The Vatican moves quickly toward punishing ex-cardinal McCarrick for sexual abuse

Vatican investigators have finished collecting evidence in the sexual abuse case of disgraced ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, according to a person familiar with the investigation, indicating that the Catholic Church is moving quickly toward sentencing the cleric in its secretive justice system.

The former prominent archbishop of Washington, who now stands accused of sexually abusing three minors and harassing adult priests and seminarians, already has become the first U.S. cardinal ever removed from that office due to sexual misconduct allegations. Now, he faces the prospect of soon being defrocked — meaning he would no longer be a priest of the Catholic Church and would lose his church housing and financial support.

In the past several weeks, witnesses far from the Vatican offered testimony under questioning by American clergy tapped to help with the case. James Grein, who has spoken publicly about his alleged abuse by McCarrick which he says began when he was 11, told The Washington Post that he testified in late December in the office of the Archdiocese of New York. A man who says McCarrick molested him when he was a teenage altar boy has also testified, along with a third man who was a minor when he was allegedly abused by McCarrick.

A person familiar with the investigation said that the Vatican required all testimony be completed by the first weekend in January. The transcripts and recordings of all those witness statements are now in the hands of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, an arm of the church that handles discipline in many abuse cases.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, 88, resigned July 28, after the church in June found he was credibly accused of sexually abusing a teenager nearly 50 years go. 

Another person in the Vatican, who like others in this report spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he felt that the Holy See waited too long to start the can...

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