Vatican faults many for McCarrick’s rise, spares Francis

Vatican Mccarrick

FILE – In this April 18, 2005 file photo, U.S. Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick attends a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, as the cardinals who will elect a new Pope made their last public appearance before sequestering themselves inside the Sistine Chapel later in the day. Thousands of pilgrims and tourists packed St. Peter’s Basilica and the square to take a last glimpse at the cardinals who elected the next head of the Roman Catholic Church during the Conclave. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)

ROME (AP) — A Vatican investigation into ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has found that bishops, cardinals and popes downplayed or dismissed reports that he slept with seminarians. But the 400-plus-page report determined that Pope Francis merely continued his predecessors’ handling of the predator until a former altar boy alleged abuse.

The Vatican took the extraordinary step Tuesday of publishing its two-year investigation into the American prelate’s rise and fall to restore credibility to the U.S. and Vatican hierarchies, which have been shattered by the McCarrick scandal.

Francis defrocked the 90-year-old McCarrick last year after a Vatican investigation confirmed decades of allegations that the successful church fundraiser had sexually molested adults as well as children.

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