Cardinal Donald Wuerl To Meet With Pope Francis On Potential Retirement

Saul Bowman
September 13, 2018

Cardinal Wuerl did not specifically say in his letter to the Pope that he would ask him to accept his resignation, which Wuerl submitted to the Vatican 3 years ago when he turned 75.

Pope Francis has convened the Presidents of all the Episcopal Conferences of the whole world for a meeting in Rome to discuss the prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.

Wednesday's press briefing was dedicated to a review of this week's meeting of the Council of Cardinal Advisors.

Pope Francis will meet with US cardinals and bishops Thursday to discuss the sex abuse scandal, according to the Vatican.

Chilean Cardinal Errázuriz has been accused of mishandling sexual abuse complaints in his home country while Cardinal Pell is back in Australia defending himself against allegations of historic sex offences.

In the United States, a Grand Jury has found that 301 priests in the state of Pennsylvania sexually abused minors over a similar period. The meeting in February will bring together the heads of all national bishops' conferences, from more than 100 countries.

The Vatican's statement on Wednesday did not set out what the agenda might look like in February.

DiNardo said the report shows the pain of those who have been victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, and by those who protected the abusers and permitted the actions to continue. It also alleged that he concealed information when priests were reported to law enforcement and oversaw insufficient church investigations into abuse.

Last month, in a letter to the world's Catholics, Francis said the church must prevent sexual abuse from being "covered up and perpetuated".

St. John Paul II made him archbishop of Washington and a cardinal in 2001, presumably because Vatican officials were impressed by his fundraising prowess and considered his past homosexual activity a mere "moral lapse" and not a gross abuse of power, it added.

Cardinal DiNardo had said in a statement August 16 that he was requesting a meeting at the Vatican following the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on the mishandling of hundreds of cases of sexual abuse in six dioceses and after news was released that allegations of child sexual abuse committed by Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, the former cardinal-archbishop of Washington, were found credible. Two of those allegations resulted in settlements, the bishops said.

"There's absolutely no reason to think any good will come of such a meeting", given the church's decades of failure to reform, David Clohessy, former director of the victims' advocacy group SNAP, said.

After the Pennsylvania grand jury report, several states have announced their own investigations, potentially requiring dioceses to open up their secret files.

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