PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Cardinal Donald Wuerl, formerly a Pittsburgh Bishop, is under fire with calls for him to step down, but while offering apologies for his failings, the cardinal is giving no indication he will resign.
Under pressure to step down, Wuerl took to the pulpit Sunday to once again address his own dealings with clergy sex abuse when a voice cried out.
As the defiant parishioner walked out, Wuerl spoke on undeterred, not to defend his record but to apologize for his failings.
“Shame. I wish I could redo everything over the last 30 years as a bishop and each time get it always right. That is not the case,” Wuerl said.
Wuerl had long been seen as a leader in combating clergy sex abuse — first by defying the Vatican in 1993 by refusing to reassign predatory priest Anthony Cipolla and then in 2002 by helping write a series of reforms and safeguards known as the Dallas Charter.
Though he terminated several accused priests as Bishop of Pittsburgh, the reports show other cases where he took the word of mental health professionals and kept some in ministry after they were accused.
In the past two weeks, Wuerl has said his positions evolved over time, but Sunday, he asked for forgiveness for what he called his “errors in judgement” and his “inadequacies.”
“I don’t feel anyone is owed to be a cardinal,” parishioner Mary Callinor said.
Callinor turned her back on Wuerl during his homily and believes he and other church leaders should step down.
“There is, within the hierarchy, a lack of understanding of what this means to people and the church and what their responsibility is,” she said.
Even through his apology, Wuerl indicated he will be dedicating his efforts to seeing the church through this crisis and will not be stepping down.