Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, 87, who is among the highest-ranking of the more than 6,700 U.S. Roman Catholic clerics was accused of sexually abusing a teenager when he was a priest in New York almost 50 years ago.
He has been accused of sexually abusing children since the church’s sex abuse scandal broke in 2002, following which the Vatican has asked the retired archbishop of Washington, D.C. to cease public ministry.
Though he said that he was innocent, an investigation by the Church found the allegations to be credible and substantiated, the archdiocese said in a statement, he was forced to resign last month.
Pope Francis on Sunday declined to comment on a letter by a former Vatican official that he had ignored sexual abuse claims against US cardinal McCarrick.
“I will not say a word about that. I think that the communique speaks for itself,” Pope Francis said when questioned by journalists on his plane when he was flying back to Rome after his visit to Ireland.
Former Vatican ambassador calls on Pope Francis to resign, In an 11-page testimony, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò claims that Pope Francis has been concealing sexual abuse claims against Cardinal McCarrick for years and he should resign.