Georgetown rescinds honorary degree for defrocked McCarrick

Georgetown University has rescinded an honorary degree it bestowed in 2004 on then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked last week after being convicted by the Vatican of sexually abusing minors and adult seminarians.

Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said Tuesday that it is "the first time an honorary degree conferred by the University has been revoked."

DeGioia says Georgetown and other Roman Catholic and Jesuit institutions have been called on "to create a context in which the abuse of power can be identified and eliminated."

The 88-year-old McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., is the highest-ranking churchman and the first cardinal to be punished by dismissal from the clerical state, or laicization.

He was notified Friday of the decision, which was approved by Pope Francis.