Mr. McCarrick, now 88, was accused of sexually abusing three minors and harassing adult seminarians and priests. Mr. McCarrick was long a prominent Catholic voice on international and public policy issues, and a champion for progressive Catholics active in social justice causes.It is the first time when a cardinal or bishop in the United States has been laicized from the Roman Catholic Church. “Bishops and former cardinals are no longer immune to punishment.
The reverence that was shown in the past to bishops no longer applies,” said Kurt Martens, a professor of canon law at the Catholic University of America. The Archdiocese of Washington said in its own statement, “Our hope and prayer is that this decision serves to help the healing process for survivors of abuse, as well as those who have experienced disappointment or disillusionment because of what former Archbishop McCarrick has done.” Since 2015, Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of at least five American bishops after allegations they mishandled clergy abuse cases or were themselves accused of misconduct.