Archbishop of Washington Removed from Public Ministry, Resigns from College of Cardinals

The Holy See removed Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington, from all public ministry in mid-June after the Archdiocese of New York deemed “credible and substantiated” accusations that the cardinal molested a teenage altar boy some 50 years ago when he was a priest in New York. McCarrick has also faced three allegations of adult sexual abuse. Cardinal Joseph Tobin, archbishop of Newark, NJ, and James Checchio, bishop of the diocese of Metuchen, NJ, have stated that two of these allegations led to settlements. When the Boston Globe illuminated the clergy-abuse scandal in 2002, Cardinal McCarrick led the Catholic hierarchy’s response in the United States, drafting standards and supporting a zero-tolerance policy towards abusive priests. The only US cardinal to be accused of sexual abuse since that revelation, Cardinal McCarrick released a statement that he had “no recollection” of the abuse presented to the Archdiocese of New York. Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the College of Cardinals in late July. In mid-August, a grand jury in Pennsylvania released a report documenting more than 1,000 credible victims of efforts by bishops and other members of the Catholic hierarchy in the state to cover up instances of child sexual abuse committed over the past 70 years by more than 300 priests.

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