Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Cardinal McCarrick from College of Cardinals

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Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of (now former) Cardinal McCarrick in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual abuse of male minors and seminarians.

The Vatican released a statement reading:

Yesterday evening the Holy Father received the letter with which Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop emeritus of Washington (USA), presented his resignation as a member of the College of Cardinals.

Pope Francis accepted his resignation from Cardinal and ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, together with the obligation to remain in a house that will be indicated to him, for a life of prayer and penance, until the accusations that are addressed to him are clarified by the regular canonical process.

McCarrick is facing accusations from multiple adult priests or former seminarians who say they were sexually abused by him over the course of multiple decades. Additionally, he has been credibly accused of the sexual abuse of a minor, beginning when the alleged victim was just 11 years old.

By suspending McCarrick from all public ministry and commanding him to be confined to a house for a life of prayer and penance, Pope Francis is allowing for an ecclesial trial, as required by canon law, before taking more definitive and permanent actions, such as laicization. McCarrick will also likely face civil legal punishment in response to police reports filed against him by accusers.

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