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Pope defrocks former D.C. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick over sex abuse

Theodore McCarrick
Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Vatican has defrocked disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who had served in the Catholic Church for 60 years before resigning in 2018 over accusations of child sex abuse, the AP reports.

Why it matters: McCarrick is the highest-ranking Church official ever to be removed from the clergy. As a result of his defrocking, McCarrick will no longer be able to "celebrate Mass or other sacraments, wear clerical vestments or be addressed by any religious title," according to the AP.

The big picture: Pope Francis' decision comes just five days before he is set to convene an unprecedented abuse prevention summit for clergy leaders around the world, as the Church continues to grapple with new revelations from its decades-long child sex abuse scandal.

Go deeper: Pope criticizes U.S. bishops' handling of sex abuse crisis