Pope Francis accepts resignation of Cardinal McCarrick who was accused of sexual abuse

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Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the College of Cardinals. The retired 88 year old Archbishop of Washington has been ordered by the pope to maintain “a life of prayer and penance” until a canonical trial examines accusations of him sexually abusing minors.

McCarrick has claimed he is innocent but, in late june, he said he would no longer exercise any public ministry “in obedience” to the Vatican after allegations that he abused a teenager 47 years ago was found to be credible in the Archdiocese of New York. 

Weeks later another man came forward and several former seminarians have spoken out about being sexually harassed by McCarrick. 

This is the first time a cardinal has fully renounced his position and title over sexual abuse. 

The last time a cardinal fully renounced his position was 91 years ago when French Louis Billot resigned over political disagreements with Pius XI.  

The deceased Cardinal Keith O’Brien had resigned to the rights and privileges of a Cardinal, due to accusations regarding inappropriate conduct with adults. 

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