Washington D.C., Jun 19, 2020 / 18:00 pm
June 20 marks two years since the announcement that credible allegations of sexual abuse had been raised against then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. In the months that followed, a major crisis of abuse and cover up within the Church in the U.S. was revealed, and Church officials have responded with new policies and pledges of transparency. Here is a timeline of major events in the last two year:
The Archdiocese of New York announces that an allegation of sexual abuse by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been found to be "credible and substantiated." In the following months, additional allegations will be raised against McCarrick, including claims that McCarrick had a widely-known reputation for sexual advances toward seminarians.
The Diocese of Cheyenne says Emeritus Bishop Joseph Hart has been credibly accused of sexually assaulting two boys after he became bishop of the diocese in 1976. A third credible allegation is confirmed a few weeks later.
Pope Francis accepts the resignation of McCarrick from the College of Cardinals and suspends him from the exercise of any public ministry. He directs McCarrick to observe a life of prayer and penance, pending the canonical process against him.
A grand jury report in Pennsylvania details allegations against some 300 priests, from more than 1,000 victims in six of the state's Catholic dioceses over a 70-year period. The report was met with national outcry and prompted more than a dozen other states to follow suit.
The U.S. bishops' conference calls for a Vatican-led investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse and cover-up surrounding McCarrick.
Former apostolic nuncio to the U.S. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano releases a "testament" claiming that Pope Francis knew about sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Benedict XVI but chose to repeal them.
Asked during an in-flight interview about Vigano's letter, Pope Francis says he "will not say a single word" on the subject and instructs journalists to use their "journalistic capacity to draw your own conclusions."
Pope Francis calls for all the presidents of the Catholic bishops' conferences of the world to meet at the Vatican Feb. 21-24 to address the protection of minors.
The administrative committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announces new accountability measures, including a code of conduct for bishops and the creation of an independent reporting mechanism for complaints against bishops. The committee also calls for a full investigation into the allegations against McCarrick and the Church's response to these allegations.
The Vatican announces that Pope Francis has ordered a review of all Holy See files pertaining to allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of McCarrick. The results of that review have not, to date, been released.
U.S. bishops gather for an annual fall meeting in Baltimore; the Vatican instructs them to delay until after the February meeting a vote on two proposals intended to be the foundation of the U.S. Church's response to the abuse crisis.
The U.S. bishops fail to pass a resolution that would have "encouraged" the Holy See to release all documents on the allegations of misconduct against McCarrick.