WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Cardinal Donald Wuerl allowed Theodore McCarrick to move onto seminary property, in spite of knowing about allegations of homosexual predation, giving McCarrick free access to seminarians, some who lived and traveled with him.
In 2009, McCarrick was ordered by Pope Benedict to move out of Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Seminary in Washington, D.C. McCarrick then moved into a parish, but shortly afterwards left to live on the grounds of another seminary: the Institute of the Incarnate Word (Instituto del Verbo Encarnado, IVE), with Wuerl's full knowledge and permission.
As Church Militant has reported, McCarrick had close ties to the IVE, frequently flying down to Argentina to stay at the community's headquarters in San Rafael, where he visited with its founder, Fr. Miguel Buela, and ordained priests.
Buela, who now lives in Genoa, Italy, was credibly accused of sexually assaulting multiple seminarians and his priest-secretaries, and is currently banned by the Vatican from making any public appearances or having contact with members of the IVE. According to an inside source, however, Buela continues to meet every 15 days with the general superior, Fr. Gustavo Nieto, and sees and speaks with other members of the IVE as well — appearing to violate the sanctions imposed on him by the Vatican.
Sexual assault allegations have also reportedly been lodged against other members of the IVE.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò testified that among the penalties imposed by Benedict on McCarrick was the order that McCarrick leave Redemptoris Mater Seminary:
Pope Benedict had imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis: the Cardinal was to leave the seminary where he was living, he was forbidden to celebrate [Mass] in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lectures, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance.
Then-papal nuncio Pietro Sambi communicated Benedict's order to McCarrick to move out of the seminary, and "a stormy conversation, lasting over an hour" ensued.
"Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, then first Counsellor of the Nunciature in Washington and Chargé d'Affaires a.i. after the unexpected death of Nuncio Sambi in Baltimore, told me ... that 'the Nuncio's voice could be heard all the way out in the corridor,'" Viganò wrote.
McCarrick, on Wuerl's order, moved out of the seminary in 2009 and into St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Woodley Park.
Catholic News Agency confirmed the information with a priest at St. Thomas. "It was all very sudden," the priest said. "I was moved around but given another room in the rectory."
Although the timeline is unclear, at some point McCarrick decided to move into a house on the grounds of the IVE Seminary in Chillum, Maryland, where IVE seminarians and priest-secretaries were permitted to live with and work for him from 2014–2018.
According to an inside source, McCarrick gave IVE approximately $3 million to purchase the property in Maryland. He was also generous with the community in Argentina, leading some to suspect that, even though IVE leadership was aware of McCarrick's reputation as a homosexual predator, they refused to denounce him or distance themselves from him.
Wuerl has admitted to knowing about the sexual misconduct allegations lodged against McCarrick as early as 2004, and McCarrick moved out of Redemptoris Mater Seminary on Wuerl's orders, based on Benedict's orders — yet Wuerl appears to have done nothing to prevent McCarrick from moving onto the IVE Seminary's grounds.
Church Militant contacted the archdiocese to ask if Wuerl had granted McCarrick permission to live at the IVE Seminary. Spokeswoman Chieko Noguchi responded, "The Archdiocese has stated on the record to multiple media outlets, in his then capacity as a Cardinal, McCarrick made his own living arrangements with no consultation with the Archdiocese of Washington."
Church Militant asked the follow-up question, "Did Cdl. Wuerl order McCarrick to leave the IVE Seminary when he discovered the living arrangements?" The archdiocese did not respond.
Church Militant has since learned that McCarrick's priest-secretary — a member of the IVE who lived at the seminary — received a monthly stipend from the Washington archdiocese for his work, thus making it evident Wuerl knew of the living arrangements.
Watch the panel discuss McCarrick's cozy ties to the IVE in The Download—McCarrick & Bergoglio.