US cardinal removed after credible allegations he abused a minor

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., "is no longer to exercise publicly his priestly ministry"

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, speaking here at the U.S. Bishop fall general assembly in 2014, has been a prominent liberal voice in the U.S. Church. (Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews)

A high-profile liberal U.S. cardinal has been removed from public ministry for credible and substantiated allegations of abuse of a minor.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a former priest of the Archdiocese of New York and cardinal emeritus of Washington D.C., “is no longer to exercise publicly his priestly ministry,” says a news release from New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

“The review board found the allegations credible and substantiated,” Dolan’s statement said. 

“The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the direction of Pope Francis, has instructed Cardinal McCarrick that he is no longer to exercise publicly his priestly ministry,” the cardinal said.

McCarrick is alleged to have sexually abused a minor five decades ago when he was a priest in the Archdiocese of New York, a statement from Metuchen, NJ, Bishop James Checchio said.

The Diocese of Metuchen, where McCarrick served as bishop from 1982 to 1986, said it had no record of McCarrick having abused minors, however, there had been multiple incidents with adults.

“In the past, there have been allegations that he engaged in sexual behavior with adults,” Checchio’s statement said. “This Diocese and the Archdiocese of Newark received three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago; two of these allegations resulted in settlements.”

Newark, NJ’s Cardinal Archbishop Joseph Tobin confirmed via a statement that the Archdiocese of Newark, where McCarrick had served for 15 years, had never received an accusation that Cardinal McCarrick abused a minor, acknowledging that there had been allegations of incidents with adults in the other dioceses.

McCarrick himself released a statement accepting the Vatican’s decision removing him 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. 

In 2004 when McCarrick was Archbishop of Washington, DC and head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, the cardinal failed to reveal a letter to the Bishops from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, had sent the letter “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion. General Principles” to instruct the bishops on the circumstances under which pro-abortion Catholic politicians and people who vote for them are to be denied communion.

Ratzinger’s letter was meant for use by the US Bishops as a guide during their deliberations on the matter during their spring 2004 general assembly. Instead, McCarrick played down the clarity from Rome on withholding Communion from pro-abortion politicians in his own statement to the bishops.

Ratzinger’s memo was released weeks later after it had been leaked to the media, confirming the disparity between McCarrick’s take and what the CDF had communicated.

Later in 2006, after the Bishops ultimately decided it was up to each individual bishop whether to enforce Canon 915 in their respective diocese, he would scold fellow bishops of “partisan politics” for pressing for its enforcement.

McCarrick released a statement in 2007 disagreeing with then Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis on the need to deny the sacrament to Catholic public figures that are pro-abortion.

In 2006 he told CNN he supported same-sex civil unionssaying later he had misspoken.

McCarrick had also played down the abortion issue in 2009 at the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s burial when speaking about the manifestly pro-abortion and pro-gay “marriage” senator’s political legacy. McCarrick read excerpts from a letter Kennedy wrote to Pope Benedict at the burial, in which Kennedy told the pope he’d always tried to be a faithful Catholic.

Full story at LifeSiteNews.


  1. In my opinion, this certainly seems to be a step in the correct direction. Credible and substantiated allegations should have this sort of consequence.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m so sick of Catholic bishops. Where does the corruption and filth end? These “men of God” are servants of Satan.

  3. Tiphanie says:

    This is why the church shouldn’t ordain homosexuals. Does the author of the news story think that failing to mention McCarrick’s philandering was with males will go unnoticed by the reader, and that the reader won’t make unwanted conclusions about homosexuals or homosexuals in the priesthood?

  4. I didn’t know anything about this cardinal. I googled to find out more about some of the claims against him and my goodness the things he is reported to have done to seminarians are not fit to share in polite company. Anyone who resisted his advances risked not getting promotions or good priestly assignments. And that was before he was made cardinal of Washington!! And it was all known!! Yet he was promoted by saintly Pope John Paul 2?? Lord, where are you when your church needs you? Where have you been for the past fifty years?

  5. What a collection: McCarrick, Bernadin and Mahoney. No wonder NA seminaries were dens of vices. The fish is rotten st the top.

  6. Linda Maria says:

    I wonder what Cardinal Wuerl thinks of his predecessor? Very disturbing! Like many other faithful Catholics, I give donations to the beautiful Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, D.C.!! Hope we are not going to be hurt, with any more horrible, filthy news stories, of criminal clergy sexual predators, in our Church! Too horrible!

  7. From the news reports I have been reading since this story broke yesterday, it appears that there was credible evidence that McCarrick was having improper relationships with young seminarians and other adults even before he was made a bishop. It is about time now that he is going to be held accountable, but why was this allowed to go on for so long apparently known to so many different people. It is now like locking the barn door after the horse has escaped.

    • Betsy M. says:

      That was why it was absurd for Cardinal Dolan to say that he was shocked. Even I, an old lady, knew about it.

  8. Lou Varini says:

    When will these scandals end?

    We all acknowledge that the Universal Church is the true Church, because it was established by Jesus Himself, with valid Petrine and Apostolic succession. The Church also has the promise of Divine assistance.

    Yet, these scandals undermine the Church’s credibility in the eyes of not only the faithful, but among non-Catholics.

    Credibility must be restored so that the One True Church can carry out its mission specified in Matt. 28, 18-20.

  9. Linda Maria says:

    I read today, that Cdl. McCarrick sexually coerced seminarians to go to bed with him, sexually abused an altar boy in New York, and sexually abused at least three adults in New Jersey– of which two of these cases, resulted in settlements. This was before the Vatican appointed him as Abp. of Washington, D. C.– and made him a Cardinal!! Can we trust the Vatican?? This is sick!!

  10. Anyone who thinks that the secret homosexual mafia in the church doesn’t exist is blind. It exists and it is powerful and it is hell bent on destroying the church.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Finally – a Real Response to the Lavender Mafia, After all Larry Brinkin & Enrique Pearce only got 6 months jail for much worse – but they were light hearted gaily happy icons.

    “Vatican sentences ex-diplomat to 5 years in prison for child porn possession and distribution
    The Vatican tribunal on Saturday convicted a former Holy See diplomat and sentenced him to five years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography in the first such trial of its kind inside the Vatican.

    Monsignor Carlo Capella admitted to viewing the images during what he called a period of “fragility” and…

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