SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Seton Hall University is investigating sexual abuse allegations at its seminary school.
Allegations against the former archbishop of Newark may have involved seminarian students of this school, according to the university president Mary Meehan.
In an open letter this afternoon the president says its reviewing accusations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology and the college seminary at Saint Andrews Hall, reports CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
Meehan says this is a response to the recent reports of sexual abuse among high-ranking Catholic officials.
McCarrick was removed from public ministry in June following allegations he fondled a teenager 40 years ago in New York City.
Father Boniface Ramsey taught at Seton Hall University’s seminary school for ten years starting in 1986, at the time McCarrick was archbishop of Newark.
“The church saw itself as a law onto itself,” said Ramsey about the time.
Ramsey says the former archbishop was charming but notorious for inviting the seminarians – college-age men training to become priests – to his house on the jersey shore
“There were five seminarians, one archbishop and five beds,” said Ramsey. “That meant one of those seminarians had to sleep in McCarrick’s bed. He would say that, ‘Oh you’ll have to stay with me.’
Ramsey claims the behavior was widely known, and he first reported it to the rector in 1988, then again in 2000 when McCarrick became archbishop in Washington DC. He again reported it in 2015 after McCarrick became a cardinal.
“Nobody was doing anything about it,” said Ramsey. “It began to be the normal.”
Seton Hall has hired an outside law firm to conduct the probe.