The late Archbishop Peter Gerety‘s name appears in the draft of my book.
From Chapter 2…
McCarrick successfully sold the myth of his glittering celebrity status not just to his victims but to a wider circle. Newark needed a new Archbishop in 1986; McCarrick became the young pope of New Jersey. His predecessor, Peter Gerety, claimed to have grown old at age 73, even though he went on to live to 104.
Something odd with Gerety leaving office in 1986, to be sure: A bishop resigning at 73, claiming the infirmity of old age. Then he goes on to live to 104.
In an earlier version of the chapter, I had speculated that Gerety was “too liberal” for Pope John Paul II. McCarrick successfully sold himself as a “moderate.” I decided to take that speculation out. Superfluous.
I am a moron.
Why, after all, am I here? In the situation in which I find myself now?
In May of 2006, the Cardinal Archbishop who ordained me resigned suddenly, claiming old age despite his evident vigor. My priest friends and I thought: It’s because he’s too liberal for Pope Benedict.
We were wrong, of course.
We now know why McCarrick “resigned” prematurely in 2006. Namely, so that the Vatican could orchestrate a cover-up of his crimes, a cover-up that would last for the next twelve years.
And the cover-up would remain in effect now, and McCarrick’s victims would still live in agonizing solitude.
(And I guess my priest friends and I would still think McCarrick got ushered out for being “too liberal,” and Donald Wuerl would still be the Archbishop of Washington, and the biggest controversy of Pope Francis’ papacy would still be communion for the divorced and civilly re-married…)
But McCarrick’s victim “Mike” told his story to a New-York lawyer in 2017. The jig was up on the McCarrick cover-up. I blogged the heck out of it, and now I’m facing expulsion from the clerical state for it.
Why o why would I have thought–after all this–that Peter Gerety got ushered out of Newark in 1986 for “being too liberal?” What kind of numbskull am I?
A 49-year-old woman (name withheld) has filed suit in New Jersey. Her sworn affidavit states that Gerety molested her when she was five years old, in 1976–two years into Gerety’s tenure.
[WARNING Not easy to read, taken from a Bergen Record article by Abbott Koloff, who gained access to the affidavit.]
She grew up in Newark near the Cathedral Basilica of Sacred Heart. Her mother “worked long hours as a seamstress” and Gerety allegedly offered to babysit.
One day Gerety took her by the hand to his bedroom. She described the room as being simply furnished, with the prelate’s bed pushed up against a wall and an old Bible on a table.
“Gerety told me to relax and close my eyes and informed me that what he was going to do with me was part of what God required and wanted me to do,” she wrote, adding that the archbishop gave her a warning: “Do not say anything about this because it will hurt your mother. This is our secret.”
She wrote that he walked her back to her home.
The abuse allegedly occurred three or four times, always in the rectory bedroom. She wrote that it stopped after she protested being left with the archbishop and an aunt offered to watch her. She remained silent about the allegations “as I had been instructed” until she was 13, when she told her older sister.
“My older sister cried when I told her and she said she felt guilty because she hadn’t or couldn’t protect me,” she wrote. “However, neither of us ever mentioned the abuse to our mother.”
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