Pope Francis last week defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick for sexually abusing minors and other seminarians. Though McCarrick is not the first church official to be expelled by Francis for sexual abuse, he is the most high-profile. It was one of the most drastic actions taken by a pope who has become known for his efforts to transform the Catholic Church, which in the past has been largely silent on the issue of sexual abuse by priests.

Reverend Emmett Price, professor of worship, church & culture and founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, told Boston Public Radio Monday that while he was happy to see McCarrick’s expulsion, the process of repairing a broken system is far from over.

“It’s a significant start, it’s a beginning,” Price said. “Now that we’ve done this, it sets a precedent for other cardinals and leaders of the Catholic Church, but now the pope has to go a step further. We need to continue to advocate for the removal of the statute of limitations, and we need to move this to the judicial process, we need [McCarrick] to go to court.”

Reverend Irene Monroe, a syndicated religion columnist, the Boston voice for Detour’s African American Heritage Trail and a visiting researcher at the religion and conflict transformation program at Boston University School of Theology, agreed. Monroe said justice will not begin to be served until McCarrick is given a jail sentence, and she’s not sure if the Vatican will be forceful enough to fight for those reforms in the American legal system.

“Is the Catholic Church irredeemable? That is a kind of question we [have to ask ourselves],” Monroe said. “[McCarrick] should go to jail.”

Vatican officials are expected to meet this week with a dozen abuse victims in Rome ahead of a summit with 190 presidents of bishops' conferences around the world to discuss reforms to prevent sexual abuse.