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Defrocked Archbishop to Continue to Live in Kansas

KSAL StaffFebruary 16, 2019

A former Catholic Archbishop who was defrocked by Pope Francis on Saturday will continue to live in Kansas.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Salina, on Saturday the Vatican announced that former Archbishop Theodore McCarrick has been dismissed from the clerical state. This type of dismissal is specifically known as laicization, a scenario in which a member of the clergy, through the use of the Church’s legal apparatus, is not permitted to act as a priest. He will no longer be permitted to celebrate the sacraments or exercise sacred ministry in the Church.

Last summer, Pope Francis asked that McCarrick live a life of prayer and penance until a thorough investigation of allegations against him took place. He took residence at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria beginning on September 28, 2018. Mr. McCarrick will continue to reside at the St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria until a decision of permanent residence is finalized.

Bishop Gerald L. Vincke, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Salina, said he hopes that this decision may help bring healing to all affected by sexual abuse and those hurt by this scandal.

He also expresses his gratitude to the Capuchins at St. Fidelis Friary for their charity and compassion shown to all who seek refuge in the Church, as well as the remarkable people of Victoria for their mercy in this difficult situation.

Here, the English text of the Vatican announcement:

On 11 January 2019, the Congresso of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at the conclusion of a penal process, issued a decree finding Theodore Edgar McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., guilty of the following delicts while a cleric: solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power. The Congresso imposed on him the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state. On 13 February 2019, the Ordinary Session (Feria IV) of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith considered the recourse he presented against this decision. Having examined the arguments in the recourse, the Ordinary Session confirmed the decree of the Congresso. This decision was notified to Theodore McCarrick on 15 February 2019. The Holy Father has recognized the definitive nature of this decision made in accord with law, rendering it a res iudicata (i.e., admitting of no further recourse).

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