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After Pope Francis accepted Cardinal Donald Wuerl's resignation as the archbishop of Washington Friday morning, the post remains empty yet the church remains under Wuerl's supervision as apostolic administrator.

In his letter, Pope Francis said Cardinal Wuerl's choice to step down reflected the "heart of the shepherd" who seeks church unity over "sterile division sown by the father of lies", the devil, who "wants nothing more than that the sheep be dispersed".

The grand jury report found that 1,000 people - majority children - had been abused by 301 clergymen over the course of 70 years in six diocese in Pennsylvania.

In the Grand Jury report, state investigators focussed on Cardinal Wuerl's record as Bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006 depicting his actions as a mix between taking bold action and being obfuscatory.

At this time in the life of our Church, all bishops are called, as Cardinal Wuerl has done, to acknowledge any failure to protect Gods' children, to express deepest apologies to victims of sexual abuse and to renew our commitment to assist them in their healing process in any way possible.

The 77-year-old cardinal, the sixth archbishop of Washington, had submitted his resignation, as is mandatory, to the pope when he turned 75, but it had not been accepted until now. "If Wuerl did these things, the pope should make an example of him to show that if it can happen to a cardinal, it can happen to any priest". However, your nobility has led you not to choose this way of defense. Rodgers formerly worked as a local newspaper reporter in Pittsburgh who covered the religion beat and Bishop Wuerl's 18-year tenure in the Steel City. He was often the glue holding a divided bishops' conference in America together, and he was also the most important interpreter and ally of Pope Francis in a sometimes-skeptical Catholic culture in the US.

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You are not signed in as a Premium user; we rely on Premium users to support our news reporting. Years later, according to the report, six more people alleged that they were sexually assaulted by O'Malley, in some cases after he had been reinstated. Wuerl was bishop of Pittsburgh at the time. In his first months as bishop, after the priests were charged with more than 100 counts of abuse, he formed a review board at the diocese level.

In 1993, when John Paul II was pope, Wuerl traveled to Rome, where he successfully persuaded the Vatican to overturn the reinstatement of an abusive priest. He'll be in charge in the DC archdiocese until the Vatican appoints a new archbishop to replace him.

In an extraordinary letter released in August, the Vatican's former ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, accused Francis of covering up inappropriate behaviour by McCarrick and called on the pope to resign. He said Wuerl's resignation is "long overdue".

Reacting to this claim, Cardinal Ouellet penned an open letter which was issued on this Sunday. By seemingly downplaying the gravity of these sins and Wuerl's moral culpability for them, he is thereby participating in these sins.

Wuerl, who is considered a moderate and a supporter of Francis' style of papacy, spoke in the interview about the constructive role he hoped to play at the annual meeting of American bishops in November.