Archbishop of Washington resigns after being criticized for covering up child sex abuse allegations as New York cardinal says even his own mother is ’embarrassed to be Catholic’

Friday, October 12, 2018
By Paul Martin

Archbishop of Washington Donald Wuerl handed in his resignation in September but the Vatican accepted it on Friday
He is accused of protecting child abuser priests in the Pennsylvania diocese by reassigning them when they were accused of crimes
His name was one of hundreds contained in a bombshell grand jury report released in August
Wuerl is the most senior church official to lose his job over the crisis
New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan described the allegations as ‘nauseating’
He revealed his 91-year-old mother is ashamed to go out in public now because of her association to the church

12 October 2018

The fallout from the Catholic church’s epidemic child sex abuse crisis continued on Friday with the resignation of the Archbishop of Washington Donald Wuerl.

Wuerl, who was the bishop of the Pittsburgh diocese from 1988 to 2006, is the most senior priest to lose his position since a bombshell grand jury report in August detailed how he and others covered up decades of allegations in Pennsylvania.

The 77-year-old is not accused of assaulting any children but is alleged to have protected serial molesters by reassigning them.

He handed in his resignation in September but it was only accepted by the Pope on Friday.

In a letter released by the Vatican, Pope Francis praised Wuerl for falling on his sword and said he was ‘proud’ of him for not staying in his position to fight the claims against him.

‘You have sufficient elements to “justify” your actions and distinguish between what it means to cover up crimes or not deal with problems and to commit some mistakes.

‘However, your nobility has led you not to choose this way of defense. Of this, I am proud and thank you,’ he wrote.

In sharp contrast to his pride was the embarrassment of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan who described the allegations against Wuerl and the entire grand jury report ‘nauseating’.

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