88-year-old top cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been defrocked by the Pope after the Church found him guilty of solicitation and abuse of minors.
The cardinal, who was once an influential figure that led the Archdiocese of Washington, had been taking advantage of at least three minors and harassing older priests and seminarians.
According to the Holy See, the depraved cardinal solicited children while hearing confessions.
The investigation also revealed that McCarrick has paid out settlements to several men who accused him of assaulting them in the 80s while he was a Bishop in New Jersey.
As The New York Times claimed, it was also revealed that several church leaders have long known about the alleged abuse and did nothing to counter the cardinal.
Following the Church’s internal investigation, the 88-year-old who resides in Kansas has been defrocked, meaning that he no longer holds any title, can’t celebrate mass and other sacraments, and can’t wear clerical vestments.
One of the cardinal’s accusers, a former altar boy, said that the cardinal abused him twice, in 1971 and 1972.
According to his attorney, Patrick Noaker, “McCarrick started measuring him, then he unzipped his pants, stuck his hand in and grabbed his genitals.”
The first incident occurred when the boy was 16 years old. Allegedly, the altar boy pushed the cardinal away, but McCarrick warned him not to tell anyone about what had happened.
“One thing he distinctly remembers is that McCarrick told him not to tell anyone about it,” Noaker added.
According to the investigators from the Archdiocese of New York, the altar boy’s accusations were “credible and substantiated.” His case was also handed over to law enforcement.
After the grim discovery, the Vatican also spoke out and confirmed that Theodore 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.”
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