Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

US Cardinal Donald Wuerl, accused over abuse cover-up, resigns

US Cardinal Donald Wuerl, accused over abuse cover-up, resigns

The NYT reports: 'But instead of making an example of Cardinal Wuerl, who was named in a recent Pennsylvania grand jury report that accused church leaders of covering up abuse, Francis held him up as a model for the future unity of the Roman Catholic Church.

While he maintained a relatively low political profile in Washington, Wuerl's resignation caps a stunning fall from grace for one of the world's most powerful Catholic leaders.

The archdiocese also announced the pope has named Cardinal Wuerl as apostolic administrator to oversee the archdiocese until a successor is named. However, your nobility has led you not to choose this way of defense.

"Once again for any past errors in judgment I apologize and ask for pardon", he said. In his first months as bishop, after the priests were charged with more than 100 counts of abuse, he formed a review board at the diocese level.

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Cardinal Wuerl asked Pope Francis to accept his resignation on several occasions since the Pennsylvania report, but the pope demurred until now, according to a church official with knowledge of the discussions.

The cardinal has been the subject of criticism since late June, when revelations about alleged sexual misconduct on the part of his predecessor, Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, raised questions about what Wuerl knew about the disgraced archbishop, and how he responded to that knowledge.

She said Francis should turn over all Vatican records on child sex crimes to secular authorities, and also demand that every cardinal and bishop post the names of all the accused clergy on diocesan websites.

Shapiro spoke at a news conference after urging the state Senate to pass legislation allowing sex-abuse victims to sue in old cases they now can't pursue because of the statute of limitations. The Vatican's highest court ordered Wuerl to restore Cipolla to priestly ministry, but Wuerl resisted and, after two years of legal procedures, prevailed in preventing Cipolla's return. He gave an interview to a local television station, saying that the cases had occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, before the church had developed clear policies on clergy sexual abuse.

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

Wuerl said in a statement Friday the pope's acceptance of his resignation could help pave a new way forward for the church. Cardinal Wuerl's books, homilies, and articles are rich resources which assist the faithful to understand better the teachings of the Church and embrace the faith we proudly profess. Some cases in the report raised concerns that he had allowed priests accused of abuse to remain in ministry after allegations had been made against them. He joined the priesthood in 1966, was ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II in 1986, and served briefly as auxiliary bishop in Seattle before going to Pittsburgh.

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.

And as a member of the Congregation for Bishops, Wuerl will still shape the American church for decades to come by helping to pick its bishops. Wuerl has defended his overall record in Pittsburgh.

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Despite a personal formality that sometimes struck observers as aloofness, McGuire said she found Cardinal Wuerl to be self-effacing, humble, approachable and genuinely interested in people.

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