Cardinal steps down amidst mushrooming sex abuse scandal

The Vatican said the cardinal was now to remain in seclusion “for a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.”

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has resigned from the College of Cardinals after allegations of sexual impropriety surfaced from 47 years before
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has resigned from the College of Cardinals after allegations of sexual impropriety surfaced from 47 years before

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington and prominent diplomat, has resigned as a result of a mushrooming sexual abuse scandal dating back decades, the Vatican announced on Saturday.

In a statement, the Vatican said: “Yesterday evening the Holy Father received the letter in which Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop emeritus of Washington (U.S.A.), presented his resignation as a member of the College of Cardinals.

“Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the cardinalate and has ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry.”

The Vatican said the cardinal was now to remain in seclusion “for a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.”

The cardinal had been removed from public ministry on June 20, after an investigation deemed accusations that he had sexually abused a teenager 47 years ago while serving as a priest in New York to be credible.

Cardinal McCarrick, now 88, said in a statement at the time that he was innocent, but it later emerged that members of the church hierarchy had known about allegations that he had preyed on several men who wanted to join the priesthood for decades.

 

 

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