Opus Dei paid nearly a million dollars in sexual misconduct suit against Father McCloskey

Opus Dei paid nearly a million dollars in sexual misconduct suit against Father McCloskey January 7, 2019

From The Washington Post: 

The Catholic community Opus Dei in 2005 paid $977,000 to settle a sexual misconduct suit against the Rev. C. John McCloskey, a priest well-known for preparing for conversion big-name conservatives — Newt Gingrich, Larry Kudlow and Sam Brownback, among others.

The survivor is a devout, D.C.-area Catholic who was among the many who received spiritual direction from McCloskey through the Catholic Information Center, a K Street hub of Catholic life in downtown D.C. She told the Post McCloskey groped her several times while she was going to pastoral counseling with him to discuss marital troubles and serious depression.

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The guilt and shame over the interactions sent her into a tailspin and, combined with her existing depression, made it impossible for her to work in her high-level job. She spoke to him about her “misperceived guilt over the interaction” in confession and he absolved her, she said.

“I love Opus Dei but I was caught up in this cover-up – I went to confession, thinking I did something to tempt this holy man to cross boundaries,” she said. The Washington Post does not name victims of sexual assault without their consent.

The complaint was not made public by Opus Dei until Monday but behind the scenes the ministry of the well-known priest had been sharply curtailed. A lot of D.C.-area Catholics have wondered for years what happened to McCloskey, who was the closest thing to a celebrity the Catholic Church had in the area.

One other woman told Opus Dei that “she was made uncomfortable by how he was hugging her,” an Opus Dei spokesman said Monday night. He said Opus Dei is also investigating a third claim — so far unsubstantiated — that spokesman Brian Finnerty called potentially “serious.” He declined to provide details but said the woman “may have also suffered from misconduct by Father McCloskey” at the D.C. Center, which is a bookstore, chapel and gathering place for conservative Catholics in particular.

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