Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who is implicated in the sex abuse cover-up scandal.
A Vatican statement Friday said Francis had accepted Wuerl's resignation, but named no replacement; Wuerl's office said he had been asked to stay on in a temporary capacity until a new archbishop is found.
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Wuerl, the former bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, has been scrutinized since the release of a grand jury report on child sex abuse by priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses.
Wuerl, 77, was named nearly 200 times for his alleged involvement in the cover-up. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik released the following statement regarding the acceptance of Wuerl's resignation:
Wuerl served as bishop for the Diocese of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006. After the August release of the grand jury report, calls for his resignation began.
In light of the grand jury report and a petition, Wuerl’s name was removed from North Catholic High School. His name had been added to the school in 2013 when it moved from Pittsburgh Troy Hill neighborhood to Cranberry Township.
In a September letter entitled “To Begin the Healing,” Wuerl said he was prepared to step down as archbishop of Washington.
“Those called to serve the Church in a leadership capacity must recognize that we are to lead not only by word, but also by personal action,” Wuerl said in the letter. “We must be prepared to do whatever is needed, including stepping aside. This action on my part is an essential aspect of the healing so that this archdiocesan Church we all love can move forward.”