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Vatican Clarifies Pope Francis’ Comments on McCarrick

(CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The Vatican’s communications office has released a full transcript of Pope Francis’ interview with Televisa Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki that revealed the pope’s more complete comments about what he knew about Theodore McCarrick, the former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, D.C., who is the highest-ranking Church clergy member in modern times to be defrocked.

Originally, the Vatican released a partial transcript of the interview in which Pope Francis denied knowing anything about McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct. The partial transcript left out the part of the interview in which Pope Francis said “he does not remember” what was told to him about McCarrick, according to the Associated Press.

The distinction is important because last August Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., published documents that said Pope Francis knew about Church-imposed sanctions on then-Cardinal McCarrick, but made him a trusted aide anyway.

The Vatican press office didn’t comment on the distinction.

McCarrick, 88,  was dismissed from the priesthood in February after a Church investigation confirmed his abuse of both minors and adults. McCarrick has denied that abuse.

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