FORMER AMERICAN CARDINAL THEODORE EDGAR McCARRICK – Holy See dismisses former prelate from clerical state for abuse

(Vatican News) The Holy Press Office has published a statement from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, concerning the case of Theodore Edgar McCarrick.

The Congresso of the CDF, which investigated the accusations, has issued a decree finding McCarrick “guilty of the following delicts while a cleric: solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power”.

The Congresso has imposed the penalty of “dismissal from the clerical state.”

The statement of the CDF notes that McCarrick’s appeal against this decision was considered on 13 February 2019 by the Ordinary Session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. “Having examined the arguments in the recourse,” the statement says, “the Ordinary Session confirmed the decree of the Congresso.” McCarrick was notified of the decision on 15 February 2019.

This decision, following the recognition by the Holy Father, is definitive and admits of no further recourse or appeal.

History of allegations

In September 2017, the Archdiocese of New York reported to the Holy See accusations against then-Cardinal McCarrick, for allegedly abusing a male teenager in the 1970s.

Pope Francis ordered an in-depth investigation into the allegations, to be carried out by the Archdiocese of New York. At the conclusion of this inquiry, all relevant documentation was transmitted to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is charged with investigating cases of sexual abuse by the clergy.

The results of the New York Archdiocesan Review Board investigation, were announced by Cardinal Timothy Dolan in June 2018. The Board found that the allegations against McCarrick were “credible and substantiated.” In his statement, Cardinal Dolan announced that, at the direction of Pope Francis, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, had instructed McCarrick that he was “no longer to exercise publicly his priestly ministry.”

The statement also noted that McCarrick had cooperated with the investigation, and accepted the decision of the Holy See, while maintaining his innocence.

On the same day, the Diocese of Metuchen, and the Archdiocese of Newark, both in New Jersey, revealed that they were aware of past allegations of sexual misconduct by McCarrick, including two that had resulted in legal settlements.

Resignation from Cardinalate

In the weeks following the announcement of the initial allegations against McCarrick, news sources published further accusations of misconduct against adult seminarians, as well as additional accusations of abuse of minors.

On 28 July 2018, the Holy See announced that Pope Francis had accepted McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals, and “ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, together with the obligation to remain in a house yet to be indicated to him, for a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.”

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