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U.S. Former Cardinal McCarrick Could Be Defrocked Next Week

Former U.S. cardinal Theodore McCarrick, 88, will learn his fate next week when Pope Francis is expected to decide whether he should be kicked out of the priesthood for decades of clerical sex abuse, according to Reuters citing unnamed Vatican sources. Last July, McCarrick was stripped of his title of cardinal over allegations that he sexually abused a 16-year-old boy in a church confessional. He was the first high-ranking Catholic prelate to be stripped of the title in 100 years. Allegations against McCarrick, who is currently living out his life in prayer in a friary in Kansas, go back decades. He is rumored to have often invited six or more young seminarians to his five-bedroom New Jersey beach house with the assumption that one of them would have to share his bed, according to reports. Only when allegations surfaced that he abused an under-age boy did the church take his offenses seriously. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who was forced to resign his post as head of the prestigious Washington, D.C., diocese late last year, is among a number of high-ranking prelates accused of covering up for McCarrick’s crimes. Francis’ impending decision comes before a crisis summit set for Feb. 21-24 in Rome on widespread clerical sex abuse in the Catholic church.