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Police dropped abuse investigation of cardinal

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)

Police investigated an abuse claim against Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor but decided that it could not be substantiated, the Catholic Herald has learned.

LifeSiteNews reported on Monday that a woman had accused the cardinal, who served as Archbishop of Westminster from 2000 to 2009, of abusing her when she was 13 or 14 years old.

A source connected to the investigation told the Herald that Kent Police had “thoroughly” investigated the allegation, but decided not to proceed with the case.

A spokesman for Kent Police said he could not comment.

The LifeSiteNews report raised questions about how the Diocese of Westminster initially responded to the abuse allegation.

The Catholic Herald has been told that more than one English bishop raised questions about whether the guidelines were followed, even after Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s retirement.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also asked for more information about how the complaint was handled.

The diocese has not clarified whether it treated the complaint against Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor in accordance with the bishops’ guidelines.

The cardinal died in September 2017.