Embattled American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, once a papal favorite of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis and the Vatican’s main man on Vatican-China relations, could potentially face criminal sex charges in the state of New York just as the Vatican is considering whether to de-frock him. McCarrick, 88, is living out his days at a friary in Kansas after being stripped him of his official church role when a stream of sexual abuse accusations became impossible to ignore in June. It was an open secret for years that McCarrick liked to host six seminarians at his five-bedroom New Jersey beach house with the assumption that each night one of the young priests-to-be would share a bed with him. James Grein, who says McCarrick sexually abused him for years from the time he was 11-years-old, gave testimony last month to a Manhattan assistant district attorney who may file criminal charges, according to the Associated Press. Grein also testified in December to Vatican investigators who will decide this month whether to de-frock, or remove McCarrick from the priesthood, which is the highest form of punishment within the Catholic Church. McCarrick's alleged sexual abuse allegations led to the resignation of another prominent American cardinal, Donald Wuerl, who apparently fielded complaints about McCarrick when he led the Washington, D.C. diocese. Evidence emerged last week that Wuerl had reported the allegations against McCarrick to the Vatican in 2004, even though he recently denied knowing about them.
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