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Vatican defrocks former U.S. cardinal McCarrick over sex abuse

Vatican defrocks former U.S. cardinal McCarrick over sex abuse”

Scicluna said the McCarrick decision "will raise a number of questions" about the screening process for candidates for the priesthood and to become bishops. McCarrick resigned as a Cardinal in July.

"If this gets out, it will cause a scandal", the Journal quoted O'Malley as telling Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's secretary of state, and other Vatican officials, citing an unnamed person present during the meeting.

The alleged abuses may have taken place too long ago for criminal charges to be filed because of the statute of limitations.

McCarrick was the first churchman who reached the rank of cardinal to be defrocked in the scandals.

July 28 - Pope Francis accepts the resignation of McCarrick from the College of Cardinals and suspends him from the exercise of any public ministry.

McCarrick appealed the decision, which was made secretly in the first instance on January 11, but it was upheld earlier this week and the pope has ruled that no further appeal would be allowed.

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From 1986 through 2006, during his years as archbishop in Newark and Washington, McCarrick was one of the most influential church leaders in the U.S. McCarrick, who speaks five languages, twice headed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration and traveled frequently overseas on trips devoted to human rights and foreign policy.

The Vatican announced on February 16 that Pope Francis, at the conclusion of a process conducted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, imposed on Theodore McCarrick the penalty of his dismissal from the clerical state, thus prohibiting him from functioning in any type of priestly ministry.

An investigation conducted a year ago revealed that some members in the church hierarchy had known for decades about the accusations against McCarrick and that tens of thousands of dollars in settlements had been paid to men who had made abuse allegations against him.

September 12 - Pope Francis calls for all the presidents of the Catholic bishops' conferences of the world to meet at the Vatican Feb. 21-24 to address the protection of minors.

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

McCarrick had been removed from public ministry and resigned his cardinal's position last summer after the Archdiocese of NY judged as credible an allegation that he abused an altar boy in the 1970s.

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He said an independent forensic agency had investigated the allegations.

An investigation by the Archdiocese of NY found the allegations against McCarrick to be "credible and substantiated" and handed the matter over to law enforcement past year.

In an 11-page testimony, archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 77, a former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., said there was a "conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia".

Several men then said McCarrick forced them into sex at a beach house in New Jersey while they were studying for the priesthood.

Along with claims he abused minors, the former priest and cardinal has also been the subject to allegations of sexual misconduct against seminarians including asking them to share his bed.

The trial was conducted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican body responsible for assessing cases of priests accused of abuse.

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