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WashPost: Archbishop Donald Wuerl to Meet Pope on Resignation

WashPost: Archbishop Donald Wuerl to Meet Pope on Resignation”

"On Monday, September 3, prior to our annual Labor Day gathering, we had an opportunity to pray together and, as I was asked by our Holy Father Pope Francis, to discern the best course of action for me to pursue as we face new revelations of the extent of the horror of the clergy abuse of children and the failures in episcopal oversight", Wuerl wrote in the letter. Pope Francis participated fully in the work of the Cardinals, although he was absent at certain points on account of other official duties.

The archbishop of Washington plans to meet with the pope in Rome to discuss the possibility of resigning as he confronts accusations that he mismanaged and concealed alleged sex abuse within the church, he wrote to local priests.

Wuerl had served as Bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese for 18 years, and, his name was mentioned prominently in the grand jury report for allegedly not doing enough to remove predator priests from ministry...while noting at the same time, that Wuerl did, at times, refuse to return priests to parishes, after they were accused of sexual abuse. However, a pope is not obliged to accept such a resignation and Pope Francis has essentially kept Cardinal Wuerl in office in Washington ever since.

Francis's key cardinal advisers announced the decision Wednesday, a day before Francis meets with USA church leaders who have been deeply discredited by the latest accusations in the Catholic Church's decades-long sex abuse and coverup scandal.

In the note, Cardinal Wuerl acknowledged that many Catholics in the archdiocese "have questions about their bishop's ability to provide the necessary leadership". He said a decision about his future "is an essential aspect so that this archdiocesan church we all love can move forward". Also involved are two officials from the U.S. conference, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and Monsignor Brian Bransfield, according to a Vatican statement.

DiNardo asked for the meeting last month, saying he wanted the pope to support an investigation into the scandal around former Washington DC Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who resigned from the College of Cardinals in response to allegations that he once abused a teen-aged boy.

"Francis, who has put the Vatican back on the geopolitical stage, knows that when he needs a savvy back channel operator he can turn to McCarrick", he said.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said DiNardo would meet with Francis on Thursday in the Apostolic Palace, along with Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Francis' top sex abuse adviser.

The Vatican has known since 2000 that McCarrick slept with seminarians.



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