The Archdiocese of Washington vigorously defended Wuerl, sending detailed explanations of his actions to area clergy and pushing back against accusations that he failed to deal adequately with pedophile priests while he was the bishop of Pittsburgh.
By resigning, McGuire suggested that the cardinal would be displaying "a very serious and elegant act of leadership". The Vatican court later sided with then-Bishop Wuerl and Father Cipolla, who has since died, was kept out of ministry.
Despite facing numerous calls for his resignation, including from his own clergy, Wuerl said at the time the report confirmed he had acted with "diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse".
In the October 12 letter accepting the cardinal's resignation, the Holy Father defended the cardinal from the widespread criticism he has faced in recent months. But the anger has spilled out of the Catholic blogosphere and into the pews. And I can't speak to Cardinal Wuerl's particular level of culpability. Years later, according to the report, six more people alleged that they were sexually assaulted by O'Malley, in some cases after he had been reinstated.
McCarrick was forced to resign in 2018 from the College of Cardinals after being accused of sexually assaulting at least two minors and adult seminarians.
"If Wuerl did these things, the pope should make an example of him to show that if it can happen to a cardinal, it can happen to any priest". He earlier served as an auxiliary bishop of Seattle from 1986 until 1988, when he was named bishop of Pittsburgh, where he served for 18 years.
The Pope has asked Wuerl to remain an Apostolic Administrator until his successor is appointed. As is customary for bishops who turn 75, he had submitted a formal resignation three years ago. For his part, Bishop Wuerl was sent back to his native Pittsburgh, where he was installed as the diocesan bishop in March 1988.
The controversial bookends to his life as a bishop contrast with what was otherwise a distinguished and accomplished career as a consummate churchman. Known as a key ally of Pope Francis, Wuerl sits on the Vatican committee that vets and appoints bishops around the world.
In the 1990s Cardinal Wuerl hosted the television program, The Teaching of Christ.
Francis saw Wuerl as that shepherd, a force for unity.
Wuerl's simultaneous resignation and rehabilitation by the pope is likely to enrage conservative Catholics who have been using the sexual abuse scandal to try to bring down prelates close to Francis. "Of this, I am proud and thank you", Pope Francis says in the letter.
In a letter to the Washington faithful, which Wuerl asked to be read aloud at Mass this weekend, the cardinal addressed survivors of abuse.
In the weeks since, Francis has alluded to Viganò's letter, to which he has said he will not respond, by speaking of the devil's role in trying to divide the church. Cardinal Wuerl is not being truthful and forthright.
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