Pope accepts resignation of prominent cardinal

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who led the Archdiocese of Washington, after decades-old allegations of sexual abuse of a teenage altar boy forced the Vatican to remove him from ministry.

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 3:27 AM
Updated: Jul 30, 2018 3:49 AM

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who once led the Archdiocese of Washington and was a force in American politics, after a decades-old allegation of sexual abuse of a teenage altar boy forced the Vatican to remove him from public ministry.

The Vatican said Saturday that Pope Francis accepted McCarrick's resignation from the College of Cardinals on Friday evening and ordered him to "a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial."

The Pope also ordered McCarrick's suspension from public ministry and instructed him to "remain in a house yet to be indicated to him" until the trial.

McCarrick could not be immediately reached Saturday. The Archdiocese of Washington's spokeswoman declined to comment.

McCarrick, 88, was informed several months ago that the Archdiocese of New York, where he was ordained in 1958, was investigating an allegation of abuse from a teenager "from almost fifty years ago," McCarrick said in June, when the Pope ordered him to cease his priestly ministry in public.

The Archdiocese of New York said earlier it would not release specific details about the allegation to protect the victim's privacy. It said a review board had found the allegations to be "credible and substantiated." The accusation was also turned over to law enforcement in New York, according to the archdiocese.

In the weeks since the allegations were made public, others have come forward to say McCarrick had sexually abused them, according to published reports.

The cardinal said in June that he was "shocked" by the initial allegation.

"While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through, as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people," he said in a statement in June.

McCarrick was also accused three times of sexual misconduct with adults "decades ago" while he served as a bishop in Metuchen and Newark, New Jersey, the current bishops of those cities said in June. Two of those allegations resulted in settlements, the bishops said.

McCarrick did not comment on those allegations at the time they were made public.

Patrick Noaker, the attorney for the former altar boy who made the accusation against McCarrick, said in June that his client was molested twice by McCarrick, once in 1971 and once the following year.

Both alleged incidents, Noaker said, occurred at St. Patrick's Cathedral as his client was being fitted for a cassock for Christmas Mass. At the time, McCarrick was secretary to Cardinal Terence Cooke, New York's top churchman.

"McCarrick started measuring him, then he unzipped his pants, stuck his hand in and grabbed his genitals," Noaker said. The lawyer said his client, who was about 16 at the time and a student at a Catholic high school in New York, pushed McCarrick away. "One thing he distinctly remembers is that McCarrick told him not to tell anyone about it," Noaker said.

The second alleged incident occurred the following year, again during a fitting for cassocks before the big Christmas Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Noaker said his client was unsure about whether to go but that McCarrick was not in charge of the fittings. But the future cardinal confronted his client in the bathroom, Noaker said, again molesting his client, sticking his hands down his pants.

"He brushed him away and avoided McCarrick like the plague from then on," Noaker said.

As a cardinal, McCarrick was one of the highest-ranking American leaders in the Catholic Church to be removed from ministry because of sex abuse charges.

McCarrick, who led the Archdiocese of Washington from 2001 to 2006, was known as a friendly and effective advocate for the Catholic Church's political priorities, particularly focusing on the plight of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. As the leading Catholic in Washington, he worked with presidents and other powerful figures, earning a reputation as someone who could work with both parties.

All cardinals belong to the College of Cardinals, an elite body of clerics personally appointed by the Pope. Those younger than 80 are charged with electing the pope; McCarrick already was too old in 2013 to vote in the conclave that selected Francis.

Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 44°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 42°
Indianapolis
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 44°
Rockville
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 42°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 38°
Brazil
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 44°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 44°
Breezy & Chilly
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1680908

Reported Deaths: 28023
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook63626111214
DuPage1086211379
Will915681128
Lake802871090
Kane68604874
Winnebago41222561
Madison40178598
St. Clair36326599
McHenry34856331
Champaign27087197
Peoria26991368
Sangamon25818287
McLean23073220
Tazewell20689331
Rock Island18919362
Kankakee17959249
Kendall16268114
Macon15344252
LaSalle15078287
Vermilion14453201
Adams13188152
DeKalb12201134
Williamson12091175
Whiteside8328183
Jackson810494
Boone796583
Coles7918125
Ogle759290
Grundy741386
Franklin7339115
Knox7321169
Clinton7136102
Macoupin6988106
Marion6935144
Henry666177
Effingham6639100
Jefferson6573143
Livingston599498
Stephenson587893
Woodford578492
Randolph5563100
Christian536682
Fulton527977
Monroe5258103
Morgan5088100
Logan495675
Montgomery492882
Lee479760
Bureau444291
Saline436169
Perry433975
Fayette432464
Iroquois422577
McDonough374861
Shelby349848
Jersey336953
Lawrence335533
Crawford333730
Douglas328437
Union307748
Wayne304863
White280833
Richland280157
Hancock274435
Clark266940
Cass266531
Pike265658
Edgar260649
Clay259854
Bond257525
Ford246059
Warren244866
Carroll237138
Moultrie236333
Johnson229732
Wabash217319
Jo Daviess216629
Massac216551
Mason214452
Washington212928
De Witt206530
Greene205640
Mercer205036
Piatt202814
Cumberland190126
Menard172513
Jasper161621
Marshall141721
Hamilton134222
Schuyler108810
Brown106610
Pulaski104612
Edwards104118
Stark81828
Gallatin7939
Alexander73212
Scott7126
Henderson70914
Calhoun6932
Hardin60916
Putnam5674
Pope5566
Unassigned1342433
Out of IL140

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 1007681

Reported Deaths: 16470
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1355212121
Lake664101166
Allen57993801
Hamilton46350465
St. Joseph44397615
Elkhart35949510
Vanderburgh32251480
Tippecanoe27933260
Johnson25107445
Hendricks23897359
Porter22929365
Madison18748409
Clark18557252
Vigo17479303
Monroe15263200
LaPorte15173250
Delaware15073263
Howard14748290
Kosciusko12348148
Hancock11728176
Bartholomew11639180
Warrick11292189
Floyd11108215
Wayne10986253
Grant10082220
Morgan9472176
Boone8926115
Dubois8271131
Henry8229152
Dearborn822393
Noble8031106
Marshall7939135
Cass7546121
Lawrence7457171
Shelby7189119
Jackson698289
Gibson6597115
Harrison649192
Knox6421106
Huntington6395100
DeKalb632399
Montgomery6264111
Miami593398
Putnam581278
Clinton576171
Whitley565755
Steuben562576
Wabash5332104
Jasper532079
Jefferson511297
Ripley500586
Adams482576
Daviess4677114
Scott438974
Greene425196
Wells424888
Clay423360
White418764
Decatur4169102
Fayette406587
Jennings387361
Posey376644
Washington359151
LaGrange359078
Randolph3452100
Spencer340243
Fountain335760
Sullivan329452
Starke317171
Owen314771
Fulton312667
Orange293664
Jay284645
Franklin265643
Perry265452
Rush262432
Carroll261934
Vermillion258654
Parke231426
Pike229243
Tipton228159
Blackford193142
Pulaski183757
Crawford159823
Newton158348
Benton150617
Brown146747
Martin138719
Switzerland135011
Warren121116
Union107016
Ohio84613
Unassigned0540