The Vatican defrocked former US Cardinal Theodore McCarrick for multiple alleged sex abuse charges. On January 11, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found McCarrick guilty of solicitation of minors and adults during confession and committing adultery. Six months before this, his title of cardinal was taken away, and he was banished to Kansas for penance and prayer while the investigation took place. The Vatican announced on February 16 that the 88-year-old former archbishop of Washington, D.C., who also served in the Newark and Metuchen, New Jersey dioceses, was officially defrocked. Since McCarrick is now defrocked, he cannot perform sacraments or Mass and cannot be referred to as a clergy member. Apparently, his predatory behavior was known in certain circles since the 1970s.
Defrocking or laicization of priests rarely occurs in the Catholic church and may take many years to complete. With the momentous defrocking of McCarrick, it may become more commonplace to dismiss clergy members credibly accused of the abuse of children. More frequent laicization may be another step in the healing process for survivors of clergy abuse.
If you or someone you love survived the childhood trauma of clergy abuse, we will assist you in filing a claim. Our clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar understand how tough facing abuse may be and will review your case with discretion and support. Please call us today at 215-557-0099 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide from our offices in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey.