I grew up Catholic. I was an altar boy. I even considered becoming a priest. (That whole not getting married thing was a serious bummer though.) I still have some love for the Church. But consider how long and how pervasive the sex abuse scandal has been. It’s been unwinding for what, 25 years? How many people have been hurt during that time? How many people around the world have been denied justice?
Pope Francis on Saturday accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, one of the U.S. Catholic Church’s most prominent figures who has been at the centre of a widening sexual abuse scandal.
McCarrick, 88, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., is the first cardinal in living memory to lose his red hat and title. Other cardinals who have been disciplined in sexual abuse scandals kept their membership in the College of Cardinals and their honorific “your eminence”.
The allegations against McCarrick, which first surfaced publicly last month, came with Francis facing an image crisis on a second front, in Chile, where a growing abuse scandal has enveloped the Church in the Latin American country.
A Vatican statement said the pope ordered McCarrick’s suspension from the exercise of any public ministry. This means he remains a priest but will be allowed to say Mass only in private.