ROME (AP) — A Vatican investigation of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has found that bishops, cardinals and popes downplayed or dismissed reports that he slept with seminarians.

But the 449-page report determined that Pope Francis merely continued his predecessors’ handling of the predator until a former altar boy alleged abuse.

The Vatican took the extraordinary step of publishing its two-year investigation into the American prelate’s rise and fall to restore credibility to the U.S. and Vatican hierarchies, which have been shattered by the McCarrick scandal.

Francis defrocked the 90-year-old McCarrick last year after a Vatican investigation confirmed decades of allegations that the successful church fundraiser had sexually molested adults as well as children.

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