F Rosa Rubicondior: More Holy Kiddie Fiddling

Sunday 29 July 2018

More Holy Kiddie Fiddling

(Former) Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington.
"No recollection of abusing boys and men".
Cardinal McCarrick, prominent US Catholic, resigns over abuse claims | BBC News

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington, and ordered him to a life of seclusion, spent in prayer and penance following the emergence of more allegations of sexual abuse of boys and adults. He is to face a Church trial.

McCarrick, who is 88, claims no recollection of the incidents which last month, Catholic Church officials investigating the allegations described as 'credible'. His resignation means he will no longer have the titles 'Cardinal' and 'Your Eminence'.

His resignation from the cardinalate is the first since 1927 when a Father Louis Billot resigned over political tensions with the College of Cardinals. It is also the first time a 'sentence' of penance and prayer has been handed out prior to a Church trial. It is unusual too in other way:
  • In 2013 Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh resigned following similar allegations but was allowed to remain in the College of Cardinals.
  • In 2002 Cardinal Law resigned as Bishop of Boston when it was revealed he had moved paedophile priests to different parishes rather than address victims' claims. He was then given a job in the Vatican.
  • Despite persistent allegations of sexual abuse, Cardinal Pell, former Archbishop of Sydney and before that of Melbourne, Australia, was given a top job in the Vatican, employed to sort out the financial muddles and attendant scandals involving the Vatican and dodgy dealings of a criminal nature. He is now awaiting trial in a criminal court in Australia - the most senior Catholic cleric to face a criminal trial for sexual abuse of minors.
Following the sensational resignation of 34 Chilean Bishops last June, Pope Francis is obviously trying to show the Church is at last taking these allegations seriously and trying to avoid even more damage to the Church. The damage has been done more by the response of the Church to allegations against priests rather than the abuses themselves, revealing at they do the Church's casual, even facilitative attitude to sexual predation by priests.

Under the two previous Popes the response has been to cover up and protect the priests to try to avoid scandals, rather than to recognise the endemic problem of paedophiles entering the priesthood and abusing their positions of trust and access to vulnerable children and adults. Concern for the victims and the blighted lives many of them were condemned to was low on the list of priorities. In many cases, the victims themselves were blamed.

The allegations against McCarrick are:
  • He assaulted a teenager while working as a priest in New York i the 1970s. This allegation was made public by the current Bishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. This allegation has been investigated by forensic and psychology experts and found to be 'credible' and 'substantiated' by a review board.
  • Several more men have since come forward with allegations that they were forced to sleep with McCarrick in a beach house while at seminary. One more alleges that he was assaulted while still a minor.
  • It has now been revealed that financial settlements were reached with at least two of the men involved in allegations.
It is not yet clear whether former Cardinal Bernard McCarrick will continue to draw his pension. He will probably escape criminal charges due the statute of limitations.

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