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Church critic "outs" American cardinal April 21, 2008

Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine priest and psychologist who has commented extensively on the sex-abuse scandal in the US, has accused Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired Archbishop of Washington, of recruiting seminarians as sexual partners.

The problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church "is not generated from the bottom up— that is only from unsuitable candidates—but from the top down— that is from the sexual behaviors of superiors, even bishops and cardinals," Sipe wrote in an open message to Pope Benedict XVI.

Sipe said that he had received evidence that several prelates had preyed on adolescents and seminarians. He claimed to have received reports about the homosexual activities of the future Cardinal McCarrick more than 20 years ago, and to have "documents and letters that record first-hand testimony and eyewitness accounts" to support those accounts.

Sipe-- who in the past has charged that the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin also "partied" with seminarians-- said that although other reporters were aware of Cardinal McCarrick's activities in a beach house in New Jersey, "legal documentation has not been available. And even at this point the complete story cannot be published because priest reporters are afraid of reprisals."

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