Pope accepts sex abuser Cardinal McCarrick’s resignation

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, has resigned from the College of Cardinals after revelations that he sexually harassed or abused several young men.

Until his resignation, McCarrick was one of the US church’s most senior prelates.

Pope Francis has accepted his resignation.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, announced that “at the direction of our Holy Father, Pope Francis … McCarrick [has been instructed] …to refrain from any public ministry or activity until a definite decision is made.”

According to the Holy See Press Office, Francis has directed McCarrick to observe “a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.”

He also imposed on McCarrick “the obligation to remain in a house yet to be indicated to him.”

A Catholic University canon law expert, Kurt Martens, noted that this is the first time an order of penance and prayer had been issued before a church trial has taken place.

Francis has recently announced his resolve to rid the “culture of cover-up” of similar abuse in the Church’s hierarchy.

Although the scandal surrounding McCarrick became headline news in June after an allegation he abused a teenager 47 years ago in the Archdiocese of New York was found credible, McCarrick says he is innocent.

Since then, at least one other person has come forward claiming McCarrick sexually abused him as a child. In addition, several former seminarians say McCarrick would invite groups of them to a beach house and insist individual members of the group share a bed with him.

McCarrick’s protestations of innocence contradict apparently confidential settlements made in 2005 and 2007 for two men who claim they were sexually assaulted by him while they were seminarians and young priests.

According to a letter sent last week to priests of the Archdiocese of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl was unaware of the settlements.

“Neither the Archdiocese of Washington nor Cardinal Wuerl knew about these confidential settlements until this most recent credible and substantiated allegation against Cardinal McCarrick was made public,” the letter from archdiocesan vicar general Monsignor Charles Antonicelli says.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , ,