Pope accepts Cardinal McCarrick resignation amid sex abuse allegations
The Vatican announced Saturday that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington recently accused of sexually abusing a minor nearly 50 years earlier.
“Yesterday evening the Holy Father received the letter in which Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington (U.S.A.), presented his resignation as a member of the College of Cardinals,” the Vatican said in a statement.
“Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the cardinalate and has ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, together with the obligation to remain in a house yet to be indicated to him, for a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial,” the statement said.
Allegations emerged last month that Mr. McCarrick, 88, sexually abused a teenager while he was a priest in the Archdiocese of New York several decades earlier. An investigation conducted by the church found those allegations to be “credible and substantiated,” and Mr. McCarrick said that he had been subsequently removed from public ministry.
“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 previously.
Ordained a priest in 1968, Mr. McCarrick stands accused of sexually abusing a minor during the following decade while serving under Cardinal Terence Cooke in New York City. He later held the role of Archbishop of both Newark, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., before retiring from the latter position in 2006.