The Vatican announced the decision Feb. 16, saying, Theodore E. McCarrick, was found guilty of “solicitation in the sacrament of confession and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.”
Days after the pope acknowledged abuse of nuns and sisters by priests and bishops, the largest U.S. organization of women religious thanked the pontiff for shedding “light on a reality that has been largely hidden from the public,” but the group also called for measures to address the issue.
Nationally, seminary formation has come under scrutiny following allegations that former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sexually harassed seminarians, and that sexual misconduct has been tolerated in some seminaries.
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation from the College of Cardinals of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, and has ordered him to maintain “a life of prayer and penance” until a canonical trial examines accusations that he sexually abused minors.
Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, head of the Vatican office for laity and family, said he was “shocked” when he heard allegations of years of sexual abuse and harassment by Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the man who ordained him a bishop and whom he served as an auxiliary bishop for six years.