11 in Teaneck, New Jersey. "I went to that place and that time, and I exploded through my testimony," Grein said.
According to Grein, his attorney, Pat Noaker, told him afterward, "Your voice changed when you were speaking about that. It was obvious that you were not in the room anymore, that you were in New Jersey as a kid."
Grein went on to detail more graphically abuse he suffered later in Hillsboro, California, where McCarrick took him on a car ride to the beach, and then masturbated him in the front seat, leading to Grein experiencing climax and making a mess in the car.
"I didn't know what was going on in my life," Grein told Church Militant. "I was going through puberty; I didn't know what it was."
"When I returned back home, there was semen all over the car," he said. "When I got home, I tried to tell my father that this guy was abusing me — and just as I was about to say it, McCarrick stepped in front of me and said to my father, 'I bought this idiot a friggin' coke, and he opened it and he must've dropped it in my car, and he destroyed my car.'"
"My father looked at me and said, 'You go to your room and you try to remember why you did that,'" Grein said. "My mother spent hours trying to clean his f***ing car," he added angrily, before beginning to cry over the phone.
At the end of Grein's testimony in New York, Welch asked the attorneys present whether they had any questions. Each of McCarrick's lawyers simply responded, "I have no more questions."
Welch said he'd be leaving to Rome shortly and taking Grein's sworn affidavit directly to Pope Francis.
"If Francis decides that McCarrick is not guilty, the whole world is going to blow up," Grein said. "If Francis decides that McCarrick is guilty, the whole world is going to blow up."
"I can't wait for the day I can return to Jesus Christ's Church, because it's very important for me to be a Catholic," he said. "Not the Church we have today; Jesus' Church."
Although Grein was raised Catholic, he left the Church after his abuse, struggling with alcoholism and drug use for a number of years. It wasn't until the early 1990s that he was able to get sober and start praying again. Today, Grein considers himself a Christian and prays regularly, but is yet to return to the practice of the Catholic faith.
"Today's our day," Grein told Church Militant, speaking of his joy at being able to give his full testimony about his abuse and the impact he hopes it will have for the Church and for abuse victims everywhere. "This is the Christmas of all Christmases."
Grein asked Church Militant to publish the following note to clergy everywhere:
I am trying to save Jesus' Church from the modernists who believe that the institution is more important than parishioners, Jesus and His holy teaching. The modernists worship idols: money and power. I want to know who you are.
Dear Clergy of the Church:
I am here today to ask you some important questions. Your attention to these questions will be the deciding factor for my return to Jesus' Holy Catholic Church and my strong faith. If your answers are not clear, then you are fogging my faith and the faith of millions. We are concerned for the future of Jesus' Church.
If James Grein was your family member, would you stay silent for the institution or would you help him or come to his rescue?
When was the last time you spoke of Jesus' Church and His teachings in a homily? What did you say?
Are you a member of Jesus' Church or a member of the New World Order?
Do you have a conscience? Please explain your views.
Are you obedient to your bishop, cardinal, the Holy See, or any other human being when they tell you to act contrary to God's law — or are you obedient to Jesus Christ?
How do you demonstrate this in your daily routine?
How do you worship Jesus Christ every day?
These are true questions. How will you respond to me?
Grein was molested by McCarrick for nearly 20 years, starting at age 11, only going public with his abuse in July, after McCarrick's suspension was announced June 20 based on a decades-old allegation of sex abuse against an altar boy in New York.
"I got down on my knees and I thanked God that I am not alone and it is going to be O.K.," Grein told The New York Times in tears. "And I can tell somebody and someone is going to believe me."
At the time Grein only gave his first name, withholding his last name in order to protect a sibling. He made his first-ever public appearance, where he also gave his last name, at the Silence Stops Now rally in Baltimore on Nov. 13, giving a short, powerful speech to a standing ovation.
Grein later revealed in an interview with Taylor Marshall that McCarrick had connections to the "St. Gallen Mafia," which helped manipulate the conclave and elect Pope Francis.
McCarrick currently lives in a Franciscan friary in Salina, Kansas, a move that provoked anger against Bp. Gerald Vincke, who failed to inform parents at a neighboring elementary school that an accused sexual predator is living next door. Although Pope Francis has removed McCarrick from the College of Cardinals, he has not yet been defrocked.
Testimony given by former papal nuncio Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò reveals that Pope Francis not only knew about McCarrick's serial homosexual predation, he promoted McCarrick to the position of trusted advisor and "kingmaker" in naming bishops. Cardinals Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., Blase Cupich of Chicago, Illinois and Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey are some of the alleged beneficiaries of McCarrick and his advice to the pope.
Viganò accused a powerful "homosexual current" in the Church of being responsible for protecting and promoting McCarrick and his cronies.
"These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire Church," Viganò wrote.
Francis has yet to answer any of Viganò's charges, only responding by saying he would "not say a word" about it and allow the public to make up its own mind. The pope's critics have noted that in spite of his claim of silence, Pope Francis has been vocal about his accusers during his morning homilies at Casa Santa Marta, where he likened whistleblower Viganò to the "Great Accuser" Satan, and denounced his critics as facilitating the devil's work.