Catholic institute accused of failing to act on McCarrick allegations

Pope seeks prayers to fight "devil"

ROME -- Pope Francis on Saturday asked Catholics to pray for the protection of the church from "attacks by the devil" -- and to pray that the church becomes more aware of its quote "guilt, errors and abuses." The pope and other church officials are accused of covering up the sexual misconduct of American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who resigned over the summer.

The Pontifical North American College, or "NAC," has turned-out a Who's Who of U.S. church leaders: Cardinals Raymond Burke, Blase Cupich, Daniel DiNardo, Timothy Dolan and Donald Wuerl.

A regular overnight visitor to this campus packed with Americans was McCarrick, who visited as recently as May -- only weeks before resigning.

A former student at NAC, Bishop Steven Lopes, said in a homily that he doesn't believe the "parade of cardinals and bishops" who denied knowing about the sexual misconduct allegations swirling around McCarrick.

Newly released letter suggests Catholic Church new about allegations against cardinal in 2006

"I was a seminarian when Theodore McCarrick was named archbishop of Newark -- and he would visit the seminary often -- and we all knew," Lopes said. 

A 2006 letter reveals the Vatican's ambassador to the U.S. was informed back in 2000 of "serious matters involving some of the students" at a seminary in New Jersey where McCarrick was archbiship.

So, why then was McCarrick, a known sexual predator whose actions some say were an "open secret" allowed to repeatedly visit this elite seminary and potentially put students at risk?

Archbishop John Myers ran the Newark archdiocese and oversaw the pay out of settlements in 2005 and 2007 to quiet allegations involving McCarrick.

He's also been the chairman of the NAC's board since 2006. He told CBS News by phone he had informed the college about McCarrick, though would not say when.

But both the former head of the NAC, Bishop James Checchio, and its current head, Father Peter Harman, told CBS News they were never warned. 

Harman wrote in an email  "the simple fact is, no one was apprised. I saw it on the news this June."

There are no public allegations that McCarrick abused anyone at the NAC, but that a known predator was allowed to roam free is another example that despite evidence of a threat, the Catholic hierarchy did not act.


(**seth on-cam sig out)

(seth:) there are no public allegations that mccarrick abused anyone at the nac - but that a known predator was allowed to roam free is another example that despite evidence of a threat - the catholic hierarchy did not act.