VATICAN CITY, February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Unnamed officials at the Vatican have told Reuters that the Vatican will decide next week on discipline for the former cardinal Theodore McCarrick over allegations of sexual abuse.
Unnamed sources had previously told Reuters that McCarrick’s faculties as a priest will be removed, thus making the former Archbishop of Washington the most senior cleric to be so disciplined in nearly 100 years.
On Thursday, Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria, who leads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), met with Pope Francis. While Cardinal Ladaria would issue a ruling on McCarrick, it is the pope who will have to approve any decision about the American cleric’s fate.
The development comes just two weeks before the highly-anticipated summit organized by Pope Francis on the “Protection of Minors in the Church,” which has garnered criticism. Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, for example, told LifeSiteNews that the summit is “doomed to failure” if it does not focus on the “predominant role of homosexual behavior in the clerical sexual abuse cases…” The heads of the various bishops’ conferences will meet at the Vatican for the conference, which is being led by Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago.
Allegations against McCarrick, 88, date back decades while he was a rising figure in the Church’s hierarchy in the United States. He served as archbishop of Washington D.C. from 2001 to 2006. Currently living at a friary in Kansas, McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals was accepted by Pope Francis in July 2018. McCarrick was ordered by the pope to refrain from public ministry and to live in seclusion, prayer and penitence.
McCarrick has responded to just one of the various allegations against him by survivors of sexual abuse, including seminarians. According to McCarrick, he has “absolutely no recollection” of sexual abuse of a 16-year-old boy that allegedly occurred more than five decades ago. Several priests and former priests have alleged that he abused his authority to force them to sleep in his bed while they were studying for the priesthood.