For the first time a cardinal loses his clerical status

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In a historic Vatican decision, now-former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was convicted of sexual abuse

For the first time a cardinal loses his clerical status

Theodore McCarrick will go down in history as the first cardinal to lose his clerical status for accusations of sexual misconduct. It is the maximum punishment that a member belonging to the Church can obtain.

Leer en español: Por primera vez un cardenal pierde su condición clerical

As reported by El Comercio, "the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith put an end to the career of McCarrick, who managed to transcend his pastoral work to become a recognized figure in the Catholic Church." According to the Vatican, McCarrick,  88-year-old, was dismissed after being tried and convicted of several crimes, including asking for sex during confession with minors and adults, "with the aggravating factor of abuse of power," according to The New York Times.

The decision was made after the Holy See, in 2017, requested an investigation to the archbishopric of New York, after hearing the testimony of a man "who accused the prelate of having sexually abused him in the 70s", as indicated The Colombian. Since mid-2018, Pope Francis ordered for him to be removed from his post.

A life dedicated to the Church

According to El Comercio, McCarrick, as a child, served as an altar boy in the Catholic Church. In 1958, he was appointed priest and in 1977 he was appointed by Pope Paul VI as auxiliary bishop of the city of New York.

When he was appointed bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey, he met the man he now accuses of sexual abuse. Robert Ciolek, in an interview with the American newspaper The New York Times, told how he was chosen by McCarrick to share a room "where there was only one bed". However, Ciolek was not the only one, James Grein and who also told the same fear what happened, said that "I was 11 years old when Mr. McCarrick began an abusive sexual relationship (...) for years I suffered, like many others , at the hands of Theodore McCarrick. With deep sadness I had to participate in the canonical judgment of my abuser. Nothing can give me back my childhood. "

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Definitive decision

The appeal filed by McCarrick was denied by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and also notified that McCarrick would lose all financial benefits granted by the Church, as well as housing. McCarrick was an important member of the American Catholic Church because "he was one of the most important international cardinals in the United States. For a long time, it was very influential to raise funds for the Holy See," according to El Colombiano.

The decision comes amid criticism of Pope Francis in the face of accusations of sexual abuse, a subject in which he has moved "too slowly," according to The New York Times. Added to the above, it is the scandal revealed in early February by Lucetta Scaraffia, who through the magazine Women, Church and World, revealed the sexual abuse perpetrated by priests towards the nuns.


LatinAmerican Post | Laura Guevara
Translated from "
Por primera vez un cardenal pierde su condición clerical"

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