D.C. deacon tells Cdl. Wuerl to resign: I can no longer assist at your Masses

'I cannot, in good conscience, continue to attend to you personally, whether as an assisting deacon or as a master of ceremony,' said the deacon.
Thu Sep 13, 2018 - 10:39 am EST
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WASHINGTON, DC, September 13, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – A deacon serving at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the prominent seat of the Archdiocese of the Nation’s Capital, sent a letter to Cardinal Wuerl saying he can no longer serve the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington.  

“Most Reverend Father, in view of recent developments, I cannot, in good conscience, continue to attend to you personally, whether as an assisting deacon or as a master of ceremony,” said Deacon James Garcia in his letter. The Sept. 4 letter was dated one week prior to a letter from the Cardinal signaling that he is ready to resign. 

Garcia, a married man and lifelong Catholic who works as an attorney in nearby Arlington, Virginia has reportedly often assisted Cardinal Wuerl in major liturgies.  He was ordained a deacon in 2013.  

“I implore you, for the good for the Church we both love so dearly: Act with courage and humility. Relinquish your position as Archbishop without delay,” said Garcia.  

“I am firmly convinced that genuine healing, first and foremost of the victims of sexual abuse, but also of the Church more broadly, requires precisely this response from you,” added Garcia. 

The Washington Post referred to Garcia’s letter as “a dramatic declaration” and “the latest blow to Washington’s embattled archbishop.” 

“There is a need for the leaders of the church to take a greater degree of responsibility than they have up til now,” Garcia told the Washington Post. “Genuine healing, both for the victims and for the church more broadly — many of whose members, fair to say, are greatly dismayed, are frustrated, are horrified, are disgusted and, frankly, angry . . . genuine healing requires accountability. And in my mind, accountability means recognizing when one is no longer in the best position to lead.”

Deacon Garcia’s letter is dated September 4, two days before Cardinal Wuerl sent a letter to the priests of his Archdiocese admitting that it may be time for new leadership in the  Archdiocese of Washington, DC.  

Garcia’s voice is added to the chorus of those who, dissatisfied with Wuerl’s response to allegations that he has covered up instances of clergy sexual abuse and claimed ignorance of predecessor former Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual abuses, are calling for the Cardinal to step down.

In recent weeks, the Cardinal has faced a barrage of allegations that he mishandled and covered up instances of criminal sexual abuse by priests while he was bishop of Pittsburgh.  

An exhaustive, 900 page grand jury investigation into sexual abuse by Pennsylvania priests mentions Cardinal Wuerl, the city’s former bishop, over 200 times.

In the aftermath of the release of the report, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro accused Wuerl of lying about his involvement, saying that Wuerl’s assertions that he “acted with diligence” were “misleading statements” furthering the cover up. 

Wuerl’s credibility first came into question when he declared that he knew nothing of the abuse settlements paid to sex abuse victims of his predecessor, disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

The Vatican’s former ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò then released a scathing testimony which detailed Cardinal Wuerl’s complicity in the McCarrick cover up. 

The Cardinal’s “recent statements that he knew nothing about it,” said Viganò, “are absolutely laughable. He lies shamelessly.”

In a more recent letter addressed to the priests of Washington, DC, Wuerl indicated that he intends, “in the very near future, to go to Rome to meet with our Holy Father about the resignation I presented nearly three years ago, November 12, 2015.”

"It was clear that some decision, sooner rather than later, on my part is an essential aspect” of moving forward, the letter said.

Write to Doug Mainwaring at [email protected]  

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  catholic, clergy sex abuse scandal, donald wuerl, sex abuse crisis in catholic church, vatican cover-up

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