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Pope Francis accepts Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s resignation as archbishop of Washington D.C. at the moment

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Up to date Oct 12, 2018 6:43 AM EDT

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl from his submit because the archbishop of Washington, D.C. In a letter launched Friday by the Vatican, from the pope to Wuerl, the pontiff confirms he has accepted the archbishop’s resignation and lauds Wuerl for placing the church’s pursuits over his personal private protection towards claims he protected abusive monks.

Wuerl, who led the Pittsburgh diocese for 18 years, was implicated in a current Pennsylvania grand jury report and had confronted elevated calls to step down over allegations he lined up for so-called “predator monks.”

“You’ve gotten adequate components to ‘justify’ your actions and distinguish between what it means to cowl up crimes or not cope with issues, and to commit some errors. Nevertheless, your the Aristocracy has led you not to decide on this manner of protection. Of this, I’m proud and thanks,” Francis wrote within the letter.

Francis mentioned he obtained Wuerl’s resignation request on Sept. 21. The pope indicated his full assist for the outgoing archbishop, saying Wuerl made his request to face down — amid mounting stress — based mostly, “on two pillars which have marked and proceed to mark your ministry: to hunt in all issues the higher glory of God, and to obtain the nice of the folks trusted to your care.”

The pope goes on to extol Wuerl’s transfer as that of a “shepherd” who, “by widening his imaginative and prescient to acknowledge a higher good that may profit the entire physique, prioritizes actions that assist, stimulate and make the unity and mission of the Church develop above each form of sterile division sown by the daddy of lies.”

The pope requested Wuerl to stay an “Apostolic Administrator to the Archdiocese” in Washington till the appointment of his successor. Wuerl was in Washington on Friday morning.

On Labor Day, Wuerl met with the monks in his archdiocese. In a letter to them earlier this month, he shared his intent to fulfill the pope about his future. An professional instructed CBS Information on the time that the letter was extremely uncommon, however resignation could be much more so.

Within the September letter, Wuerl mentioned a call on his future was “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 a Mass in Rome. He mentioned bishops had been beneath assault from the “nice accuser,” one other title for Devil. 

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

The Pennsylvania grand jury report launched in August discovered greater than 300 Catholic monks sexually abused greater than 1,000 kids since 1947. Wuerl presided over 32 accused monks 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 monks quietly?” CBS Information correspondent Nikki Battiste requested Wuerl in August. 

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

“Do you’ve gotten 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 applicable motion was taken,” Wuerl had mentioned. 

Patrick Hornbeck, chair of the theology division at Fordham College in New York, mentioned in September that many individuals had been “seeking to Pope Francis to point out a level of management on this matter that he hasn’t but proven.”

“I feel 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,” Hornbeck mentioned.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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