Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who has been implicated in the Roman Catholic church's sex-abuse cover-up scandal, according to reports.
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The Vatican didn’t immediately name a new archbishop, the Wall Street Journal reported. A source familiar with the matter told the paper that Wuerl would serve on an interim basis until a replacement was chosen.
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The cardinal, 77, was under fire for his mixed record of dealing with abusive priests while he was a bishop in Pennsylvania for 18 years.
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A Pennsylvania grand jury report accused Wuerl of allowing priests accused of sexually abusing children to be reassigned or reinstated. The report released last month documented abuse by 300 priests over the course of 70 years.
Wuerl had previously asked Pope Francis to accept his resignation on multiple occasions since the report, but the pope had demurred, a church official told the Journal.
Wuerl was appointed to his role in Washington by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
He said it was particularly wrong to abort children with disabilities, saying sick children deserve help. He has previously compared denounced abortion over birth defects, equating it to Nazi attempts to create a pure race.