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Events Timeline

June 20: the New York Times published a story announcing that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington and a prominent Roman Catholic voice in international and public policy, had been removed from ministry after an investigation found credible allegations that he sexually abused a teenager while serving as a priest in New York. As the weeks went by, additional revelations about McCarrick’s predatory practices became public.

July 28: McCarrick resigns from College of Cardinals.

August 14: the Pennsylvania Grand Jury released its report identifying 300 priests who had abuse over 1000 children over a span of several decades.  A number of prominent bishops were identified as having been complicit in the cover-up of sexual abuse, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who had been Bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006.

August 25Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who served as Apostolic Nuncio for the United States from 2011-2016, released an 11-page sworn statement claiming that McCarrick’s abuse had been known by the Vatican as early as 2000.  Viganò stated that he had personally told Pope Francis about McCarrick in 2013, but Francis went ahead and lifted canonical sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI. Viganò called upon Pope Francis to resign.

August 26: on a plane trip returning from Ireland, Pope Francis was confronted by a reporter about Viganò’s testimony, to which he responded “I will not say a single word on this.”

September 11: Cardinal Donald Wuerl announces he plans to resign as Archbishop of Washington, D.C.

September 13Pope Francis met with a US delegation of bishops to discuss the sexual abuse crisis.  This same day Bishop Michael Bransfeild announces his resignation due to allegations of sexual abuse.

September 14: one month after the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, 8 additional states had launched investigations into Catholic sexual abuse.