A Virginia man who says ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick abused him for years starting when he was an 11-year-old boy is showing his face for the first time since testifying to the Vatican.
“There were times when McCarrick always wanted to get me alone for his own ability to prey on me,” James Grein said.
Grein said McCarrick began abusing him decades ago at his family's New Jersey home. He says McCarrick groped him several times and the abuse got worse as he got older.
“And he told me that he was my pathway to God and that I need to trust him,” Grein said.
Grein shared several family photos with News4 chronicling his family's close friendship with McCarrick. He says he and his six siblings called McCarrick "Uncle Ted."
Grein said he acted out because of the alleged abuse and a troubled childhood led to a self-destructive adulthood involving drugs, alcohol and suicide attempts.
He became sober in 1991.
But through his family Grein continued to interact with McCarrick until Grein’s mother died in 2012. He has not spoken to him since.
“I believed that he could do anything as a child for me, and I believed as an adult he would do anything to me to make sure his life doesn’t change,” Grein said.
Grein’s allegations, along with those from other alleged victims, prompted Pope Francis in July to strip one of the most influential men of the Catholic Church of his cardinal title. Francis ordered McCarrick to a life of penance and prayer.
On Thursday, Grein testified in front of a Catholic priest serving as a judicial vicar in New York.
He said he felt like the church was finally listening to him.
His testimony is now part of a Vatican tribunal investigating McCarrick’s actions.
"I want criminal charges brought against McCarrick, but I would like to really see the criminal charges brought against the institution of the church.”
"I want my church back," Grein said.