Pope accepts Cardinal Wuerl's resignation over sex abuse cover-up

Howard TerryOct 14, 2018

Pope Francis' gentle words, lack of condemnation and even praise as he accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Washington archbishop accused of protecting child-molesting priests, was slammed by critics yesterday as an affront to victims.

Wuerl's simultaneous resignation and rehabilitation by the pope is likely to enrage conservative Catholics who have been using the sexual abuse scandal to try to bring down prelates close to Francis.

But Wuerl made a personal appeal to Francis last month to accept the resignation, following the fallout of the McCarrick scandal and outrage over the Pennsylvania grand jury report that has led to a crisis in confidence in the church hierarchy.

Wuerl, Pittsburgh's bishop from 1988 to 2006, was accused in the grand jury report of allowing accused priests to remain in the ministry. A spokesman for Cardinal Wuerl confirmed to CNA Sept. 12 that the cardinal meant to formally ask Pope Francis to allow him to step down. Rodgers formerly worked as a local newspaper reporter in Pittsburgh who covered the religion beat and Bishop Wuerl's 18-year tenure in the Steel City.

Other Catholic Church leaders have stressed the importance of transparency and investigating accusations against sexual abuse in the church. DiNardo apologized for any failures 16 years ago, admitting that allowing the priest to continue volunteer duties at a church after forced retirement was a "mistake that we regret".

In the September letter, Wuerl said a decision on his future was "essential" so that his archdiocese "can move forward".

Patty Fortney-Julius, one of five sisters from central Pennsylvania who have accused their now-dead parish priest of sexually abusing them as children, also voiced frustrations.

Wrote Francis in a letter to Wuerl: "I recognize in your request the heart of the shepherd who, by widening his vision to recognize a greater good that can benefit the whole body ... prioritizes actions that support, stimulate, and make the unity and mission of the Church grow above every kind of sterile division sown by the father of lies who, trying to hurt the shepherd, wants nothing more than that the sheep be dispersed..."

The shoe finally dropped for Cardinal Donald Wuerl, but it hasn't quite hit the floor yet.

He was appointed Bishop of Pittsburgh in 1988.

Cardinal Wuerl's episcopal career appears to be ending in as much controversy as it began when he became an auxiliary bishop in Seattle in 1986.

Pope Francis's letter was far from accusatory against Cardinal Wuerl. He'll be in charge in the DC archdiocese until the Vatican appoints a new archbishop to replace him.

"In the meantime, names of potential leaders for the archdiocese will be submitted to the pope through the apostolic nuncio for Pope Francis to determine the next suitable archbishop".

Wuerl was also named prominently in the 11-page denunciation of the McCarrick cover-up that was penned by the Vatican's former ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who accused a long line of U.S. and Vatican churchmen of turning a blind eye to McCarrick's penchant for sleeping with seminarians.

For the last five years, Wuerl has also been the single most important voice within the United States hierarchy defending Pope Francis, at a time when some other American bishops and Catholic leaders have struck discordant notes.

Related Articles:



« Previous article
Next article »


Popular Pages

Disney's 'Aladdin' Trailer Released Online
Disney released the poster for their live-action Aladdin movie teasing a first look trailer will be release tomorrow. Mena Massoud/Aladdin, Naomi Scott/Princess Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari/Jafar, and I'm over here gettin my Genie on.

Chief Justice Roberts Refers Kavanaugh Ethics Complaints To 10th Circuit
Speaking before well-wishers, Kavanaugh said that while the confirmation process "tested" him, his "approach" remains the same. President Donald Trump and Kavanaugh's wife, Ashley, and daughters Liza and Margaret look on in the East Room.

Ramsey has no plans to force early Arsenal exit
Now it appears the bookies agree and have made Liverpool favorites to sign Arsenal attacking midfielder Aaron Ramsey . Ramsey is likely to leave the Emirates as a free agent, after the Gunners chose to withdraw their contract offer.

I. Uses Racial Slur To Describe Kanye West, Threatens To Slap Him
Some of his notable quotes during the controversial visit included some that were of the nonsensical variety, USA Today reported. Stop and frisk not only has proven more harmful than effective at reducing crime; it has been ruled unconstitutional .

Near 850,000 customers without power in U.S. Southeast after Michael
But after the storm passed, she emerged to check on the cafe she manages and discovered a scene of breathtaking destruction. A pine tree punched a hole in their roof, and Beu's ears popped because of the drop in barometric pressure from the storm.

Prince Andrew shares family photos as royal bridal party confirmed
From baking to bunting, preparations are under way ahead of the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on 12 October . The snaps show Princess Eugenie and groom-to-be Jack Brooksbank as children, and Andrew included a few more recent images.

Interpol Chief 'Resigns' After China Admits to Kidnapping Him
Meng, the Vice Minister in the powerful Pubic Security Ministry, was elected as the first Chinese Interpol chief in November 2016. Meng, can keep suspects incommunicado for six months, without warning their families or give them access to a lawyer.

Pixel 3 Camera app download released unofficially, for Pie
In this author's opinion, the simple yet sleek look of the iPhone Xs Max just gives it the edge over the Google Pixel 3 XL . The third-generation Pixel will be released initially in ten countries (compared to six that Pixel 2 released a year ago).

Israel halts fuel deliveries into Gaza amid deadly clashes with Palestinian protesters
It said four died along the frontier east of Al-Bureij in central Gaza, two east of Gaza City and one near Rafah in southern Gaza. Palestinian official news agency Wafa identified the passenger who died as 48-year-old mother of eight, Aisha Mohammed Rabi.

No significant impact on Galway so far after Storm Callum makes landfall
A yellow warning covers much of the rest of Wales, as well as parts of Scotland and the North West and South East of England. Passengers are advised to check service updates with ferry companies before travelling from either Holyhead or Fishguard.