Rafael Manuel Tovar
(ZENIT News / Massachusetts, 19.09.2023).- The District State Judge stated, in a Criminal Court in Massachusetts, that former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is incompetent to stand trial for the accusation of sexual abuse of an adolescent several decades ago.
McCarrick was Archbishop of Washington, DC, dismissed from the priesthood by Pope Francis in 2019, after the Vatican’s internal investigation determined the sexual assault that occurred in 1974.
The dismissal of the charges is based on the mental health examinations of McCarrick by several professionals and by the State’s legal teams, contracted separately. Both evaluations agreed on the significant defects during the interviews carried out in June, in which McCarrick was unable to remember a conversation a few minutes later. Dr Kerry Nelligan stated that the tests carried out in June revealed dementia in all its forms and no medications exists that will improve his ability.
“Not only does he have these deficits currently, there is no way he will improve,” said Nelligan. Being unable to recall his conversations, he wouldn’t be able to collaborate with his lawyers in his own defense.
McCarrick, 93, was accused of three charges of assault of a 14-year-old youth. The Vatican had reports dating back to 1999, on McCarrick’s inappropriate behaviour. At one point he was appointed Cardinal and worked in influential activities as a Holy See diplomat.
The former Cardinal stated he was innocent in September 2021. In April he was accused of assaulting sexually an 18-year-old in Wisconsin 45 years ago. He also faced several accusations of sexual abuse of minors and seminarians, events that led to his expulsion from the priesthood in 2019.
In February his lawyers requested the Judge to dismiss the case, which the latter did based on the examinations of a Professor of Psychiatry and Science of the Faculty of Medicine of Johns Hopkins University, which established that McCarrick was suffering from dementia, manifested as Alzheimer’s.
McCarrick attended the hearing via a video conference. He was slightly bent over, dressed in a light green shirt and a grey vest over his shoulders. He didn’t s peak. The former Cardinal was declared incompetent to stand trial for criminal charges of sexual abuse.