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Uncle Ted’s ‘Special Boy’

When I speak to James by phone, I ask him what he would have to say to the people – bishops, priests, and laymen – who know who Theodore McCarrick is and what he did to people, but who are to this day keeping the old man’s secrets.

“I would say, ‘What is so important that you are afraid to lose? Why do you believe that you are more important than so many other lives? Why can’t you just let us all know what you know? Otherwise, all his cronies that he brought on to replace him will continue his abuse in the church. They believe that if they speak out, the Catholic Church will no longer be. They piss me off because they don’t have the guts to step up and say something.”

As the Times reported, James’s abuse at McCarrick’s hands started when James was 11. James suspects it might have started earlier, on evidence of his unusually disruptive and anti-social behavior at home. He did poorly at school. He stole money. He was a hothead, and threw baseballs at people in anger.

“Where does that anger get generated?” he muses. “My mother and father were great people.”

The family moved from New Jersey to Hillsborough, California, which is when the main abuse at McCarrick’s hands started.

“You know, Theodore was a big fundraiser for the Church. When Patty Hearst got abducted, he spent weeks in Hillsborough, where we lived then. The day he masturbated me in the beach parking lot, we were late coming back, and I tried to tell my father. He told my dad that ‘this idiot shook up a coke he bought, and when he opened it, it got all over him. It ruined my car. That’s why his pants are wet.’

“I told my dad that that’s not true. He just said, ‘You gotta go to your room.’”

James says that as a boy, he had no safe place to discuss what was happening to him. “No place. No place. My father was just not going to hear it.”

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