Pope defrocks top US cardinal Theodore McCarrick after he was found guilty of sexually abusing minors and ‘soliciting sex during confession’

Saturday, February 16, 2019
By Paul Martin

Pope Francis has defrocked a former US Cardinal after church found him guilty of sexually abusing minors
Theodore McCarrick, a once-powerful figure who once led the Archdiocese of Washington, was accused of sexually abusing three minors
The Vatican said McCarrick was found guilty of ‘solicitation in the sacrament of confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and adults’
McCarrick had denied the allegations, saying he had ‘absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse’
One of his victims, James Grein, said he was ‘happy that the Pope believed me’
He said pressure needed to be put on attorney generals and senators to change the statute of limitations so that historical allegations could be investigated
The punishment for the prelate was announced five days before Francis leads gathering of bishops help the church grapple with the sexual abuse crisis
McCarrick, who liked to be called ‘Uncle Ted’ by his victims, has become the highest-ranking churchman to be laicized, or dismissed from the clerical state

By LEAH MCDONALD
DAILYMAIL.COM
16 February 2019

Pope Francis has defrocked a former US Cardinal after the church found him guilty of sexually abusing minors.

Theodore McCarrick, 88, who once led the Archdiocese of Washington and was a powerful figure within the Catholic Church in the U.S., was accused of sexually abusing three minors and harassing adult seminarians and priests.

He was also found guilty by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of soliciting sex while hearing confession, the Holy See said in a statement on Saturday.

An investigation last year detailed settlements paid to men who had complained of abuse when McCarrick was a Bishop in New Jersey in the 1980s.

It also revealed that some church leaders had long known of the allegations against him, The New York Times reported.

Defrocking means McCarrick, 88, who now lives in a friary in Kansas after he lost his title of Cardinal last year, can no longer celebrate Mass or other sacraments, wear clerical vestments or be addressed by any religious title.

The judgement was recognized by the Pope to be of a ‘definitive nature,’ and cannot be appealed, a Vatican statement said.

The Pontiff accepted McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals in July and he was suspended from all priestly duties.

He was first removed from ministry in June, after a church panel proved a claim that he had abused an altar boy almost 50 years ago.

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