US car­di­nal ac­cused of sex abuse re­signs

Global Times - Weekend - - WORLD -

Pope Fran­cis has ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tion of Car­di­nal Don­ald Wuerl as arch­bishop of Wash­ing­ton, D.C., the Vat­i­can said on Fri­day, mak­ing him one of the most se­nior Catholic fig­ures to step down in a world­wide sex­ual abuse cri­sis.

Wuerl, 77, who was bishop of Pitts­burgh be­tween 1988 and 2006, has been un­der scru­tiny over his han­dling of sex­ual abuse cases dur­ing that pe­riod. He keeps the ti­tle of car­di­nal.

In a let­ter by the pope re­leased in Wash­ing­ton, Fran­cis in­di­cated that he ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tion re­luc­tantly and at Wuerl’s in­sis­tence. He asked Wuerl to stay on as ad­min­is­tra­tor un­til an­other arch­bishop could be ap­pointed.

Wuerl has been un­der fire since the re­lease in Au­gust of a US Grand Jury re­port on sex­ual abuse found ev­i­dence that at least 1,000 peo­ple, mostly chil­dren, had been sex­u­ally abused by some 300 cler­gy­men over the course of 70 years. The re­port cov­ered six dio­cese in Penn­syl­va­nia, in­clud­ing Pitts­burgh when it was led by Wuerl.

He has also been ac­cused of know­ing about sex­ual mis­con­duct by his pre­de­ces­sor in Wash­ing­ton, ex-car­di­nal Theodore McCar­rick.

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