Former US Catholic Cardinal’s Sexual Abuse Trial Suspended Due to Competency Concerns: Wisconsin Judge

Waukesha, Wisconsin – The sexual abuse trial of former US Catholic cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been suspended by a Wisconsin judge, according to court records. McCarrick, who is 93 years old, is the highest-ranking US Catholic official to face charges related to the systemic sexual abuse of minors in the Church. The allegations against him include sexually assaulting a teenager in Wisconsin in 1977.

The decision to suspend the trial came after McCarrick was diagnosed with dementia. Judge David Reddy stated that he “makes a finding of incompetence and suspends the matter due to competency,” as noted in the online court records. Although Reddy did not have the authority to dismiss the case outright, a review hearing has been scheduled for December 27.

McCarrick, once a powerful figure in Washington as the Church’s highest official there, was defrocked by Pope Francis in 2019. A Vatican investigation found that he had engaged in regular sexual contact with adult seminarians and children, marking a historical first for the Church.

The report documenting McCarrick’s actions spans several decades, and the Vatican has been accused of ignoring allegations against him while continuing to promote him to higher positions. This suspension of his trial in Wisconsin follows a previous ruling in Massachusetts, where a judge deemed McCarrick cognitively unable to stand trial for sexually assaulting a teenage boy fifty years ago.

In summary, a Wisconsin judge has put a pause on the sexual abuse trial of former US Catholic cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The decision, based on his diagnosis of dementia, underscores the gravity of the systemic sexual abuse scandal in the Church, where McCarrick held significant influence for many years. The suspension follows Pope Francis’ defrocking of McCarrick in 2019 and raises questions about the Church’s handling of allegations against him. A review hearing is scheduled for December 27 to further address the matter.