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SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Seton Hall University is launching a probe into possible sex abuse in its seminaries.
In a message posted Wednesday on the school's website, Mary Meehan, president of the university, said:
Among the many disgraceful incidents that have shaken our collective consciousness, we at the University are particularly concerned with recent accusations against Theodore McCarrick, the former Archbishop of Newark, and other priests of the Archdiocese. Some of these alleged incidents may have involved seminarians at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology and the College Seminary at Saint Andrew's Hall.
Meehan went on to say that university leadership "has retained Christine A. Amalfe of the law firm Gibbons P.C. in Newark, N.J. as special counsel to lead the effort and commission the independent review."
A spokesman for the Newark archdiocese explained that Cdl. Joseph Tobin "is aware of and approves of the decision" to investigate Seton Hall's seminaries.
2Former seminarians at Seton Hall have come forward alleging sexual abuse and harassment by McCarrick, removed from the College of Cardinals last month after being exposed as a serial sex abuser who preyed on seminarians.
Although renowned sex abuse expert Richard Sipe publicly posted details from lawsuits settled against McCarrick nearly a decade ago and media reported on his homosexual predation, Church leaders ignored the reports, allowing McCarrick to continue his rise to power.
After Sipe's passing, Church Militant reported that McElroy had known about McCarrick's abuse but remained silent. Sipe had sent a letter to San Diego's Bp. Robert McElroy in 2016 with graphic details of McCarrick's homosexual predation. McElroy ignored the letter.
After media scrutiny, the San Diego bishop recently explained that his decision not to pursue the allegations against McCarrick arose because he did not know "what was real and what was rumor." He chose to dismiss the allegations — allegations that ultimately proved true.
Tobin has also come under criticism for knowing about McCarrick's sexual misconduct and staying silent. In virtue of his position as head the Newark archdiocese, Tobin would have been acquainted with the lawsuits settled by the archdiocese against McCarrick, and was in fact the first prelate to publicly confirm the legal settlements, which up till then had only been confirmed by Sipe.
Seton Hall came under scrutiny in 2015 when Fr. Warren Hall, an openly gay chaplain, expressed support for same-sex "marriage" on social media. He was allowed to remain at his post for five months, until Abp. John Myers, then head of the archdiocese, removed him, transferring him instead to two parishes.