Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is not competent to stand trial on criminal sexual abuse charges in a criminal court in Massachusetts, a state district judge ruled.
The Catholic News Agency reports the dismissal of the charges follows separate reports on McCarrick’s mental health professionals hired by both his and the state’s legal teams, both of which concurred on his incompetence.
McCarrick, 93, who now lives in Missouri, was charged in state court with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14 relating to allegations that he sexually abused a teenager in the 1970s at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
According to CNN McCarrick is the highest-ranking Catholic official in the US to face criminal charges for sex abuse of a minor.
Pope Francis defrocked him in 2019 after Vatican officials found him guilty of soliciting for sex while hearing confession and sexual crimes against minors and adults. The Vatican's press office said that the Holy See's doctrinal watchdog office, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, had found McCarrick guilty of "solicitation in the sacrament of confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power." The officials "imposed on him the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state."
A prolific fundraiser, while a cardinal McCarrick was connected to prominent politicians and was considered a power broker in Washington, D.C. Within the church, McCarrick was variously regarded as a moderate, or as a progressive, and was active in social justice causes.
The charges in Dedham were the first criminal charges that McCarrick has ever faced following several accusations of sexual abuse of minors and seminarians, which led to his removal from the clerical state in 2019, according to the Catholic News AGency
However, criminal sexual assault charges filed against McCarrick in Wisconsin in April are still pending, as are a number of civil lawsuits.
McCarrick was born into an Irish American family in New York City to Theodore E. and Margaret T. (née McLaughlin) McCarrick.