Defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick now faces criminal charges for the alleged sex abuse of a minor nearly 50 years ago. McCarrick resigned from the College of Cardinals in 2018 over allegations of sexual abuse against minors and adult men. The Vatican removed him from the clergy the following year.
McCarrick now becomes the highest-ranking US Catholic to face criminal charges for the sexual abuse of a minor. In Australia, George Pell won an appeal last year after initially serving jail time for child abuse.
The criminal complaint against McCarrick charges him with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14
The complainant alleges multiple incidents of abuse.
In one incident McCarrick allegedly took the young victim outside at his brother’s wedding for counselling.
“Your dad wants you to come with me and have a talk. You’re being mischievous at home and not attending church. We need to go outside and have a conversation.”
McCarrick then told the victim to take down his pants and molested him while “saying prayers to make me feel holy.”
Afterwards, McCarrick instructed the child to pray, “so God can redeem you of your sins.”
McCarrick went on to repeatedly sexually abuse the victim, including as an adult.
Defrocked Cardinal McCarrick
Before his defrocking, McCarrick was a prolific fundraiser and a Washington powerbroker. Although regarded as a moderate within the church, he steadfastly opposed same-sex marriage and abortion. He also vehemently supported a continued all-male priesthood. That probably had nothing at all to do with his alleged predilection for molesting numerous seminarians over a period of decades.
In the past, McCarrick maintained his innocence regarding earlier allegations of sexual abuse. He will appear in a Massachusetts court in August for arraignment.