America: Cardinal McCarrick Laicised

Pope Defrocks Theodore McCarrick, Ex-Cardinal Accused of Sexual Abuse

Theodore E. McCarrick, a former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, was expelled from the priesthood after he was found guilty of sexual abuse.

Pope Francis has expelled Theodore E. McCarrick, a former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, from the priesthood, after an expedited canonical process that found him guilty of sexually abusing minors and adult seminarians over decades, the Vatican said on Saturday.

It appears to be the first time that a cardinal or bishop in the United States has been defrocked, or laicized, from the Catholic Church, and the first time any cardinal has been laicized for sexual abuse. Laicization, which strips a person of all priestly identity, also revokes church-sponsored resources like housing and financial benefits.

While the Vatican has laicized hundreds of priests for sexual abuse of minors, few of the church’s leaders have faced severe discipline. The move to defrock Mr. McCarrick is “almost revolutionary,” said Kurt Martens, a professor of canon law at the Catholic University of America.

“Now you will see that bishops are also treated like their priests,” Mr. Martens said in a phone interview. “Bishops and former cardinals are no longer immune to punishment. The reverence that was shown in the past to bishops no longer applies.” 

Mr. McCarrick, now 88, was accused of sexually abusing three minors and harassing adult seminarians and priests. A New York Times investigation last summer detailed settlements paid to men who had complained of abuse when Mr. McCarrick was a bishop in New Jersey in the 1980s, and revealed that some church leaders had long known of the accusations.

Francis accepted Mr. McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals in July and suspended him from all priestly duties. He was first removed from ministry in June, after a church panel substantiated a claim that he had abused an altar boy almost 50 years ago.

Mr. McCarrick was long a prominent Catholic voice on international and public policy issues, and a champion for progressive Catholics active in social justice causes.

The move is the most serious sign to date that Pope Francis is addressing the clerical sex abuse crisis in the United States. In October, the pope laicized two retired Chilean bishops accused of sexually abusing minors. In December, Pope Francis removed two top cardinals from his powerful advisory council after they were implicated in sexual abuse cases.

In the statement on Saturday, the Vatican said that the prelate had been dismissed from a clerical state after he was tried and found guilty of several crimes: “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.”   Read original New York Times report here

Comment: 

Is this laicisation of a “Prince of the Church” a sign of things to come?  Is the tide turning?  Is this an indication that the liberal stranglehold on the Church is coming to an end?  Will it help to rein in dissenters and abusers? Share your thoughts… 

Cardinal Farrell MUST Be Sacked From Youth Synod Immediately…

American Cardinal McCarrick’s resignation, house-arrest and forthcoming canonical trial following allegations of child sexual abuse has hit the headlines the world over. Click here to read one of the many reports…

Not quite so well known, however is the fact that McCarrick’s long time friend, who shared a home with him for six years, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, is the person in charge of the Youth Synod.  Guilt by association, of course, is unjust.  However, watch his performance in this short video report and then read the comments from YouTube, some of which are copied below, for ease of reference. 

Then ask yourself – would YOU want this man in any kind of position where he can influence  any child of yours, with his upside down view of the role of young people in the Church?  He doesn’t see them as requiring the teaching and guidance of the Church – he thinks these uncatechised young people should be running the Church! We’ve a bishop here in Scotland who thinks the same – if you recall, not so long ago, we discussed this same ambition of the Bishop of Paisley (John Keenan) to hand his diocese over to his uncatechised youth.  Seems to be catching on – can’t wait for the polling on that one in a year or two…

Watch the clip below, where he reacts to the “news” (not likely news to him) of Cardinal McCarrick’s credibly alleged sordid behaviour, the consequences of which are now coming home to roost. Then check if your own thoughts chime with the YouTube commentators below.  

Comments from those who watched the video on YouTube… to read all comments click here

Will Farrell denounce the actions of McCarrick? Where is that?

Not buying it at all. This Cardinal Farrell was the guy who invited weirdo homosexualist priest Father James Martin to speak at the World Meeting of Families in Ireland. Why would they want to turn the World Meeting of Families into a big gay pride parade? This guy is behind having this stuff at the Ireland meeting and should never have been made a Cardinal. This clown also said that priests have nothing to offer when it comes to preparing people for marriage. He is a disgrace to the church.

Haul this guy into court and have him testify under oath

Cardinal, as you can see from the comments below, no one believes one word you say about this. You’re only adding to the shame the Church must shoulder because of the acts of the mitered dirt bag McCarrick. We in the pews are sick of pious lies of the kind we hear in this interview.

Translation: “I lived with a pedo for many years and never noticed anything odd!” If true, this just tells us that Farrell is a very naive and unintelligent man. And that’s probably the best scenario we can hope for. His choice of words also make him suspect. A person with a properly formed conscience in this case would use words like “disgusting,” “repugnant,” and “despicable.” Instead he’s just talking about himself and how “overwhelmed” he is. Not convincing.

I don’t believe him at all

I don’t believe this. Sorry. Total liar. They know very well what’s going on. Sickening… totally sickening.

He seems to care only about himself, not for any victims. This is so disheartening as a Catholic.

Play at slower speed to hear that I am recording this accurately. 0:53 And I was involved 0:58 heavily involved in Washington, 1:00 ahh in the whole … from 2000 on 1:06 in the sex abuse 1:09 ammm 1:12 so I really 1:16 don’t have any knowledge or ‘anything’ to add about 1:20 more than that

If this “interview “ was supposed to help Cardinal Farrell it totally backfired. “I, I, I, I, I, I…” Any sense of shame, indignation and compassion for the terrible damage done to others? I don’t think so. He’s just thinking about how to get out of this.

“…heavily involved”… “in the sex abuse…”… hmmm. Anyone else think that’s a “strange” remark? Notice he did not say sex abuse SCANDAL!?!

Utter rubbish. Every priest in the Archdiocese had heard about this.

What was the question? Is he saying he’s only “shocked” to hear Cardinal McCarrick preyed on minors? Or is he shocked by all the accusations, including that Cardinal McCarrick was an active homosexual? Because Cardinal Farrell lived with Cardinal McCarrick for several years, during a time when “everyone know” (including several journalists) about McCarrick’s behavior. Of course, the obvious answer is that of course Cardinal Farrell knew and that he should be taken down by all this too.

No sense of being indignant by the accusations against McCarrick. No sense of shame, or caring for the victims. This man is typical of why the sex scandal went on for so long.

he looks like he’s hiding something. His gaze looks more like “I dare you to find something on me” rather than one of contrition. A normal human would say something like “I WISH I had heard something so I could have stopped the abuse” or “I was shocked…McCarrick played us all for fools”, but his comments are entirely defensive and self-centered. If Cardinal Farrell won’t stick up for us lay people and our kids, which bishop will?