McCarrick renounces place in College of Cardinals after revelations of sexual abuse

By Joshua J. McElwee, Heidi Schlumpf, July 28, 2018, National Catholic Reporter

Retired Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick has renounced his position in the College of Cardinals, leaving the global Catholic Church's most symbolic and powerful group in the wake of revelations that he sexually harassed or abused several young men during his meteoric rise to become one of the U.S. church's most senior prelates.

The move, announced in a press release from the U.S. bishops July 28, is without precedence since the founding of the American church with the creation of the diocese of Baltimore in 1789. While several U.S. cardinals have come under scrutiny in recent decades for their handling of abuse cases, none prior had set aside their red cardinalatial robes.

Global precedents are also difficult to find, with the last cardinal to fully renounce his position being French theologian Fr. Louis Billot over a political disagreement with Pope Pius XI in 1927.

"Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, from the College of Cardinals," said a release from the U.S. bishops.

The release added that Francis has also "imposed on Cardinal McCarrick . . .

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