In the interests of accuracy

The Guardian (online) reports:
“A former Roman Catholic archbishop and cardinal has been dismissed from the priesthood after the Vatican found him guilty of sexually abusing minors in a sign of an increasingly hardline stance taken by the church.”

The Telegraph (online) headline:

“US cardinal expelled from Catholic Church over sexual abuse allegations”

To be fair, The Telegraph has more recent posts which are slightly more accurate.

Fr. Z’s Blog reports:

“McCarrick has been “laicized”, that is, stripped of the clerical state.  While Holy Orders leaves an indelible mark on the souls (meaning that even death doesn’t remove the sacramental character – a priest is a priest forever, even in heaven or… *shudder* in the other place) he may not function in any priestly capacity for the rest of his life.”

Even that isn’t the whole picture, because in danger of death, Mr McCarrick can administer the relevant Sacraments.

He has not been expelled from the Church nor excommunicated. We must pray for his soul. The Office of Readings this morning gave us a sobering reading from I Corinthians 6:

“You know perfectly well that people who do wrong will not inherit the kingdom of God: people of immoral lives, idolaters, adulterers, catamites, sodomites, thieves, usurers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers will never inherit the kingdom of God. These are the sort of people some of you were once, but now you have been washed clean, and sanctified, and justified through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the Spirit of our God.”

Is this “an increasingly hardline stance taken by the church”? Or just an isolated one-off high-profile response to mollify very disillusioned American faithful? For sure, it isn’t the end of the matter.

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