A Catholic cardinal has weathered sex abuse allegations for years. Now they’re finally public.

Vox Media

July 29, 2018

By Tara Isabella Burton

Theodore McCarrick has resigned from the College of Cardinals after allegations of abusing both children and adults.

Everybody in James’s family called him “Uncle Teddy.”

Father Theodore McCarrick was a New Jersey priest, whose charisma and intelligence had already set him on a clear course to rise in the Catholic ecclesiastical hierarchy. But to James, at age 11, whose story the New York Times reported last week (using only his first name), “Teddy” was a close family friend, an adviser, and a mentor.

He was also, James said, the man who exposed himself to James for the first time when he was 11. The man, James said, who first molested him when he was 12. And the man, James said, who got him drunk, took him to a hotel room, and assaulted him when James was 15. According to the Times report, James attempted to tell his family of the persistent abuse, only to be met with denial and disbelief.

Since then, McCarrick’s career continued to rise. In 1986, Father McCarrick became the archbishop of Newark. In 2000, he became the archbishop of Washington, DC, a particularly prestigious post. In 2001, he was promoted to cardinal, elevating him to the very highest ranks of Vatican officials. Even after his retirement in 2006 (archbishops must take mandatory retirement at the age of 75), McCarrick, now 88, remained a valued and vocal member of the Catholic community, often representing the Catholic perspective in global policy debate.

But on Friday, Pope Francis accepted McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals over allegations that he had sexually harassed and abused minors and young seminarians over the past several decades. According to a statement released by the Vatican, McCarrick has been instructed to live out a “life of prayer and penance,” and will have to remain in seclusion pending an ecclesiastical trial.

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