Washington Cardinal Wuerl apologizes to faithful

Washington Cardinal Wuerl apologizes to faithful

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

The pope wrote a letter acclaiming Wuerl's "nobility" for resigning and saying that Wuerl's actions in Pittsburgh were justifiable mistakes instead of coverups of crime.

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

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".

In response to the pope's letter, Wuerl released a statement, saying, "The Holy Father's decision to provide new leadership to the Archdiocese can allow all of the faithful clergy, religious and lay, to focus on healing and the future".

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I also take this occasion to express my honest appreciation to Cardinal Wuerl for his longstanding and dedicated service to Our Lord Jesus and his Church.

He also apologised for "past errors in judgment" and asked for "pardon".

Bishops are asked to submit their resignation at 75, but continue in their role until the Pope chooses to accept it. "Your renunciation is a sign of your availability and docility to the Spirit which continues to act in his Church".

"(The church must be) saved from the attacks of the malign one, the great accuser and at the same time be made ever more aware of its guilt, its mistakes, and abuses committed in the present and the past", Pope Francis said, according to Reuters. For his part, Bishop Wuerl was sent back to his native Pittsburgh, where he was installed as the diocesan bishop in March 1988. He joined the priesthood in 1966 and was ordained a bishop in 1986 by Pope John Paul II in 1986.

In the mid 1980s, the issue was an irregular situation where then-Bishop Wuerl was given administrative responsibilities at the expense of the late Seattle Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, who had run afoul of the Vatican for some of his pastoral tendencies.

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The petition said that Wuerl should be removed from his position for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of minors and paying off clergy to lie about their stories while serving as bishop of Pittsburgh.

Wuerl was in Washington on Friday morning.

In the 1990s Cardinal Wuerl hosted the television program, The Teaching of Christ. But Ouellet said the "exhortation" to live a discreet life of prayer stopped short of binding canonical sanctions, precisely because the rumors lacked proof. He'll be in charge in the DC archdiocese until the Vatican appoints a new archbishop to replace him.

"Repent of your revolt", the cardinal wrote before asking, "How can you celebrate the holy Eucharist and pronounce his (the pope's) name in the canon of the Mass?" "True, we are all sinners, we bishops", he said.

Cardinal Wuerl is a member of several Vatican departments, including the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Congregation for Bishops.

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