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Vatican Defrocks Former US Prelate Theodore McCarrick

Vatican Defrocks Former US Prelate Theodore McCarrick

The Vatican says Pope Francis has defrocked former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after Vatican officials found him guilty of soliciting for sex while hearing Confession.

The retired archbishop in a statement then said he was "shocked by the report", and maintained his innocence, and added that he fully cooperated in the process, which included reporting the matter to police, having it investigated by an independent agency, and given to the Review Board of the Archdiocese of NY.

Scicluna, an archbishop in Malta, holds a top post in the Vatican department that judged McCarrick.

That is the harshest form of punishment that the Vatican can take against non-resident priests.

The CNS report said that according to the Vatican, a panel of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith found McCarrick guilty January 11, and his appeal of the decision was rejected February 13 by the congregation.

An advocate for church accountability over sex abuse is demanding Pope Francis say what he knew about Theodore McCarrick, the disgraced former US cardinal.

A letter from a top Vatican official obtained by CNN past year appeared to acknowledge that the Holy See knew about the allegations for at least several months before McCarrick was elevated to cardinal in 2001.

Francis called the summit in September after he himself discredited Cruz and other Chilean victims of a notorious predator priest.

November 12 - U.S. bishops gather for annual fall meeting in Baltimore; the Vatican instructs them to delay until after the February meeting a vote on two proposals meant to be the foundation of the U.S. Church's response to the abuse crisis.

But it criticises the timing of the move, days before what it calls "the Pope's much ballyhooed global abuse summit" and accuses the Vatican of not practicing transparency.

McCarrick, a former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, had been accused of sexual abuse involving seminarians and at least one child.

McCarrick was one of the most powerful figures in the Roman Catholic Church in the US, serving as Archbishop for Washington D.C. between 2001 and 2006.

An advocate for church accountability in the sex abuse crisis demanded Saturday that Francis "tell the truth about what he knew and when he knew it" about McCarrick. The accusations were seized on by Francis's conservative enemies, plunging the pope into the worst crisis of his papacy.

Complaints were also made about McCarrick's conduct in the New Jersey dioceses of Newark and Metuchen, where he previously served.

Pope Francis became personally embroiled in the McCarrick case after a retired Vatican diplomat accused the pontiff of being aware of rumours about McCarrick's behaviour but failing to take action.

"The fact. that there is still awareness-raising that has to be done [among bishops] is a measure of what a low priority this has truly been for the Vatican", said Anne Barrett-Doyle of the US -based abuse tracking group bishopaccountability.org. McCarrick, the sixth to be disciplined, was by far the most notorious and is the only one to be laicized, or defrocked.

He subsequently led the Archdiocese of Washington until 2006, frequently meeting political leaders and becoming a force in American politics.

Mr Grein said the abuse began when he was 11 and continued for decades.

Francis hasn't responded to those claims but he ordered a limited Vatican investigation.


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