✣ Cardinal stripped of ministry over abuse claim

What happened?

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the 87-year-old former Archbishop of Washington, was removed from public ministry over the alleged abuse of a 16-year-old altar boy decades ago. Cardinal Timothy Dolan said a diocesan review board had found the allegation “credible and substantiated”. The Archdiocese of Newark and Diocese of Metuchen said that in the past three cases of sexual misconduct with adults had been alleged. Two resulted in settlements.

What commentators said

Rod Dreher, writing at the American Conservative, said that “everybody knew” about the allegations against Cardinal McCarrick. These were not that he would abuse minors, but that he would “go after seminarians”, inviting them to his beach house and getting into bed with them. Dreher investigated claims against McCarrick but dropped the story after none of those he was said to have assaulted wanted to go on the record.

At GetReligion.org. Julia Duin wrote that after the election of Benedict XVI in 2005 “McCarrick was the darling of the American press … No one dared to go against such a powerful personality.”

Rocco Palmo, writing at his blog Whispers on the Loggia, said McCarrick had been one of the US hierarchy’s “principal forces of nature” – a “slight figure in a threadbare jacket universally known as ‘Ted’ ” who raised millions for charities and “parachuted into more humanitarian emergencies than most folks knew existed”.

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