Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

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Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Removed From Public Ministry After Sex Abuse Allegation

June 20, 2018 - 10:11 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington D.C., has been removed from public ministry after a credible accusation that he sexually abused a teenager about 45 years ago while serving as a priest in New York.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan said the allegation was turned over to law enforcement officials and throughly investigated by an independent forensic agency. 

The 87-year-old McCarrick "fully cooperated" in the investigation. 

The Archdiocesan Review Board has determined the allegation was credible and substantiated.

"This archdiocese, while saddened and shocked, asks prayers for all involved, and renews its apology to all victims abused by priests," Dolan said. 

McCarrick said he has accepted the decision that he no longer exercise any public ministry, but maintains his innconcence in the case.

"While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through, as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people," McCarrick said in a statement.

The Newark Archdiocese, where McCarrick served as archbishop for years, issued a statement saying it never received an accusation that McCarrick abused a minor, but said in the past there have been allegations that he engaged in sexual behaviors with adults.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin said there were three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago and two of those resulted in settlements.

Dolan first learned of the allegations against McCarrick months ago, and he said he was shocked.

“My heart was broken,” Dolan said. “I happen to have known Cardinal McCarrick for a long time, and I know that he has tons of friends and family in this great archdiocese that he was proud to call home, so I appreciated his ministry. Of course, I was appalled by the accusations, but it was just sadness.”

Dolan said he thought of the victim and “my gratitude to him that he accepted our invitation to come forward – alleluia.”

The archdiocese turned over the accusation to police, and also did its own investigation using a number of ex-FBI agents, and found the allegations credible.

“I think it’s showing our people the extraordinary seriousness with which we bishops take this. No one is above the law, and from Pope Francis on down, everybody’s accountable,” he said.

Dolan added, “Nobody is exempt – not even a prince of the church, not even a cardinal.”

Tobin said he is renewing his commitment to seek forgiveness and healing, while ensuring a safe environment for children in his archdiocese.