Wuerl to discuss his resignation with Pope

Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s possible resignation will be the subject of a discussion he plans having with Pope Francis, he wrote in a letter to the Washington archiocese bishops.

He told them he will be going to Rome soon to discuss his possible resignation.

Wuerl’s letter followed an extraordinary meeting at which he talked with archdiocesan priests about the best way to address the mounting criticism following a Pennsylvania grand jury’s report about sex abuse.

The report alleges that, even though Wuerl argued that parishioners have a right to know if a priest accused of child sex abuse had been reassigned to another parish, he reassigned priests with histories of abuse. In doing so, the report says Wuerl shielded the abusers from accountability.

Since the report was released, a prominent deacon has said he would refuse to participate in the Mass alongside the cardinal, and some priests have suggested Wuerl should resign.

In his letter, Wuerl spoke of “how to begin effectively to bring a new level of healing to survivors” of abuse.

It was in this context he said that “sooner rather than later” he would need to make a decision about his possible resignation.

He did not say whether he expected Francis to accept his resignation.


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