Pope Francis Accepts D.C. Cardinal Wuerl’s Resignation

Christian

Cardinal Wuerl, 77, originally submitted his resignation on November 12, 2015, when he turned 75 years old, as required by canon law.

The case triggered a storm in August when Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to Washington, accused the pope of ignoring allegations that McCarrick had abused a teenager decades ago.

Wuerl, who has been the archbishop of Washington since 2006, presented his resignation to the pope when he turned 75 three years ago, as is customary for cardinals.

"Your renunciation is a sign of your availability and docility to the Spirit who continues to act in his Church", he added.

He said he was "stepping aside to allow for new leadership that doesn't have this baggage".

"There are distortions and serious omissions in the grand jury report so that it incorrectly portrayed his record here". He served briefly as auxiliary bishop in Seattle before going to Pittsburgh. They argue he should resign because he was part of an episcopal establishment that failed to protect the Church's most vulnerable members.

Wuerl has faced increasing pressure to resign ever since the publication of a grand jury report on abuses committed by priests in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. By resigning, McGuire suggested that the cardinal would be displaying "a very serious and elegant act of leadership".

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. The Vatican court later sided with then-Bishop Wuerl and Father Cipolla, who has since died, was kept out of ministry. The letter said Wuerl made some "mistakes" in dealing with sex abuse cases.

Catholic League president Bill Donahue, however, defended the cardinal.

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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. "Even when sacked for bad behaviour, they should be allowed to depart in a dignified manner". He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1966 and went on to receive a doctorate in 1974.

On a personal note, I convey my gratitude to Cardinal Wuerl for the fraternal support he has extended to me from the moment I was appointed bishop and throughout the years.

The archbishop regained his full authority the following year after appealing to a Vatican-appointed commission of three other USA bishops.

The controversial bookends to his life as a bishop contrast with what was otherwise a distinguished and accomplished career as a consummate churchman. The new bishop was charged with special responsibility for five problem areas in the archdiocese: liturgy, the tribunal, priest formation, moral and bioethical issues in Catholic hospitals, and ministry and teaching concerning homosexuality. Wuerl has been an ally of the Pope in the United States Church hierarchy which includes some known to be lukewarm about the pastoral priorities of the Francis pontificate.

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.

Francis said he received Wuerl's resignation request on September 21. "Scripture doesn't teach that, so the Catholic Church shouldn't teach that, especially from the pope's pulpit".

Pope Francis is saying that Cdl.

Wuerl's archdiocese issued a series of similar plaudits on Friday, coinciding with the Vatican announcement.

Edward McFadden, a spokesman for Wuerl, said that during the cardinal's 12 years in Washington, "not a single priest of the Archdiocese of Washington has faced a credible claim, and there is not today a single priest in ministry in Washington who has faced a credible claim". The Church has been damaged.

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