US cardinal to discuss quitting, pope calls bishop heads

Feb meeting to discuss how to stop sex abuse

(ANSA) - New York, September 12 - Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Washington under fire for alleged inaction over clerical sex abuse, has sent a letter to his priests saying he will discuss his resignation with Pope Francis in Rome soon.
    The news came as Francis on Wednesday called the world's bishops' heads to a conference in the Vatican next February on preventing clerical sex abuse.
    Wuerl is one of the high-ranking clerics near Pope Francis accused in a letter by former Washington nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò.
    Since mid-August, the former archbishop of Pittsburg Wuerl has been at the center of heated debate calling for him to resign after accounts of his allowing several priests accused of sexually abusing children to remain in ministry. The accounts were included in a grand jury report last month in Pennsylvania that accused over 300 priests of abuse.
    Alongside other US-based allies of the Pope, Wuerl has been accused of covering up the sexual abuse of children committed by his predecessor in the capital, Theodore McCarrick.
    Close to both the former and the present popes, 77-year-old Wuerl had offered to leave the ministry when he turned 75 due to age limits but Pope Francis had opted to keep him in his position.
   

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