Vatican Theodore McCarrick, expelled from the Roman Catholic

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Vatican Theodore McCarrick, expelled from the Roman Catholic.

Disgraced ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been expelled from the Roman Catholic priesthood after an investigation into sex abuse allegations, the Vatican said Saturday.

The church is penalizing McCarrick, the former Archbishop of Washington, with “dismissal from the clerical state,” it said in a statement.

He will not be able to appeal the decision.

The canonical investigation found that he was guilty of “sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.” He was also found guilty of “solicitation” during confession.

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McCarrick had already become one of the highest-ranking Americans to be removed from public ministry amid the scandal that has engulfed the church.

Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the College of Cardinals in July and ordered him to observe a life of prayer and penance in seclusion.

In October Francis authorized a “thorough study” of Vatican archives into how McCarrick advanced through church ranks despite allegations that he slept with seminarians and young priests.

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After his removal, church officials in New Jersey revealed that the 88-year-old cardinal had also been accused of sexual misconduct by adults three times in the past. Two of those accusations resulted in secret settlements, officials said.

The punishment announced on Saturday comes a few days before Pope Francis is to lead an extraordinary gathering of bishops from around the world over the sex abuse crisis which has eroded the faith of many Catholics and threatened his papacy.

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The pope pleaded with sexual abusers within the church to surrender to authority in December while promising the church will “spare no efforts” to seek justice for sexual abuse victims.

McCarrick served the Washington diocese from 1981 to 1986. He now lives in a friary in Kansas. The latest punishment means he won’t be allowed to celebrate Mass or other sacraments.

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