The Pope wrote that Wuerl has “adequate components to ‘justify'” his actions “and distinguish between what it means to cowl up crimes or to not cope with issues, and to commit some errors.”
“Nonetheless, your the Aristocracy has led you not to decide on this manner of protection. Of this, I’m proud and thanks,” the pope wrote.
The tone of Francis’ letter “would point out … that though Cardinal Wuerl as of at this time is now not the archbishop of Washington, he actually does not appear to be out of favor with the boss,” CNN senior Vatican analyst John Allen mentioned.
Wuerl, who turns 78 in November, technically tendered his resignation upon reaching age 75, as all Catholic bishops and cardinals do. However cardinals are sometimes allowed to serve till they’re 80.
Wuerl mentioned Friday that he was deeply touched by the pope’s “gracious phrases of understanding” in Friday’s letter, and he requested for forgiveness for “previous errors.”
“The Holy Father’s resolution to supply new management to the Archdiocese can permit all the trustworthy, clergy, non secular and lay, to concentrate on therapeutic and the long run,” Wuerl mentioned in an announcement launched by the archdiocese. “It permits this native Church to maneuver ahead.
“As soon as once more for any previous errors in judgment I apologize and ask for pardon. My resignation is one option to specific my nice and abiding love for you the individuals of the Church of Washington.”
Whereas he maintained a comparatively low political profile in Washington, Wuerl’s resignation caps a surprising fall from grace for one of many world’s strongest Catholic leaders.
The Pittsburgh native spent greater than 50 years climbing the ranks of the Catholic Church, constructing a status as a loyal churchman and scrupulous instructor. Referred to as a key ally of Pope Francis, Wuerl sits on the Vatican committee that vets and appoints bishops around the globe.
The Archdiocese of Washington vigorously defended Wuerl, sending detailed explanations of his actions to space clergy and pushing again in opposition to accusations that he did not deal adequately with pedophile clergymen whereas he was the bishop of Pittsburgh.
Wuerl additionally confronted accusations from a former papal diplomat that he knew about accusations that his predecessor in Washington, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, had sexually abused seminarians.
In a letter revealed in August, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Vatican’s former US ambassador, mentioned Wuerl was “nicely conscious of the continual abuses dedicated by Cardinal McCarrick and the sanctions imposed on him by Pope Benedict.”
CNN’s Hada Messia and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.