PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pope Francis officially accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, of the Washington Archdiocese, on Friday. However, Wuerl will remain a Cardinal and a close advisor to the pope.
His resignation comes several months after a Pennsylvania grand jury report criticized the 77-year-old Pittsburgh native for his handling of several clergy sex abuse cases during his 18 years as head of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese.
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Benjamin Sweet, a lawyer representing victims of clergy sex abuse, was skeptical about Wuerl’s decision to step down.
“The reaction from folks I represent has been more outrage, more of the same from the Catholic Church. This is the lightest possible slap on the wrist for Bishop Wuerl, and he’s not leaving in his role as administrator as the Archbishop of Washington.”
Sweet has filed a lawsuit, on behalf of a number of plaintiffs, claiming the church is still engaged in a major cover up; and among other things, church officials are concealing the names predator priests.
“Many of these priest’s [names’ have not become public. Even to this day, they are still being housed, fed and cared for by the church,” Sweet said.
- CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REPORT AND LIST OF NAMES OF PREDATOR PRIESTS
- CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL LIST OF NAMES RELEASED BY THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH
- CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL LIST OF NAMES RELEASED BY THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF GREENSBURG
Also disappointed with Cardinal Wuerl’s resignation was Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Shapiro said in a written statement that it was “unacceptable that Wuerl is retiring with no apparent consequences.” The Attorney General continued, “The grand jury report, and diocesan records documented Wuerl oversaw and participated in a systematic cover up.”