Pope defrocks ex cardinal McCarrick

Theodore McCarrick

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has decided to defrock 88-year-old American ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick following the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s final decree of the trial that declared McCarrick as guilty of paedophilia.

 The decision comes days ahead of the upcoming Summit on the Protection of Minors that the Vatican is set to host.

 According to a bulletin from the Vatican press room, the pope “has recognised the definitive nature, according to the law,” of the decision to reduce the cardinal to the lay state, making the case “not subject to further appeal.”

 McCarrick was found guilty of the following crimes: “solicitation in Confession and violations of the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue with minors and adults, with the aggravating circumstance of the abuse of power, therefore he was imposed the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state,” the bulletin highlighted.

 Following allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenager 50 years ago McCarrick was removed from the public ministry and then resigned from the college of cardinalsduring the summer of 2018, but said he had "no recollection" of the alleged abuse.

 “No bishop, no matter how influential, is above the law of the Church,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “For all those McCarrick abused, I pray this judgment will be one small step, among many, toward healing,” he added.