Transcript for Pope Francis is expelling the former archbishop of Washington, DC
We do want to get now to the breaking news overnight from the Vatican. Pope Francis defrocking former cardinal Theodore Mccarrick who once served as the archbishop of Washington. ABC's Julia Macfarlane joins us from our London bureau. Reporter: This is a historic move by the church. A statement from the Vatican today says pope Francis is expelling the former cardinal Theodore Mccarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C. Stripping him of all priestly identity and privileges. Now, it's not the first time the church has done this, but it does appear to be the first time a church leader has faced this punishment. This follows an investigation by the church which finds Mccarrick guilty of sexually abusing minors and adults many decades ago. Mccarrick won't face any criminal charges because the alleged crimes were committed so long ago that the statute of limitations has expired. The revelations also that there were financial settlements in at least two cases involving Mccarrick have led to accusations of a cover-up by the church. In a statement last year Mccarrick said he had no recollection of the allegations and maintains his innocence. Eva. All right, thanks, Julia.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.