SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Former Diocese of Newark Bishop, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick sexually harassed Seton Hall University seminarians during his time with the Diocese, according an independent report released by the University’s Board of Regents on Tuesday afternoon.
Patrick M. Murray, Chairman of Seton Hall’s Board of Regents, announced the findings in an email to the Seton Hall community following a joint independent investigation by Gibbon P.C. and Latham & Watkins Law Firm.
While details of investigation’s findings are limited due to what the school is calling “Title IX restrictions,” the University said the review found that McCarrick used his influence and power for his personal well-being between 1986 and 2000.
Seton Hall officials declined to comment outside of the letter sent to the University community on Tuesday night.
“The Latham & Watkins review found that McCarrick created a culture of fear and intimidation that supported his personal objectives,” Murray said. “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.”
The University confirmed that their Title IX policies are “consistent with state and federal law.” However, according to the email, the policies weren’t always followed at Immaculate Conception Seminary, which is housed on Seton Hall’s South Orange Campus, and St. Andrew’s Seminary.
These actions “resulted in incidents of sexual harassment going unreported.” The email said the University and both seminaries are now “fully compliant” with Title IX regulations.
Following the “unrestricted review,” the Regents said the University will “take additional actions to strengthen the compliance systems and governance beyond the policies and laws of Title IX” to help support the entire University, including seminarians, students, faculty, priests, administrators and staff.
According to the release, the University’s Board of Regents took the following steps to ensure continued growth in Title IX compliance:
- “Independence: Commission an independent and thorough Title IX review of the McCarrick allegations.
- Transparency: Share, to the extent permissible under Title IX laws and University policy, the review findings with the Seton Hall community.
- Compliance: Exceed compliance requirements by: (a) funding and hiring a Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer to ensure University-wide 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
“The University community prays for all victims of harassment and abuse of any kind,” Murray said. “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.”