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A chronology of the rise and fall of ex-Cardinal McCarrick

The Vatican is releasing its report into the rise and fall of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the once-influential American cardinal who was defrocked by Pope Francis in 2019 after a Vatican investigation confirmed decades of rumors that he was a sexual predator

Via AP news wire
Monday 09 November 2020 18:28 GMT

The Vatican is set to release its report into the rise and fall of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick the once-influential American cardinal who was defrocked by Pope Francis in 2019 after a Vatican investigation confirmed decades of rumors that he was a sexual predator.

Here is a chronology of key dates in his career:

—July 7, 1930: Theodore McCarrick is born in New York City, the son of a ship captain.

—1958: Ordained a priest in New York City.

—1977: Named auxiliary bishop of New York.

—1981: Named first bishop of the newly created diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey.

—1986: Named archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.

—1988: Participates in an interfaith meeting with Fidel Castro in Cuba, aimed at encouraging religious freedom there.

—Nov. 21, 2000: Named archbishop of Washington.

—Feb. 21, 2001: Made a cardinal by Pope John Paul II.

—2005: Participates in the conclave that elects Pope Benedict XVI.

—2009: Presides over the graveside service for U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery.

—Sept. 23, 2015: Concelebrates Mass with Pope Francis at the National Shrine in Washington during papal visit.

—September 2017: Archdiocese of New York informs the Vatican that a man alleged that McCarrick molested him in the 1970s, when he was a teenage altar boy. Pope authorizes preliminary investigation.

—June 20, 2018: Archdiocese of New York announces McCarrick has been removed from ministry after determining the allegation was “credible and substantiated.” Dioceses of Newark and Metuchen, New Jersey, reveal they had previously settled two of three allegations by men who alleged misconduct while they were adults.

—July 28, 2018: Pope removes McCarrick from College of Cardinals, suspends him from exercising public ministry and requires him to live a life of prayer and penance pending outcome of a canonical trial.

—Aug. 15, 2018: Pennsylvania grand jury report details sexual abuse suffered by 1,000 children by 300 priests and the bishops who covered it up, fueling a crisis in confidence in the U.S. Catholic hierarchy.

—Aug. 16, 2018: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops asks the Vatican for a formal investigation, or apostolic visitation, into the “moral catastrophe” created by the McCarrick scandal.

—Aug. 26, 2018: The former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, accuses Francis of being the last of among two dozen U.S. and Vatican churchmen who allegedly knew of McCarrick’s sexual misdeeds but covered them up. In an 11-page screed, Vigano says he told Francis on June 23, 2013 that Pope Benedict XVI had sanctioned McCarrick, but accused Francis of rehabilitating him and calls on him to resign.

—Sept. 8, 2018: Catholic News Service publishes an Oct. 11, 2006 letter from a Vatican official confirming that the Holy See had received information in 2000 about McCarrick’s sexual misconduct. The letter was sent to the Rev. Boniface Ramsay, who in 2000 had written the Vatican of his concerns after McCarrick was named archbishop of Washington. Ramsay, on the faculty of one of Seton Hall's seminaries, said he wrote because he had heard so many complaints from seminarians that McCarrick would invite them to his beach house and into his bed.

—Sept. 13, 2018: Francis announces he is summoning bishops from around the world to a Vatican summit on preventing clergy sexual abuse, as a response to the McCarrick scandal and his own missteps handling abuse cases.

—Oct. 6, 2018: Francis authorizes a “thorough study” of Vatican archives into McCarrick’s misconduct and his rise through the hierarchy. The Vatican said it was aware that such an investigation may produce evidence that mistakes were made, but that Francis would “follow the path of truth, wherever it may lead.”

—Oct. 7, 2018: Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Congregation for Bishops, issues a scathing letter to Vigano denouncing his allegations as an ideologically-motivated attack on Francis. Ouellet confirms McCarrick had been subject to disciplinary measures given uncorroborated “rumors” of misconduct, but said the “exhortation” to live a discreet life of prayer stopped short of binding canonical sanctions, precisely because the rumors lacked proof.

—Dec. 27, 2018: James Grein testifies to church investigators in New York about the abuse he suffered at McCarrick’s hands starting when he was 11, including during confession.

—Feb. 16, 2019: Pope defrocks McCarrick after the Vatican found him guilty of sexual abuse against children and adults, abusing his power, and soliciting sex during confession.

—Feb. 21, 2019: Pope opens his four-day summit on preventing sex abuse.

—May 9, 2019: Pope issues new law outlining procedures for investigating bishops accused of sex abuse and/or cover-up to respond to demands for accountability after the McCarrick scandal. The law acknowledges adults can be victims of abuse and forced, through an abuse of authority, “to perform or submit to sexual acts."

—May 28, 2019: A former McCarrick aide, Monsignor Anthony Figueriredo, releases excerpts of correspondence that show McCarrick was placed under Vatican restrictions in 2008 for sleeping with seminarians, but regularly flouted those travel rules with the apparent knowledge of Vatican officials under Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

—May 28, 2019: Francis says in an interview broadcast by Mexico’s Televisa that he knew nothing about McCarrick’s misdeeds and didn’t remember if Vigano raised the issue with him in 2013. “I don’t remember if he told me about this. If it’s true or not. No idea!”

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