Car­di­nal’s res­ig­na­tion ac­cepted by pope

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS -

Pope Fran­cis has ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tion of Wash­ing­ton Car­di­nal Don­ald Wuerl af­ter he be­came en­tan­gled in two ma­jor sex­ual abuse and cover-up scan­dals.

Wuerl, who turns 78 in Novem­ber, be­comes the most prom­i­nent head to roll in the scan­dal rock­ing the Catholic Church af­ter his pre­de­ces­sor as Wash­ing­ton arch­bishop, Theodore McCar­rick, was forced to re­sign as car­di­nal over al­le­ga­tions he sex­u­ally abused at least two mi­nors and adult sem­i­nar­i­ans.

A Vat­i­can state­ment said Fran­cis had ac­cepted Wuerl’s res­ig­na­tion, but named no im­me­di­ate re­place­ment.

The de­ci­sion came af­ter months in which Wuerl ini­tially down­played the scan­dal, in­sisted on his own good record, but then pro­gres­sively came to the con­clu­sion that he could no longer lead the arch­dio­cese.

In a let­ter re­leased by Wuerl’s of­fice, Fran­cis praised his long­time ally and sug­gested Wuerl had un­fairly be­come a scape­goat, hav­ing made some “mis­takes” in han­dling sex abuse cases, but not hav­ing cov­ered them up.

In his let­ter, the pope asked Wuerl to stay on in a tem­po­rary ca­pac­ity un­til a new arch­bishop is found.

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