WASHINGTON - A Virginia man is opening up about two decades of sexual abuse he said he endured at the hands of one of the most prominent faces of the Catholic Church. He is telling his story to FOX 5 after another man came forward about Cardinal McCarrick's alleged abuse.
"I want to speak out for men who have been abused by Theodore McCarrick,” said James. “McCarrick was a man who was welcomed into my family’s home as a child and he came in to spread the word of God."
James said he suffered 20 years of sexual abuse as a teenager by then-Father McCarrick. Now that others have come forward, James filed his own police report last week with the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.
FOX 5 is not revealing his identity and his voice has been altered as he tells us his story.
“When I read that article, I got down on my knees and thanked God that the bastard is finally caught,” James said. “Now, somebody will listen to me what I have to say. I can now talk freely. I can now hopefully save somebody else.”
It was news that brought the Catholic Church to its knees. Cardinal McCarrick was removed from public ministry last month after allegations came out that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old altar boy in the early 1970s.
However, for James, it was the strength to finally come forward about the abuse he said started when he was just 11 years old when then-Father McCarrick came to visit his family home in New Jersey.
"He comes into my room and he goes, ‘I was looking for the bathroom,’” James described. “Then he goes, ‘Oh, turn around,’ and then he drops his pants and says, 'See? We’re the same. We’re the same. We’re okay. We’re the same. Everything is going to be just fine. I just want you to know that your uncle and I and you are exactly the same and we are going to be exactly just good for each other.’ So it left an impression upon me that we’re the same, we’re okay. I didn't tell anybody because we’re the same.”
James said a few years later, his family moved to California. But McCarrick would keep in touch with him by postcard and came to visit several times. One visit came just before James went off to high school.
"He put his hands on my legs and then pulled my pants down and he gave me my first orgasm of my life,” said James. “I was beside myself. I had emotion. I didn't have emotion. I didn't know what to do. I had no clue what had just happened to me. I'm 14 years old. I don't know how to act.”
He said the abuse lasted two decades, but the effects have not gone away. After his marriage fell apart, he attempted suicide. James finally got sober in 1991.
Now, he said he is taking the next step.
“I have a debt to myself, to my family and to everybody who has been in touch with this man to speak and to tell my story,” he said. “I have to because I have belief in God and this has been a gift given to me by God to speak my story now."
FOX 5 reached out to Cardinal McCarrick’s office, but our request for an interview was declined.
He did issue a statement in regards to the past allegation that surfaced in June in which he said in part, “I have absolutely no recollection of the reported abuse and believe in my innocence."
Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Washington has said it takes all allegations of abuse seriously.