WASHINGTON, D.C., August 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) —The Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, Donald Wuerl, denies a Vatican whistleblower told him of Archbishop McCarrick’s sexual misconduct.
The Archdiocese of Washington released a statement today saying, “Cardinal Wuerl has categorically denied that any of this information was communicated to him.”
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This is a response to Archbishop Viganò’s bombshell testimony that several high-ranking prelates in the Catholic Church have hitherto protected and promoted the career of Theodore McCarrick despite knowing of his reputation for sexual abuse of seminarians and young priests. The former apostolic nuncio to the United States went so far as to say that Cardinal Donald Wuerl lies when he says he did not know of McCarrick’s misconduct.
“He lies shamelessly,” said Viganò.
“This denial keeps getting narrower and narrower,” noted Michael Brendan Dougherty on twitter.
“Archbishop Viganò at no time provided Cardinal Wuerl any information about an alleged document from Pope Benedict XVI with directives of any sort from Rome regarding Archbishop McCarrick,” the Archdiocese of Washington’s press release stated.
It said that the former Apostolic Nuncio had not produced in his testimony any “objectively verifiable proof that in any way he communicated to Cardinal Wuerl restrictions imposed on Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI.”
Cardinal Wuerl has said that nobody has ever complained to him “during his entire tenure as Archbishop of Washington” that former Cardinal McCarrick, an Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, was a sex abuser. Before McCarrick was assigned to Washington, he was the archbishop of Newark, New Jersey. That diocese paid a settlement to a victim of McCarrick’s, a priest, on the condition he sign a confidentiality agreement.
“The only ground for Cardinal Wuerl to challenge the ministry of Archbishop McCarrick would have been information from Archbishop Viganò or other communications from the Holy See. Such information was never provided,” the Archdiocese of Washington maintains.
The statement suggested that the whistleblower’s own career should be the subject of scrutiny: “Perhaps the starting point for a serene and objective review of this testimony is the inclusion of Archbishop Viganò’s tenure as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States in the mandate of the Apostolic Visitation already called for by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.”
Cardinal Wuerl is under fire, not only from Viganò, but from the American Catholic laity. The recent Pennsylvania Grand Jury report has implicated him in the mismanagement of cases of sexual abuse of minors when he was the Archbishop of Philadelphia. Despite calls for Wuerl’s resignation, Pope Francis has refused to accept it (Wuerl technically already submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Francis upon reaching retirement age).
On Sunday, Father Percival D’Silva at Blessed Sacrament parish in the Archdiocese of Washington (coincidentally, the parish that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh apparently attends) ended his homily by calling for Wuerl to resign. He received a standing ovation.
Wuerl has, however, supported the removal of his name from Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School, which has now resumed its former name.
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