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Donald Wuerl, Washington archbishop, to debate potential resignation with Pope Francis amid priest abuse scandal

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., stated he’s going to Rome within the close to future to debate his potential resignation with Pope Francis. Wuerl, who led the Pittsburgh diocese for 18 years, was implicated in a latest Pennsylvania grand jury report and has confronted elevated calls to step down over allegations he lined up for so-called “predator clergymen.”

On Labor Day, Wuerl met with the clergymen in his archdiocese. In a letter to them Tuesday, he shared his intent to fulfill the pope about his future. An skilled we spoke to stated a letter like that is extremely uncommon, however a resignation can be much more so.

Within the letter, Wuerl stated a call on his future is “important” in order that his archdiocese “can transfer ahead.”

The letter got here the identical day Pope Francis drew criticism for feedback he made throughout mass in Rome. He stated bishops are underneath assault from the “nice accuser,” one other identify for Devil.

“It looks as if the good accuser has been unchained,” the pope stated, including, “He tries to uncover the sins so they’re seen with a purpose to scandalize the folks.”

The Pennsylvania grand jury report launched final month discovered greater than 300 Catholic clergymen sexually abused greater than 1,000 kids since 1947. Wuerl presided over 32 accused clergymen throughout his time on the Pittsburgh diocese. Among the many accusations towards him is that he reassigned and reinstated a few of them.

“Did you ever transfer clergymen quietly?” CBS Information correspondent Nikki Battiste requested Wuerl in August.

“That wasn’t – that wasn’t our course of,” Wuerl responded the night time earlier than the report’s launch.

“Do you’ve any plans to resign?”

“What I need to discuss is what effort I made in my 18 years there. And that was to introduce the zero tolerance and… any priest towards whom there was a reputable, confirmed accusation, that acceptable motion was taken,” Wuerl had stated. 

Patrick Hornbeck, chair of the theology division at Fordham College in New York, stated “it is anybody’s guess what occurs subsequent.”

“Many individuals want to Pope Francis to point out a level of management on this matter, that he hasn’t but proven,” Hornbeck stated. “I believe it is honest to say that the Catholic Church, within the U.S. at the very least, is in a disaster that it is not seen for a very long time.”

We reached out to the Vatican for clarification on the pope’s feedback however didn’t hear again. Wuerl’s consultant informed us his letter speaks for itself. The Vatican stated Pope Francis will meet Thursday with the top of the U.S. bishops convention and different high U.S. church officers over the kid intercourse abuse and alleged cover-ups.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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