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Georgetown University revokes former Cardinal McCarrick’s honorary degree

FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2013 file photo, Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick poses during an interview with the Associated Press, in Rome. On Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 the Vatican announced Pope Francis defrocked former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after Vatican officials found him guilty of soliciting for sex while hearing Confession. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)

WASHINGTON — Georgetown University is breaking with school tradition by revoking the honorary degree of the disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, marking the first time the university has taken such an action.

The former Archbishop of Washington was given an honorary degree by the university in 2004.

Georgetown President John DeGioia said in a statement released Tuesday that the school is examining a range of issues related to honorary degrees since allegations of decades of sexual abuse against McCarrick surfaced in 2018.

“We are called to forge a new culture, to create a context in which the most vulnerable among us will be safe and protected, to create a context in which the abuse of power can be identified and eliminated,” DeGioia said in the statement.

McCarrick is the first cardinal to be defrocked in the U.S. He was found guilty of sex abuse by the Vatican and is the highest-ranking churchman to be dismissed.

His defrocking means he is barred from celebrating Mass and wearing clerical clothing.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report. 

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