Pope Defrocks Theodore McCarrick, Ex-Cardinal Accused of Sexual Abuse – The New York Times

The Vatican’s news media outlet, the Vatican News, splashed the news of Mr. McCarrick’s dismissal from the clerical state across its website and detailed the history of allegations against him, noting that after the Archdiocese of New York had reported accusations to the Holy See in September 2017, “Pope Francis ordered an in-depth investigation.”

It added that ahead of the coming meeting, it was worth recalling the pope’s recent call for a unified response to “this evil that has darkened so many lives.” Mr. Gisotti also reiterated an October statement from the Vatican that “both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated and a different treatment for bishops who have committed or covered up abuse, in fact represents a form of clericalism that is no longer acceptable.”

Mr. McCarrick’s behavior has figured prominently in extraordinary attacks against Pope Francis, which have accused the pontiff of turning a blind eye to abuse in his midst.

In August, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal ambassador in Washington, wrote a scathing letter arguing that rampant homosexuality in the priesthood had caused the child abuse crisis and that the Vatican hierarchy had covered up accusations that Mr. McCarrick had sexually abused seminarians. The letter claimed that Francis had empowered the American prelate despite knowing about the abuses years before they became public.

Those allegations, which the Vatican disputes, remain unproven, and the timing of Mr. McCarrick’s ascent through the hierarchy coincided with the pontificates of Francis’ predecessors, Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II.

Six weeks later, the Vatican’s prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, called the accusations by “dear Viganò” “false,” “far-fetched,” “blasphemous” and politically motivated to hurt Francis.

In his own letter, he told Archbishop Viganò, “I find it absolutely abhorrent that you have exploited the clamorous scandal of sexual abuse in the United States to inflict an outrageous and undeserved blow against the moral authority of your superior.”

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