Alleged priest sex abuse victim claims he told Pope John Paul II about ordeal in confession

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If he only spoke to the pope about it in confession, then Pope John Paul could not act on it.

“Dramatic confession” is an odd way to describe it. There are no witnesses to confession.


Yep. read these carefully:

Grein’s lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, is among hundreds filed Wednesday as the state Child Victims Act went into effect.

McCarrick maintained contact with Grein and his family over the course of decades. Grein claims he demanded McCarrick take him on a trip to see Pope John Paul II in 1988 when McCarrick was serving as the archbishop of Newark.

“I said to McCarrick: ‘You’ve got to got to get me in there now,’” Grein recalled Wednesday. “He flew in first class. I flew in the back.”

Pope John Paul II was accompanied by the Vatican secretary of state and his personal secretary when McCarrick dropped him off, Grein recalled.

“It was in a private room,” he recalled. “I told him these words: ‘McCarrick has been abusing me since I was young.’”

Grein said the pontiff responded with a blank stare and then absolved him of his sins.

Read them again.

Mr. Grein, “Made McCarrick fly him to Rome, but in separate parts of the plane.” (How did he manage this? Why would the Cardinal fly the young man to Rome to denounce HIM? Would any sane person do this?)
The Pope met him "with the secretary of state and his personal secretary’.
(What happened to them?)
They met in a private room (Is this the normal practice for the Pope in hearing confessions?)
Does or did the Pope normally schedule confessions in private rooms for people flown in by one of the cardinals?
Why the use of the word ‘confession’ ?
As another noted, if this were a sacramental confession, the Pope could not ‘comment on it’.

And of course the opening words, “The rot starts at the top”. . .
Yep, this is a witch hunt. Nevermind this is a pope and a saint, now dead, unable to speak for himself, we are going to on the words of a then young man whose story doesn’t quite add up determine that the Pope ‘knew of the abuse’ and ‘never did anything about it.’

It couldn’t POSSIBLY be that, in light of the rather strange details (a young man who had supposedly ‘forced’ a cardinal into taking him to Rome and making an appointment to see the Pope in order to DENOUNCE said cardinal), in light of the Pope’s humanity (i.e., he could be fooled like any other person, and probably McCarrick apologized, “oh gosh, my poor young friend. . . I never would have brought him here had I known he was delusional like this, what a tragedy”) and the tendency of the ‘fellow cardinals’ to try to sweep under the rug (don’t let the Holy Father be worried by these events), that the Holy Father in good conscience could have easily believed that this was just an unfortunate young man who suffered delusions, and everything was just fine in Vatican City and abroad. Oh no, back in 1988? Pre Internet? Before “Spotlight”? Back when the AMA was still saying 'pedophiles can be treated and cured???" Oh gee, it couldn’t be that before the depth of the crisis was known that a person, even a Pope, could simply make an error because of the actions of others. Nope, ‘he must have known’. That’s how we get stories sold and how we get more people arguing and fighting and tearing down Catholics. Let’s let the lions out again!


Pope JPII is both dead and canonized, with miracles to his credit. This guy’s attempt to smear him is going to go absolutely nowhere.

And yes, I have serious doubts that the Pope was going to meet all alone with some random young man, and further serious doubts that McCarrick even took him to see the Pope, unless he was part of a group of people all going to see the Pope, in which case he would not have been alone with the Pope.


This man, James Grein, is the man in the now famous photo of Theodore McCarrick with his arm around James’s waist, with James being in his swimming trunks.

It’s bizarre because a Church Militant Article didn’t mention that this was sacramental confession but made it sound like it was just a private audience. This man also claims, according to the Church Militant article that he was sitting on McCarrick’s lap once and Terrance Cardinal Cooke saw this, McCarrick saying “This is my special one” (This particularly depressing for me as a “Courage” member as Cardinal Cooke helped found “Courage” back in 1980!) This man also claims he was abused in various places as well as being abused by Cardinal Bernadin.

I am willing to believe James Grein was abused (the photo of him and McCarrick is quite creepy!) but I’m suspicious of some of his subsequent allegations. I know he has appeared on EWTN News Nightly and also Church Militant and the Taylor Marshall Show (the podcast with Timothy Gordon) but I that some these also claims dissociated with Cardinal McCarrick should be taken with a grain of salt.

I will say it is depressing hearing these stories over and over…


Unfortunately, there are such things as false memories and people who for one reason or another are fabulists. It seems likely that this person was abused by McCarrick and as a result has suffered a great deal of mental stress. At this point he may simply not have a great grasp of reality due to said mental stress.


I agree. I’m no expert or anything but just using gut/common sense tells me something is very “off” about this. Church Militant ran an article about a GoFundMe for this guy and I remember thinking this whole thing seemed strange, in a weird “Nigerian telemarketing scam” kind of way.


Okay so I’ve been reading through the comments on James’s second interview with Taylor Marshall and he contradicts himself about St. John Paul II: first he says St. John Paul II was a Mason, then he claims St. John Paul II wrote something on a photograph and gave it James and sent some letter to James’s father (?) Supposedly (and I might have read this wrong) St. John Paul II claimed James would be a prophet?? And then says he prays for St. John Paul II and that he is not a Saint (he supposedly said this to someone on Youtube) and then says St. John Paul II is Holy but just a man???

I think this guy was severely damaged by the abuse he suffered from McCarrick and is contradicting himself. He needs serious psychological help. Hopefully, whatever money he gets from his lawsuit (though I don’t like he is using Mitchell Garabidien) can be put toward therapy.


This fundraising is kinda odd. What exactly are they raising money for? This seems reminiscent of the fundraiser that Corey Feldman held so he could “expose Hollywood” (which he still hasn’t done, not even sure he is still asking for money).

Like Feldman, James is insinuating that he will be killed if he reveals all or there are questions concerning threats to James life. Something is off here…

So in the comments in the article I’ve linked below James claims he will send victims of sex abuse who speak out to people’s homes so they can be protected??

Doesn’t the Vatican keep a written record of those in a private audience with the Pope?

Yeah, I was one of them he was going to send them to. I had a long reply how I assumed he would also be sending some money he collected along with them, among other things, but I deleted it. Just didn’t want to get into it with him. He doesn’t seem right.

That’s really strange. I can’t imagine what purpose sending sexually abused seminarians to random people is going to do. I truly think James is mentally ill and making bizarre claims, though I do believe he was abused by McCarrick.

I don’t think it was a wise choice for Taylor Marshall and Tim Gordon, as well as Michael Voris to host him on their platforms. It also doesn’t help that his attorney is Mitchell Garabedian who has before claimed the Church has been sexually abusing kids for centuries!

I understand our desire to clean up the Church one and for all but we need to be vigilant and have a proper vetting process for who we give the platform too.

I did ask Church Militant in the comments section that since they published James accusation against St. John Paul II whether they will pull the article where they were outraged that St. John Paul II was being blamed. I’ve since unsubscribed from Church Militant and also won’t be giving much attention to Taylor Marshall/Tim Gordon due to Tim Gordon’s, frankly, chauvinistic comments he made on Matt Fradd’s podcast.

I shall stick with Patrick Coffin!


Yes this is bizarre, and I’m confused. Is the Church Militant going after Pope JPII because he didn’t act on something told to him in confession? He can’t act on what is told to him in confession, right?! This makes no sense!

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Whenever anybody is exploiting their victim status to raise money for some nebulous purpose - in other words, the donations aren’t going straight to the local victim advocacy center or similar - I find it very suspect. Of course, if you’re trying to raise money, it’s helpful to make some headline-grabbing accusations, especially if you’re accusing people who are deceased like St. JPII and Servant of God Cardinal Cooke, since they can’t sue you.


The dead cannot defend themselves. This is one reason why statute of limitation laws exist.


Unfortunately there are some people in the Church who are willing to assume or believe the worst about any Priest, Cardinal, Bishop, etc.

We seem to have forgotten that allegations are supposed to proven in a court of law. As well, I suspect the people who so quickly believe these allegations against St. John Paul II are those who hate him anyway. Same probably goes for Terrance Cardinal Cooke.

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This is the the thing that bothers me about the Child Victim Act in NYS. For 1 year, the statutes of limitation have been lifted, amd anyone can file a claim.
Men and women, long dead, are having their names and reputations destroyed with zero evidence but someone’s recollections. How is this justice?
I, in no way, condone the evil of abuse, but there has to be a better way.


Since the OP did not bother to post any links, I googled and read about it.

Seems like a 1-year window is the best way to get all this stuff out in the open and overwith. Once the window closes there will not be an ongoing issue with old complaints coming up, nor will there be a push to indefinitely extend the statute of limitations. I would rather have a 1-year window than a law saying that now and into the future everybody can sue for child sexual abuse up until they are 60, or at any time during their life. I saw the law also raised the age by a few years for bringing felony prosecutions in normal time to allow victims a bit more time to report. Overall it seems like a fair solution to a difficult problem.

Also, while the Catholic dioceses are getting a lot of suits initially, there are numerous other organizations getting sued as well, including the JWs, the Boy Scouts, various public schools and youth facilities, a college, and even people suing their own family members. This law is going to demonstrate pretty strongly that the Catholic Church is not the only organization out there that had problems.


One would hope. However, in my diocese, the press seem to gloss over all the other cases and give the Church issues much more time and attention. More than half of the suits filed here are old news. Men you have been long dead who’s conduct was already known and some still living who have been dismissed from their clerical states and punished criminally.
What good does it do to keep re-hashing the same things? At some point, moving forward is the path to healing. I don’t see much healing coming out of any of this.

Well, that’s the point. These people will file their suits and there will be an end to it. The only reason these stories have hung around so long is the lack of redress for the victims.

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