Theodore McCarrick was once a cardinal – one of the highest-ranking positions in the Roman Catholic Church. He was also the archbishop of Washington, D.C. And he’s the only current or former U.S. cardinal to ever face sex abuse charges.
But now a judge in Massachusetts has dismissed a criminal case against McCarrick stemming from the alleged molestation of a 16-year-old boy there in 1974. Two years ago, McCarrick pleaded not guilty.
The judge’s move comes after examinations of the 93-year-old found that he has dementia. In 2019, the church expelled McCarrick from the priesthood following an internal investigation that found multiple instances of sexual misconduct.
From my July 2020 report:
Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick ran a depraved sex ring of underage boys at a beach house on the Jersey Shore, a disturbing new lawsuit claims.
The suit, filed by a man using the pseudonym Doe 14, claims that in 1982 and 1983, when he was as young as 14 years old, he and other victims were taken on weekend overnight trips to a Sea Girt beach house.
“McCarrick assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house,” according to the suit filed in state court under New Jersey’s Child Victims Act.
From a July 2021 NPR report:
The man also alleges that McCarrick led him into a room and fondled the boy before telling him to “say three our fathers and a Hail Mary or it was one Our Father and three Hail Marys, so God can redeem you of your sins,” according to the court documents. McCarrick, 91, was defrocked by Pope Francis in 2019 after a Vatican investigation confirmed decades of rumors that he was a sexual predator.
Theodore McCarrick is the most prominent Catholic leader in the U.S. to face sex abuse charges. https://t.co/FewIkDo2Sf
— NPRbrief – NPR news headlines (@NPRbrief) August 30, 2023
Pope Benedict with “Uncle Ted” McCarrick, the former cardinal now prosecuted for child sex crimes (right) whose money making skills kept him in favor long after pope knew he was a sex offender. pic.twitter.com/rjkn6mN9fZ
— Michael J. Meenan (@MickeyMeenan) January 1, 2023
A former Vatican ambassador to the U.S. alleges that top Catholic Church officials, including Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, were long aware of sexual misconduct allegations against former D.C. archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. https://t.co/u9foPsiAzf
— NPR (@NPR) August 27, 2018