SHU report says McCarrick sexually harassed seminarians

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — An independent report released by the Seton Hall University Board of Regents on Aug. 27 found that former Diocese of Newark Archbishop Theodore McCarrick sexually harassed university seminarians during his time with the diocese. The report was compiled by Gibbon P.C. and Latham & Watkins Law Firm, and the findings were announced by the board to the university in an email. Though the full report is not being shared due to Title IX restrictions, university officials said the report found that McCarrick had harassed seminarians between 1986 and 2000.

According to the statement released by SHU officials on Aug. 27, the findings of a confidential review are typically provided to university officials and affected parties. A full written report will be provided to the university shortly, but the board passed a resolution to share key findings.

“In the interest of transparency, the regents passed a resolution to share the key findings of the Latham & Watkins review with the Seton Hall community to the extent permissible under Title IX and university policy,” the statement read.

This is not the first time this year a report has been released linking McCarrick to sexual harassment. In February, New Jersey’s five Roman Catholic dioceses released lists of priests who had been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors in the past several decades. The Archdiocese of Newark released a list with 63 names on it, including McCarrick’s; all of the priests listed had either died or been removed from the ministry.

Just three days after the New Jersey dioceses released their lists, the Vatican announced that McCarrick, who had attained the title of cardinal, had been defrocked.

According to the Latham and Watkins review, McCarrick “created a culture of fear and intimidation that supported his personal objectives. McCarrick used his position of power as then-Archbishop of Newark to sexually harass seminarians. No minors or other university students were determined to have been affected by McCarrick.”

In addition to the findings about McCarrick, the review found that SHU’s Title IX policies are up to date, but were not always applied to Immaculate Conception Seminary and St. Andrew’s Seminary. This resulted in incidents going unreported to the university. SHU’s statement said Seton Hall, Immaculate Conception Seminary and St. Andrew’s Seminary are now fully compliant with all Title IX requirements.

“While the review found the university adheres to Title IX policies and laws, the Board of Regents has taken and is taking additional actions to strengthen the university’s compliance systems and governance structures to better support all members of the university community, including seminarians, students, faculty, priests, administrators and staff,” the statement read.

The board enacted measures it said are in progress in addition to the work that has already been done.

“Progress has been made on all five of these measures with additional work to be done in the near term,” the statement read. “1. Independence: Commission an independent and thorough Title IX review of the McCarrick allegations. 2. Transparency: Share, to the extent permissible under Title IX laws and university policy, the review findings with the Seton Hall community. 3. Compliance: Exceed compliance requirements by: (a) funding and hiring a chief compliance and ethics officer to ensure universitywide adherence to Title IX laws, policies and practices; (b) requiring mandatory annual Title IX training for all members of the university community; and (c) conducting prompt reviews of any allegation of sexual harassment with assurances of non-retaliation. 4. Governance: Improve the structural relationship among the university, Immaculate Conception Seminary — an affiliated yet separate corporate entity — and the Archdiocese of Newark — an affiliated yet separate corporate entity — to enhance oversight, control and compliance to prevent recurrence. 5. Seminaries: Underscore the importance of Immaculate Conception Seminary and St. Andrew’s Seminary to Seton Hall’s Catholic identity and better integrate the seminaries within the university.”

SHU also offered support to McCarrick’s victims.

“Individuals, communities and parishes across the country have been affected by former archbishop McCarrick and others who have profoundly and forever negatively altered so many lives,” the statement read. “The university community prays for all victims of harassment and abuse of any kind. Seton Hall University remains committed to advancing its mission and providing seminarians, students, faculty, priests, staff and administrators with a safe and welcoming environment to learn, live and grow. The university encourages anyone with knowledge of sexual misconduct to contact our Title IX office. In addition, a wide array of support services is available to members of the Seton Hall community.”