Pope ac­cepts car­di­nal’s res­ig­na­tion amid scan­dal

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - NATION+WORLD -

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

But in a let­ter re­leased by Wuerl’s of­fice, Fran­cis asked Wuerl to stay on tem­po­rar­ily un­til a re­place­ment is found and sug­gested he had un­fairly be­come a scape­goat and vic­tim of the mount­ing out­rage among rank-and-file Catholics over the abuse scan­dal.

The pope’s ap­par­ent re­luc­tance to re­move Wuerl was ev­i­dence of the fraught per­son­nel de­ci­sions he has been forced to make as he grap­ples with the bur­geon­ing global scan­dal that has im­pli­cated some of his clos­est ad­vis­ers and al­lies, in­clud­ing top church­men in the U.S., Bel­gium, Hon­duras, Chile and Aus­tralia.

With the res­ig­na­tion, Wuerl be­comes the most prom­i­nent head to roll 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.

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