Defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Blames Conservative Catholics for Sexual Assault Allegations

A former Roman Catholic Cardinal who’s been defrocked for credible allegations of sexual assault blamed conservative Catholics within the church hierarchy for his downfall.

Theodore McCarrick was removed from the clerical state in February after being accused of sex abuse by a former young male parishioner and adult seminarians(students studying to become Catholic priests).

Shortly before being stripped of his clerical status in an expedited Vatican trial, the former Archbishop of Washington D.C. was shipped away from his former diocese to a remote friary in Victoria, Kansas. He was ordered to live a penitent life of prayer with a small community of Franciscan monks known for their frugality.

However, McCarrick spoke out for the first time since his defrocking in a spontaneous interview with Slate’s Ruth Graham. The former clerical all-star revealed that he still steadfastly denies the allegations levied against him, and actually blames conservative elements of the Catholic clergy for his downfall. McCarrick was known widely as one of the most progressive senior Cardinals of the Catholic Church before being defrocked.

McCarrick singled out Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano as a supposed leader of the plot against him. Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to the United States, accused Pope Francis of ignoring the allegations of abuse against McCarrick.

The defrocked Cardinal told Graham that he believed Vigano was “talking as a representative of the far right, I think… I don’t want to say he’s a liar, but I think some of the bishops have said that he was not telling the truth.”

The adult man who revealed McCarrick groped him sexually in a confessional, James Grein, spoke forcefully against the now-defrocked former Cardinal’s denials. “Father McCarrick’s claim that he did not sexually abuse James Grein in the confessional rings hollow given that McCarrick has shown himself to be a child molester without a conscience.”

Although their suffering is secondary to that of clerical abuse victims, Catholics throughout the world continue to suffer spiritual agony from the actions of predatory clergy who disgrace their religion.