Archbishop of Washington DC Cardinal Donald Wuerl resigns amid cover-up scandal

Oct 13, 2018, 00:40
Archbishop of Washington DC Cardinal Donald Wuerl resigns amid cover-up scandal

"The cardinal did so in early September and soon after announced that he would be asking Pope Francis to accept his resignation..."

A native of Pittsburgh, Penn., Cardinal Wuerl studied at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

The Holy Father said that Cardinal Wuerl has "sufficient elements "to justify" [his] actions and distinguish between what it means to cover up crimes or not to deal with problems, and to commit some mistakes". The pope also praised Cardinal Wuerl's "nobility" in choosing to step down rather than defend his record under fire.

Archbishop Vigano's letter followed a massive statement in mid-August calling on Pope Francis to resign because, he claimed, Pope Francis had known there were sanctions on Cardinal McCarrick and not only did he lift them, he allegedly made Cardinal McCarrick a trusted confidant and adviser on bishops' appointments in the United States. Wuerl initially questioned Bendig's account but later accepted it and moved to oust Cipolla from the priesthood. Once again for any past errors in judgment I apologize and ask for pardon.

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The Vatican press office October 6 published a statement saying Pope Francis has decided that as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith continues its investigations into the sex abuse allegations against Cardinal McCarrick, "a further thorough study of the entire documentation present in the archives of the dicasteries and offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick" will take place. He'll be in charge in the DC archdiocese until the Vatican appoints a new archbishop to replace him.

Here are excerpts of the letter, in which Francis asks Wuerl to remain on in a temporary position until his successor is found. "I have never heard Pope Francis allude to this self-styled advisor during his pontificate regarding nominations in America, though he does not hide the trust that he has in some of the Bishops".

It seems remarkable to Shaw that Pope Francis has failed to use this opportunity to distance himself from the "nightmarish, interconnected abuse allegations and convictions" rocking the Catholic Church in the USA.

He wrote: "I strongly doubt that McCarrick concerned him (Francis) to the degree you'd like to think, given he was an 82-year-old emeritus archbishop who had been out of a job for seven years".

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A sweeping U.S. grand jury report released in August revealed credible allegations against more than 300 predator priests and identified over 1,000 victims of child sex abuse covered up for decades by the Catholic Church in the state of Pennsylvania. For his part, Bishop Wuerl was sent back to his native Pittsburgh, where he was installed as the diocesan bishop in March 1988.

Simultaneously, Wuerl faced widespread skepticism over his insistence that he knew nothing about years of alleged sexual misconduct by McCarrick.

Cardinal Wuerl is a member of several Vatican departments, including the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Congregation for Bishops.

As apostolic administrator, Cardinal Wuerl will continue to lead the day-to-day activities of the archdiocese, but will not be permitted to make any major changes.

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Wuerl's archdiocese issued a series of similar plaudits on Friday, coinciding with the Vatican announcement.

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