US cardinal resigns over sexual abuse claims

Published: July 28, 2018 21:58:12 | Updated: July 30, 2018 11:09:06


Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a prominent US cardinal accused of sexually assaulting a teenager nearly 50 years ago.

Theodore McCarrick, 88, a former Archbishop of Washington, must also carry out "penance and prayer" pending a canonical trial, the Vatican said.

Last month US Church officials said the allegations were credible, reports BBC.

Mr McCarrick has said he has "absolutely no recollection" of the alleged abuse.

Further allegations have since emerged.

Mr McCarrick was one of the most prominent US cardinals and is one of the most high-profile Catholic leaders to face abuse claims.

In a statement, the Vatican said Pope Francis had accepted Mr McCarrick's resignation from the cardinalate and had ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry.

The statement also said he would be placed in seclusion "for a life of prayer and penance until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial".

His resignation means the titles of Cardinal and "your eminence" are removed, America Magazine editor and Jesuit priest James Martin said on Twitter.

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