WASHINGTON — Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, said he will no longer exercise any public ministry "in obedience" to the Vatican after an allegation he abused a teenager almost 50 years ago has been found credible.

"While shocked by the report, and while maintaining my innocence, I considered it essential that the charges be reported to the police, thoroughly investigated by an independent agency and given to the Review board of the Archdiocese of New York," the cardinal said in a statement June 20. "I fully cooperated in the process."

Cardinal McCarrick said that "some months ago" he was informed of the allegation by New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

"My sadness was deepened when I was informed that the allegations had been determined credible and substantiated," Cardinal McCarrick said.

The cardinal, who turns 88 July 7, was ordained a priest of the New York Archdiocese May 31, 1958. He was named auxiliary bishop of New York in 1977. He was appointed the first bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey, in 1981 and was named archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, in 1986. He was installed as archbishop of Washington in 2001. He was made a cardinal in Feb. 21, 2001, and retired as head of the Washington Archdiocese May 16, 2006.