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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - After revelations of longstanding sex abuse, one of America's highest-ranked prelates is stepping down from the College of Cardinals.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops issued a statement Saturday morning announcing the resignation of Cdl. Theodore McCarrick, as well as the pope's order that he spend his time in prayer and penance until the canonical investigation of his conduct is finalized.
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, from the College of Cardinals.
Pope Francis has also imposed on Cardinal McCarrick suspension ad divinis and directs him to observe a life of prayer and penance in seclusion until the completion of the canonical process.
The statement of this resignation and these stipulations was publicized in Rome on July 28, 2018.
On June 20, the New York archdiocese, along with the archdiocese of Washington, D.C., announced that Pope Francis had suspended McCarrick's faculties after credible allegations of sex abuse. Since the announcement, multiple reports have surfaced indicating McCarrick has led a life of serial sexual abuse of adult seminarians.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops, issued a statement on McCarrick's resignation.
"I thank the Holy Father for his leadership in taking this important step," he said. "It reflects the priority the Holy Father places on the need for protection and care for all our people and the way failures in this area affect the life of the Church in the United States."
The widespread knowledge of the abuse by Church leaders coupled with McCarrick's advance in clerical career has led to outrage among faithful Catholics, who have begun a campaign urging the laity to stop giving money to the bishops and demand their resignations.