Sen. Elizabeth Warren says that if an ongoing investigation reveals that Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley was aware of assault allegations at a Catholic seminary in Brighton, O’Malley should then step down from his position.
“Anyone who has been complicit in hiding the fact of sexual abuse of minors and therefore putting people in a position to abuse more minors should never be in a position of authority,” Warren said in an interview with Boston Public Radio Monday.
According to the Archdiocese, O’Malley canceled a trip to Ireland during a papal visit to focus instead on an ongoing investigation into sexual misconduct at St John’s Seminary in Brighton.
In a statement in August, O’Malley said he asked St. John’s rector Monsignor James P. Moroney to go on leave while an “fully independent inquiry” was conducted.
The investigation is a response to allegations on social media that former seminarians “witnessed and experienced activities which are directly contrary to the moral standards and requirements of formation for the Catholic priesthood” at St. John’s.
O’Malley has also apologized in a statement for allegedly not seeing a 2015 letter that exposed now-disgraced ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Warren says the allegations illustrate a larger problem with abuse in the Catholic church, an issue not just with abuse, but how abuse is handled.
“I think the real question people are starting to ask is, what did people know and when did they know it? ...it’s not only the people who misbehave, it’s the people who cover up if they misbehave, it’s the people who help if they misbehave, it’s not taking the crime seriously,” Warren said. “If you cover it up, you otherwise are complicit in not preventing it from happening again.”
To hear Warren’s full interview with Boston Public Radio, click on the audio player above.