NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:
One of the nation’s highest-profile Catholic cardinals has been removed from public ministry after he was found to have sexually abused a teenager while working as a priest in New York.
Theodore Cardinal McCarrick molested a young altar boy at St. Patrick’s Cathedral before Christmas Mass in 1971 and 1972, the victim’s lawyer told the Daily News.
The predatory priest preyed on the teen boy, who was 15 or 16 at the time of the first assault, as he was being fitted for his Christmas cassock, said lawyer Patrick Noaker.
The victim lived with the painful secret for decades — as McCarrick’s stature grew — before coming forward to report it to church officials early this year.
“This shows you how broken the system is,” Noaker told The News. “You don’t go higher than cardinal unless you’re Pope.”
McCarrick, 87, is the highest-ranking member of the Catholic Church to be booted from the ministry amid allegations of sexual misconduct. In a statement, he maintained his innocence even after a Vatican investigation substantiated the allegations.
“While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through, as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people,” McCarrick said.