Pope defrocks former US priest Theodore McCarrick over child abuse scandal

     
Feb 22, 2019

VATICAN: A former cardinal and former archbishop emeritus of Washington, Theodore McCarrick has been dismissed after he was tried and found guilty of several crimes, including soliciting sex during confession and “sins” with minors and with adults, “with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power,” the Vatican said in a statement. This ia a first for the Roman Catholic church.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Vatican said that it would ban American Theodore McCarrick from practicing as a priest after he was found guilty by a Vatican court of sexually abusing a teenager 50 years ago.

McCarrick, 88, who resigned from the Vatican's College of Cardinals in July, is the first cardinal ever to be defrocked for sex abuse. He was found guilty in January by a Vatican court for sexually abusing a teenager, a decision confirmed by the pope in February, with "no further recourse", according to the statement.

It said McCarrick was guilty of "sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power".

This is ahead of a Vatican conference from February 21-24 bringing together bishops from around the world to discuss protecting children within the Church.

Sex abuse scandals around the globe have shaken the church, with Pope Francis promising a policy of "zero tolerance" even for high-ranking church members.

McCarrick was barred from practising as a priest in July last year, after which he resigned his honorary title of cardinal. He currently lives in Kansas.

McCarrick was known for having sex with adult seminarians before he was accused of sexually abusing at least one teenager. Prosecutors in the US state of Pennsylvania last year found 300 priests were involved in child sexual abuse since the 1940s, crimes that were covered up by a string of bishops.

Several bishops in Chile resigned last year after investigations revealed decades of sexual abuse by clergy in their dioceses.

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.

The only previous case of a cardinal resigning came in 1927, when Pope Pius XI accepted the resignation of French cardinal Lois Billot, who had himself renounced his status for political reasons.

Cardinals act as close papal advisors and can attend conclaves to elect new pontiffs if they are aged below 80.

McCarrick was ordained a priest in 1958 and rose through the ranks in the Archdiocese of New York before being installed as archbishop of Washington in 2001, a post he held until 2006.

Defrocking is the most severe ecclesiastical punishment for a priest, who is reduced to the status of a lay person and no longer allowed to lead mass.

Custom Search



Home    Contact Us
NOTE:
 Free contributions of articles and reports may be sent to indianewstimes@yahoo.com
DISCLAIMER
All Rights Reserved © indiatraveltimes.com