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Catholic World News

Cardinal McCarrick acknowledges abuse complaint, ceases public ministry

June 20, 2018

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired Archbishop of Washington, DC, has announced that he has been accused of sexual abuse and has accepted the decision of the Holy See “that I no longer exercise any public ministry.”

Cardinal McCarrick, who is now 87 years old, revealed that the charge against him involved “an allegation of sexual abuse of a teenager from almost fifty years ago.” At the time, he was serving as a priest of the New York archdiocese.

New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that an investigation into the complaint, conducted by the archdiocesan review board at the request of the Vatican, “found the allegations credible and substantiated.”

Cardinal McCarrick, who made the first public statement about the finding, said:

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

Rumors about Cardinal McCarrick’s behavior had circulated for nearly twenty years. In 2003, at the height of the sex-abuse scandal in the US, several secular media outlets reported that activists had threatened to identify an American cardinal with a history of homosexual activity. That threat was never carried out, but it was widely understood that the reference was to Cardinal McCarrick.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin on Newark, New Jersey—where Cardinal McCarrick had been archbishop from 1986 to 2000—also issued a public statement about the complaint against the older cardinal. While he said that the Newark archdiocese had never received a complaint about Cardinal McCarrick involving a minor, he disclosed:

In the past, there have been allegations that he engaged in sexual behavior with adults. The [Newark] Archdiocese and the Diocese of Metuchen received three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults years ago; two of these allegations resulted in settlements.


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  • Posted by: unum - Jun. 21, 2018 7:31 AM ET USA

    U.S. Catholic Church once again proves that no one is doing God's work because politics and scandal are more interesting. The faithful (few) are still waiting to be fed. I can't recall that Our Lord ever spoke to reporters in order to get His name in the paper! ... "and Jesus wept!"

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jun. 20, 2018 7:03 PM ET USA

    This was about that time that those of us who were seminarians and religious were being encouraged by psychologists and some priests to "explore our sexuality." God help us and protect us from such.