Vatican defrocks former United States cardinal Theodore McCarrick over sex abuse

Vatican Officially Defrocks Former Cardinal Accused Of Sexual Abuse

Cardinal O’Malley Calls For Accountability As McCarrick Is Defrocked

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops reacted swiftly, saying the decision "is a clear signal that abuse will not be tolerated".

An earlier Vatican hearing had found him guilty of soliciting for sex while hearing confession "with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power" and ordered his "dismissal from the clerical state". He directs McCarrick to observe a life of prayer and penance, pending the canonical process against him.

'Today I am happy that the pope believed me, ' he said in a statement issued through his lawyer.

Pope Francis will be present for the entire duration of the Meeting, and has entrusted Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ, with the task of moderating the Plenary sessions.

He was also found guilty of "solicitation" during confession.

Theodore McCarrick is the most senior Catholic figure to be dismissed from the priesthood in modern times.

Tobin, who was named a cardinal by Francis, expressed gratitude to the pontiff "for his leadership throughout this hard investigation and decision".

In context, the McCarrick verdict is considered an important statement that the Church's "zero tolerance" policy of permanently removing clergy from ministry who are guilty of sexual abuse of a minor applies across the broad, regardless of rank. Two of those resulted in settlement.

McCarrick denied the claims, but the archdiocese of NY found the allegation "credible and substantiated" and turned the case over to the Vatican for investigation.

The 88-year-old McCarrick was accused of sexually abusing a teen more than 50 years ago.

Scicluna, an archbishop in Malta, holds a top post in the Vatican department that judged McCarrick.

Defrocking means that McCarrick, 88, who now lives in a friary in Kansas after he lost his title of cardinal previous year, will not be allowed to celebrate Mass or other sacraments. He also played a role in the Vatican-endorsed back-channel negotiations that led to the 2014 U.S. -Cuba detente. During his years as a priest of New York, he served from 1958-65 as assistant chaplain, dean and director of development at The Catholic University of America, from 1965-69 as president of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico, from 1969-71 as that archdiocese's associate secretary for education and as a parochial vicar of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Manhattan, as secretary to New York Cardinal Terence Cooke from 1971-77, and as a New York auxiliary bishop from 1977-81.

She said the Pope had promised that that any cleric who abuses should be removed, but this has not happened in all cases.

Francis called the summit in September after he himself discredited Cruz and other Chilean victims of a notorious predator priest.

August 16 - The U.S. bishops' conference calls for a Vatican-led investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse and cover-up surrounding McCarrick.

Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability.org says while his defrocking is significant, "most abusive bishops have escaped" defrocking.

August 17 - Numerous priests from Newark, New Jersey, claim McCarrick had a widely-known reputation for sexual advances toward seminarians.

The summit comes days after Pope Francis admitted that some bishops have been abusing nuns.

In 2001, McCarrick became a cardinal.

Of the defrocking, Doyle said: "Let McCarrick be the first of many".

The Archdiocese of Washington released a statement regarding McCarrick's removal.

Zach Hiner, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said in an email to the AP that church officials have repeatedly shown "they are incapable of accurately determining the credibility of accusations, being transparent with the public, and understanding the pain that survivors go through".

He adds he hopes that McCarrick will no longer be able to use the power of "Jesus' church to manipulate families and sexually abuse children".

An extraordinary fundraiser who raised millions for the Church and a constant traveller whose diplomatic skills were utilised by both the Holy See and the U.S. state department.

Francis hasn't responded to those claims but he ordered a limited Vatican investigation.

In March 2015, Pope Francis allowed Keith O'Brien to keep the title of cardinal after the former bishop of Edinburgh and former leader of the Catholic church in Scotland resigned over allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour towards priests in the 1980s.

Defrocking means McCarrick, 88, who now lives in a friary in Kansas after he lost his title of cardinal past year, won't be allowed to celebrate Mass or other sacraments.

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