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Georgetown University Revokes Ex-Cardinal’s Honorary Degree

For the first time in its history, Georgetown University is revoking the honorary degree given to a cardinal of the Catholic Church.

The university announced on Tuesday that it would be rescinding the honorary degree it awarded to former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2004. The announcement follows the Vatican defrocking McCarrick after finding him guilty of sexually abusing both minors and adults, The Washington Post reported.

The church concluded that McCarrick, who used to advocate for religious freedom and human rights on behalf of Vatican worldwide, abused his power and solicited sex during confession, stripping him of his priesthood.

“After troubling allegations about his conduct became public in the summer of 2018, I shared a message with our community, reflecting on the responsibilities of our university in this moment and our role, as a Catholic and Jesuit institution, in promoting ‘a culture of safeguarding vulnerable people,'” Georgetown president, John DeGioia, wrote in a letter to the community.

“With the concurrence of our Board of Directors, Georgetown University is rescinding the honorary degree granted to Theodore McCarrick fourteen years ago.”

In a similar move last week, the University of Notre Dame also revoked the degree it conferred to McCarrick, six months after university president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, said that school would wait until the end of the Vatican’s canonical process to make a move.

“The Vatican has announced the conclusion of the adjudicatory process against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, finding that he transgressed his vows, used his power to abuse both minors and adults and violated his sacred duty as a priest,” the university said in a statement.

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