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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

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

2 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.

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