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Vatican releases report on accused cardinal

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 11/10/20, 12:23 pm

Pope Francis escaped most of the blame for ignoring allegations of sexual abuse against former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. But the Vatican’s 400-plus-page internal investigation named a series of former and current bishops, cardinals, and popes who it said turned a blind eye to the clergyman’s alleged misconduct toward children and adults. McCarrick served as a priest, bishop, and archbishop in New York and New Jersey from the 1950s until becoming archbishop of Washington, D.C., in 2000.

What does the report say? It places most of the responsibility on the late Pope John Paul II, who appointed McCarrick as archbishop of Washington after an inquiry confirmed his misconduct with seminarians. The investigation found Francis continued the policies of John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI until choosing to defrock McCarrick last year after a Vatican investigation substantiated the accusations against him. New testimony from people who tried to report McCarrick appears in the report, detailing what the Vatican knew and when. It accuses many bishops of failing to provide complete information about the alleged abuse.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Kiley Crossland’s report in Relations about the Vatican summit on preventing sexual abuse by clergy last year.


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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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