Pope Francis accepts resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Abuse survivors accuse the Vatican of turning a blind eye to child abuse when priests suspected of being abusers were moved by Bishops into new parishes instead of being reported to the police.

Originally the namesake for the diocese's newest high school in Cranberry Township, North Catholic made the decision to remove Cardinal Wuerl from their name.

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.

Wuerl has defended his overall record in Pittsburgh insisting he had a good past record, but progresivelly came to the conclusion that he could no longer lead the archdiocese. "Once again for any past errors in judgment I apologise and ask for pardon".

Following the report's release, Cardinal Wuerl said while the Grand Jury "may be critical of some of my actions" he stressed it "confirms that I acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse".

After re-examining the archives, I can ascertain that there are no corresponding documents signed by either Pope, neither is there a note of an audience with my predecessor, Cardinal Giovanni-Battista Re, giving Archbishop Emeritus McCarrick an obligatory mandate of silence and to retire to a private life, carrying canonical penalties.

In his letter to Wuerl, the pope said he recognized that Wuerl wanted to step down for the greater good of the Church.

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The Pope has blamed the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal on the devil.

The letter notes that Francis "had nothing to do" with McCarrick's career, nor have I ever "heard Pope Francis allude to this self-styled advisor during his pontificate regarding nominations in America [.] I presume that they are not preferred by you or by those friends who support your interpretation of the facts". Cardinal Wuerl hosted both popes in Washington, D.C., during their first pastoral visits to the United States.

In an interview, Wuerl said he would continue to live in Washington and that he expected to keep his positions in Vatican offices, including one that advises the pope on the appointment of 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. He divested him from the dignity of Cardinal when a credible accusation of the abuse of a minor became evident.

Referring explicitly to the Pennsylvania grand jury report on abuse released in mid-August, the pope said the cases were numerous "until the early 1970s", but "in more recent times, they decreased because the church realized that she had to grapple with this in another way".

Archbishop Vigano's letters, he said, "inflict a very painful wound" on the church, "which you claim to serve better, aggravating divisions and the bewilderment of the people of God!"

Wuerl was born in Pittsburgh, attended Catholic University and received a doctorate in theology from the University of Saint Thomas in Rome. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1966 and went on to receive a doctorate in 1974.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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