Pope defrocks disgraced cardinal who now lives in Kansas

February 18, 2019 - 9:36 am
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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been found guilty by the Vatican of sex abuse and defrocked, as calls rose Saturday for Pope Francis to reveal what he knew about the once-powerful American prelate’s apparently decades-long predatory sexual behavior.

The announcement Saturday, delivered in uncharacteristically blunt language for the Vatican, meant that the 88-year-old McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., becomes the highest-ranking churchman and the first cardinal to be punished by dismissal from the clerical state, or laicization.

I invite you to pray during these days for the Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church, an event that I want to be a powerful gesture of pastoral responsibility in the face of an urgent challenge of our time.

— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) February 18, 2019
He was notified Friday of the decision, which was upheld upon his appeal and approved by Pope Francis.'

McCarrick now lives in a friary in Victoria, a small town along Interstate 70 in western Kansas.

The pontiff next week leads a summit of bishops from around the world who have been summoned to Rome help him grapple with the entrenched problems of clerical sex abuse and the systematic cover-ups by the Catholic church’s hierarchy.

Decades of revelations about priests who have sexually preyed on minors and their bosses who shuffled abusive clergy from parish to parish instead of removing them from access to children have shaken the faith of many Catholics. They also threaten the moral authority of Francis and even the survival of his papacy.

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