New turn in abuse scandal

New turn in abuse scandal

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington © Paul Haring (CBA)

Former Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, burdened by abuse allegations, has offered Pope Francis his renunciation of the cardinalate dignity. The Vatican announced Saturday that the pope accepted the 88-year-old's request.

According to media reports, McCarrick, who led the Archdiocese of Washington from 2001 to 2006, allegedly coerced young priest candidates into sex, as well as abusing at least two minors. The allegations that have come to light so far relate to the period between 1970 and 1990, and thus to the period before McCarrick was appointed archbishop of Washington.

"Prayer and Penance"

As the Vatican press office further announced, McCarrick's letter was received on Friday. He said Francis had suspended him from performing all priestly services in public and at the same time ordered the former archbishop to retire to a place yet to be determined to "live a life of prayer and penance" until the allegations against him are resolved in a canonical trial.

A similar case last occurred in 2015. At the time, former Archbishop of Edinburgh Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien lost his rights and privileges as a cardinal. O'Brien had admitted to sexually molesting priesthood candidates in 2013 and resigned as archbishop of the Scottish diocese shortly thereafter. A short time later, in agreement with the pope, O'Brien withdrew abroad for several months for "spiritual renewal, prayer and penance". Regarding the renunciation of the cardinalate submitted in 2015, the Vatican literally said that O'Brien had submitted it "at the end of a long road of prayer".

No longer entitled to participate in papal election

Renunciation of the cardinal dignity extinguishes the right of the person concerned to participate in a papal election and to give special advice to the pope. He can no longer participate in consistories and is no longer summoned to Rome by the pope together with the cardinals.

Such a move is extremely rare in recent church history. In 1927, French Cardinal and Jesuit Louis Billot (1846-1931) resigned after a dispute with Pope Pius XI. (1922-1939) back. The reason was Billot's support for the extreme right-wing and monarchist movement Action Francaise, which the pope condemned. Pius XI. accepted Billot's departure from the College of Cardinals a week later, but did not make it public until two months later. Billot, a renowned theology professor who was never ordained a bishop, spent the last years of his life as a simple priest in a Jesuit house near Rome.

With McCarrick's resignation, there are currently 224 cardinals in the Catholic Church. Of those, 124 are under 80 years old and thus eligible to vote for pope.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Christina Cherry
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: