Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Pope praises U.S. archbishop who steps down in sex abuse crisis

Vatican Defends Pope amid Cover Up Accusations Pope says the Devil is to blame for the church scandals
Patty Aguilar | 12 October, 2018, 17:23

Cardinal Donald Wuerl is no longer the reigning archbishop of Washington, D.C. Pope Francis made it official today in a letter where he accepts Wuerl's resignation.

7 statement was a response to the Vatican's announcement that it would review its files pertaining to allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Archbishop McCarrick, who has been accused in recent months of serially sexually abusing two teenage boys, and of sexually coercing and assaulting priests and seminarians during decades of ministry as a bishop.

However, Wuerl won't be gone immediately. However, the president and vice president of the conference - Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles - are at the Vatican for the Synod of Bishops and are likely to meet the pope again today.

The pope asked Wuerl to remain an "Apostolic Administrator to the Archdiocese" in Washington until the appointment of his successor. However, the cardinal added, "I told you verbally of the situation of the bishop emeritus who was to observe certain conditions and restrictions because of rumors about his behavior in the past".

In a glowing letter of support, Francis made clear that he accepted Wuerl's resignation reluctantly, at Wuerl's insistence, and believed he was not guilty of trying to hide abuse.

Ouellet pointed out that the June 2013 meeting occurred as Francis was meeting with all his ambassadors for the first time and was gathering an "enormous quantity of verbal and written information" about the church. "Of this, I am proud and thank you", Francis wrote in the letter.

In this way, you make clear the intent to put God's Project first, before any kind of personal project, including what could be considered as good for the Church. "Your resignation is a sign of your availability and docility to the Spirit who continues to act in his Church". For those who read the grand jury report, however, it doesn't comport with the facts at hand.

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Wuerl apologized for the damage inflicted on the victims but also defended his efforts to combat clergy sex abuse.

A website demanding that he step down eventually garnered more than 100,000 signatures in just a couple of weeks and everywhere Wuerl went, he was beginning to lose support. He'll be in charge in the DC archdiocese until the Vatican appoints a new archbishop to replace him. The report released last month documented abuse by 300 priests over the course of 70 years.

The report covered six diocese in Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, where Wuerl served as archbishop from 1998-2006. They were joined by the conference's associate general secretary Msgr.

Archbishop Vigano on August 26 demanded the pope step down for allegedly covering up the past sexual misconduct of former Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington.

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

Wuerl had originally resigned on his 75th birthday, November 12, 2015, as is the custom among Catholic bishops.

That could mean Wuerl's role as a "chief conduit" between the U.S. Church and Francis will stay in place, and his influence with the pope is unlikely to be diminished - if anything, since his retirement may afford him more time in Rome, it might even grow.

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