Pope Francis on Friday accepted the resignation of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl over his role in the cover-up of two sexual abuse scandals according to the Vatican.
Wuerl is the biggest name within the Catholic Church to resign over a growing sexual abuse scandal.
Francis praised Wuerl in his letter accepting the resignation and avoided criticizing Wuerl’s handling of the sexual abuse scandals.
“You have sufficient elements to ‘justify’ your actions and distinguish between what it means to cover up crimes or not to deal with problems, and to commit some mistakes,” Francis wrote. “However, your nobility has led you not to choose this way of defense. Of this, I am proud and thank you.”
It was reported last month that Wuerl would ask Francis to accept his resignation.
Wuerl has faced increasing pressure to resign over his conduct as Bishop of Pittsburgh as well as accusations from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano that Wuerl covered up sexual abuse allegations against former D.C. archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
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