Pennsylvania Attorney General: Cardinal Wuerl is ‘not telling the truth’
Cardinal Wuerl needs to resign. Sign the petition here.
WASHINGTON, DC, August 20, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – After leading a sweeping, two-year long Grand Jury investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic priests, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General has accused DC’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl of “not telling the truth.”
Last week, Wuerl mounted an aggressive pushback against revelations in the 900 page grand jury report that he mishandled and covered up instances of criminal sexual abuse by priests while he was bishop of Pittsburgh.
Appearing confident early in the week that his PR campaign would prevail, Wuerl said in a TV interview, “I think I did everything that I possibly could.”
The Cardinal also asserted in a statement that the Grand Jury report “confirms that I acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse.”
Pennsylvania Attorney Josh Shapiro who led the probe publicly disagreed with Cardinal Wuerl’s statements, telling CNN, “Cardinal Wuerl is not telling the truth. Many of his statements in response to the Grand Jury Report are directly contradicted by the Church's own documents and records from their Secret Archives.”
Shapiro indicated that Wuerl was perhaps digging a deeper hole for himself.
“Offering misleading statements now only furthers the cover up,” added Shapiro.
Despite the Cardinal’s initial confidence that he could maintain control of the narrative surrounding the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, by the end of the week, both the Washington Post. and the Washington Examiner were calling for his resignation.
By Friday, Wuerl canceled his scheduled keynote address at this week’s World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland. He also canceled other public appearances slated for the weekend.
The Pennsylvania grand jury probe reveals sexual abuse against mostly adolescent males, with victims numbering perhaps well into the thousands over the course of several decades.
Page after page of the report documents gut-wrenching sexual manipulation of young men and boys by priests.
“Predators in every diocese weaponized the Catholic faith, and used it as a tool of their abuse,” noted State’s Attorney General (AG) Josh Shapiro in a press conference. “These children surrounded by adults enabling their abuse, were taught that this abuse was not only normal, but that it was holy.”
“The pattern not only victimized children who were abused, it served a legal purpose:
Church officials manipulated for their advantage,” noted AG Shapiro. “The longer they covered it up, the less chance law enforcement could prosecute [priest] predators, because the statute of limitations would run out.”
The report alleges a long-standing strategy of “abuse - deny - cover up” by the six Pennsylvania dioceses that were the subject of the investigation, including during Wuerl’s tenure as head of the Pittsburgh diocese.
Wuerl’s name shows up in the document over 200 times.
A review of the approximately 300 cases cited in grand jury report reveals several examples of Wuerl mishandling of priests who committed sexual abuse; sending them back to parish work after completing time in counseling centers; failure to report sexual abuse by priests to the authorities; and rendering only “minimal cooperation” when he did work with the police.
LifeSiteNews has launched a petition urging Cardinal Donald Wuerl to resign as archbishop of Washington D.C.