Cardinal avoids sex-abuse trial as a result of dementia

42 Cardinal avoids sex-abuse trial as a result of dementia

Theodore McCarrick was accused of molesting a 16-year-old boy, one among allegedly dozens of victims

A Massachusetts decide has dismissed expenses in opposition to Theodore McCarrick, ruling that the 93-year-old former cardinal was not mentally competent to face trial for the alleged sexual abuse of a teenage boy. McCarrick is the highest-ranked clergyman ever to be defrocked by the Vatican over claims of pedophilia.

The decide’s ruling got here on Wednesday, after a psychologist advised Dedham District Courtroom that McCarrick was affected by acute reminiscence loss and was exhibiting the indicators of “extreme cognitive decline.”

“It’s not simply that he at the moment has these deficits,” the psychologist, Dr. Kerry Nelligan, stated. “There isn’t any approach they’re going to get higher.”

McCarrick was accused of groping the genitals of a 16-year-old boy at a marriage in 1974. The case was introduced after Massachusetts lifted the statute of limitations on sex-abuse circumstances in 2021. McCarrick can also be dealing with related expenses in Wisconsin, the place he’s accused of repeatedly groping a younger male sufferer through the late Seventies.

He pleaded not responsible within the Massachusetts case two years in the past and has but to enter a plea in Wisconsin.

As soon as the highly effective Archbishop of Washington, McCarrick was ordered to resign as Cardinal by Pope Francis in 2018 and was laicized in 2019, after a Vatican investigation decided that he’d molested dozens of minors and adults throughout his ascent via the Catholic Church’s hierarchy. A report by the Holy See later discovered that Pope John Paul II promoted McCarrick regardless of understanding concerning the allegations in opposition to him, whereas Pope Benedict XVI ignored the warnings. 

Nonetheless, the Vatican’s former ambassador to the US claimed in 2018 that Pope Francis knew concerning the allegations and made McCarrick his “most trusted counsellor,” whereas eradicating extreme sanctions Benedict had positioned on the cardinal.

The Catholic Church acknowledged in 2018 that it reached settlements with quite a few McCarrick’s alleged victims through the early 2000s, whereas he was serving as Archbishop of Washington.

At the very least 4 civil lawsuits in opposition to the previous Archbishop are nonetheless pending. One in every of these accuses McCarrick and three clergymen of getting run a pedophile ring from a seaside home in New Jersey within the early Nineteen Eighties, whereas McCarrick was Bishop of Metuchen.

“The dismissal of the case in opposition to McCarrick is massively disappointing,” Anne Barrett Doyle of advised the Catholic Information Company on Wednesday. “But once more, a predator has evaded accountability,” she continued, including that “whereas the establishment could have been spared the embarrassment of an ex-cardinal on trial, the shame of its complicity with McCarrick stays.” 

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