Former archbishop of Washington accused of sexual abuse, removed from public ministry
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The Vatican removed the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, from public ministry on Wednesday after allegations surfaced he sexually abused a teenager nearly 50 years ago while he was a priest in New York City. 

The church said in a statement that they made their decision following a "credible and substantiated" allegation against McCarrick. 

The archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, said that his archdiocese was aware of only one complaint against McCarrick involving a minor. 

"This archdiocese, while saddened and shocked, asks prayers for all involved, and renews its apology to all victims abused by priests," Dolan said. 

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McCarrick also served in New Jersey, and Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin said in a statement that the church knew of other allegations against McCarrick. 

"In the past, there have been allegations that he engaged in sexual behavior with adults," Tobin said. "This Archdiocese and the Diocese of Metuchen received three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago; two of these allegations resulted in settlements."

McCarrick has pushed back against the accusations, saying he was "shocked," but supported a full probe by New York police and the Archdiocese of New York. 

"While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through, as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people," he said.

He also issued an apology to his accuser, even though he maintains his innocence. 

“My sadness was deepened when I was informed that the allegations had been determined credible and substantiated,” he said. “I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through, as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people.”

McCarrick served as D.C.'s archbishop from 2001 to 2006, and has been a global fixture in the Catholic Church. 

He participated in the selection of Pope Francis as the head of the church and held positions on an advisory committee for the secretary of state during the Clinton administration, and on the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom. 

McCarrick has also taken part in recent talks on religious freedom and nuclear weapons in China and Iran.