Currents News Staff
He was once a prince of the Church and a friend of Presidents. Former Washington D.C. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick enjoyed a spectacular career at the heart of power, in Washington and in Rome.
When the U.S. Cardinals were summoned to the Vatican by John Paul II in 2002 at the beginning of the sex abuse scandal, Cardinal McCarrick was the reassuring face of that crisis, advocating zero-tolerance for abusers even as there were unrevealed allegations against him.
Theodore McCarrick was created a Cardinal in 2001, by John Paul II.
Around that time, an American priest wrote to the Vatican to warn them of rumors that the cardinal was sexually abusing seminarians.
But no action was taken for years until, according to the Vatican. Under Pope Benedict XVI, McCarrick was quietly advised not to travel or be seen in public and live a discreet life of prayer and penance, to avoid further rumors of his sexual misconduct with seminarians.
A recommendation which the Cardinal seemed to ignore, as he continued travelling and appearing in public, even at the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis.
But then in June last year, accusations that McCarrick had abused a minor were found credible by an internal church investigation in New York.
Although McCarrick maintained his innocence, he resigned as Cardinal, something that has rarely happened in the history of the Catholic Church.
Finally, he was brought to trial at the Vatican, though by now 88 years old and infirm, he did not attend in person.