Pope John Paul II promoted ex-U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2000 despite rumors of his sexual misconduct, a Vatican report found.
McCarrick was expelled from the Roman Catholic priesthood last year after a Vatican investigation found him guilty of sexual crimes against minors and adults and abuse of power, Reuters reported.
The report said that “credible evidence” that the former archbishop of Washington, D.C. had abused minors when he was a priest in the 1970s did not surface until 2017.
But it said the U.S. Church hierarchy was aware of consistent rumors that after McCarrick became a bishop in the early 1980s he preyed on adult male seminarians.
“During extended interviews, often emotional, the persons described a range of behavior, including sexual abuse or assault, unwanted sexual activity, intimate physical contact and the sharing of beds without physical touching,” the report’s introduction says.