Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl / REUTERS

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Washington Archbishop in Wake of Sex Abuse Cover-Up Scandal

A Pennsylvania grand jury recently released a report on predator priests and sexual abuse in the early 1990s, which sparked outcry over Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s handling of the situation. Wuerl resigned from his position as the archbishop of Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.


A statement released from the Vatican said, in part:

“The Holy Father Francis accepted the renunciation of the pastoral government of the archdiocese of Washington (U.S.), presented by the Most Important Card. Donald W. Wuerl.”

In total, 99 priests from Pittsburgh were named in a Pennsylvania grand jury report. The report graphically describes instances where children were being raped, molested and beaten.

For 18 years, from 1988 to 2006, Wuerl led the Pittsburgh diocese. He presided over 32 accused priests, and he has been accused of reassigning and reinstating some of them.

“The other cases Wuerl addressed in Pittsburgh principally concerned actions and allegations that arose during the reign of his predecessor, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua,” according to the Catholic News Agency.

The 900-page report by the grand jury detailed priest sexual abuse in six dioceses across Pennsylvania, and identified more than 300 predator priests and more than 1,000 child victims, since 1947.

Wuerl will remain as an “Apostolic Administrator to the Archdiocese” in Washington until the appointment of his successor, at the request of Pope Francis.

In June, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Wuerl’s D.C. predecessor, was suspended for child sexual abuse.

There had been pressure for Wuerl to resign. In August, a former Vatican ambassador accused him, and Popes Benedict and Francis, of knowing McCarrick was a sexual predator, but still allowing him to remain in his position.

How deep does this go How many will come out and how much of the clergy is corrupt

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