United States cardinal expelled from Catholic Church over sexual abuse allegations

Vatican Officially Defrocks Former Cardinal Accused Of Sexual Abuse

Cardinal O’Malley Calls For Accountability As McCarrick Is Defrocked

- Parishioners across the D.C. metropolitan area are reacting to the removal of former Archbishop of Washington Theodore McCarrick.

Some of Francis' critics contend that as a product of the Catholic Church's hierarchical culture, he, too, has been slow to recognize the hierarchy's role in perpetuating abuse by pedophile priests.

A Vatican statement said McCarrick was found guilty of the crimes of sexual abuse with minors and adults and the separate crime of solicitation, both with "the aggravating factor of the abuse of power".

A former Catholic Archbishop who was defrocked by Pope Francis on Saturday will continue to live in Kansas.

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.

Speaking on RTÉ's This Week programme ahead of a Vatican summit on child sexual abuse this week, Ms Collins added that the Vatican's promise of "zero tolerance" toward the abuse of minors should be put into canon law.

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In July of previous year, Francis accepted McCarrick's resignation from the College of Cardinals following allegations he had sexually abused minor and adult seminarians over a period of decades.

Defrocking means McCarrick, 88, who now lives in a friary in Kansas after he lost his title of cardinal previous year, won't be allowed to celebrate Mass or other sacraments.

The pope wanted the case completed before heads of national Catholic churches meet at the Vatican from February 21-24 to discuss the crisis, three sources said. His appointments included: auxiliary bishop of NY, bishop of Metuchen, archbishop of Newark, and archbishop of Washington.

Pope Francis reiterated that he wanted the meeting "as an act of strong pastoral responsibility in the face of an urgent challenge of our time".

In his years as the archbishop of Washington, then-Cardinal McCarrick opened the Redemptoris Mater Seminary for diocesan missionary priests and advocated for expanding educational opportunities for children from low-income families.

Senior US church officials said they had received three allegations of McCarrick's sexual misconduct with adults decades ago, two of which resulted in settlements.

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"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 USA -based abuse tracking group bishopaccountability.org.

McCarrick had already received one of the most severe punishments short of defrocking.

Zach Hiner, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said in an email to the AP that church officials have repeatedly shown "they are incapable of accurately determining the credibility of accusations, being transparent with the public, and understanding the pain that survivors go through".

The Archdiocese of Washington released a statement regarding McCarrick's removal.

Theodore McCarrick, 88, is the first cardinal ever to be defrocked for sex abuse, making him the highest-ranking Catholic churchman to be laicized, as the process is called.

Grein, the son of a friend of McCarrick, says that while he can't regain his childhood, "today I am happy that the pope believed me".

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

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