Pope Francis has defrocked a former US Cardinal after he was found guilty of sexually abusing minors.
Theodore McCarrick, 88, once led the Archdiocese of Washington and was a powerful figure within the Catholic Church in the U.S. before being engulfed by the scandal.
He was accused of sexually abusing three minors and harassing adult seminarians and priests under his charge.
It was even alleged that he solicited sex during confessions with victims.
McCarrick has denied the claims, saying he had 'absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse.'
However, The Vatican said McCarrick was found guilty of 'solicitation in the sacrament of confession' and sins against the Sixth Commandment with 'minors and adults' during his tenure.
One of his victims, James Grein, said he was 'happy that the Pope believed me' after the scandal.
Grein said more pressure needed to be put on attorney generals and senators to change the statute of limitations so that historical allegations could be investigated in the future.
The defrocking of McCarrick comes five days before Francis leads a gathering of bishops to help the church deal with the sexual abuse crisis.
McCarrick, who liked to be called 'Uncle Ted' by his victims, has become the highest-ranking churchman to be dismissed from the clerical state.
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