>> Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl from his post as the archbishop of Washington DC, making him one of the most senior Catholic figures to step down in the midst of a worldwide sexual abuse scandal. 77-year-old Wuerl has come on to fire for allegedly mismanaging and covering up sexual abuse cases when he was bishop of Pittsburgh between 1988 and 2006.
He faced increased call to step down up to being implicated in a high profile Pennsylvania grand jury report released in August. The report found close to 300 Catholic priests sexually abused more than 1,000 children over the course of 70 years. And Wuerl presided over dozens of those so-called predator priests during his time at the Pittsburg Diocese.
>> You see, church officials routinely and purposefully described the abuse as horseplay and wrestling and inappropriate contact. It was none of those things. It was child sexual abuse.>> In a letter by the Pope released in Washington, Friday, Francis did not make an example of Wuerl over an issue that has threatened his papacy.
Instead, the Pope indicated that he had accepted Wuerl's resignation with reluctance and asked Wuerl to stay on as administrator until his successor could be appointed.