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Ex-Newark archbishop Cardinal McCarrick hit with abuse claim

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NEWARK -

The former archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark has been removed from public ministry over allegations he sexually abused a teenager in New York more than 40 years ago.

The Roman Catholic Church said Wednesday that the allegations against 87-year-old Cardinal Theodore McCarrick were found to be "credible" and that Pope Francis ordered his removal.

McCarrick said in a statement released through the church that he accepted the decision but is innocent and has no recollection of abusing anyone.

Newark’s current archbishop, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, acknowledged three cases in which McCarrick was accused of sexual misconduct with adults while serving the Diocese of Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Newark. Two of those cases resulted in settlements.

New Jersey resident Bob Hoatson says that he was abused by a clergy member when he was a child and has accused the Newark Archdiocese of covering up sex abuse claims. 

“The rumors about Archbishop McCarrick have been rampant since, oh, the 70s and 80s,” Hoatson says.

Tobin said in a statement that sexual abuse has been a crisis in the church and reiterated that he will report any allegations that come forward to law enforcement.

McCarrick left Newark in 2000 to become the archbishop of Washington, D.C. He was archbishop in Washington from 2000 to 2006 and a priest in New York from 1958 to 1981.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan said the New York Archdiocese knew of no other such allegations against McCarrick.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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