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‘Shame on you’: Man shouts at Cardinal Wuerl as he addresses abuse scandal

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Cardinal Wuerl needs to resign. Sign the petition here.

WASHINGTON, DC, September 4, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – As embattled Cardinal Donald Wuerl spoke at the conclusion of a Mass on Sunday, attempting to address the sexual abuse scandals rocking the Church throughout the summer, a man stood and shouted, “Shame on you!” 

Cardinal Wuerl was at the Church of the Annunciation in Washington, DC presiding over the installation of the parish’s new pastor.  

This was Wuerl’s first public appearance after keeping out of the public eye for over two weeks.  On August 17, amid outraged calls for his resignation over revelations about his mishandling of priest sexual abuse while Bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wuerl canceled a prestigious keynote address at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland.  

Wuerl was also a no-show at the annual Washington Archdiocese back-to-school Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception last week.

As the Mass at the Church of the Annunciation was concluding, the somber sounding Cardinal Archbishop of Washington offered prepared remarks outlining his thought on how the Church should deal with multiple scandalous allegations of prelate cover up of clergy sexual abuse and homosexual activity which has now reached not only to the highest levels of the Catholic hierarchy in the United States, but to the Vatican and to Pope Francis himself.   

“Finally, we need to hold close in our prayers and our loyalty our Holy Father, Pope Francis,” said Wuerl. “Increasingly, it’s clear that he is the object of considerable animosity.” 

As Wuerl spoke these words, a congregant sitting in the middle of the church, identified by CNN as Brian Garfield, stood and shouted, “Shame on you!” 

Garfield then left his pew, turned, and walked down the center aisle of the church and out the front door. 

“At each Mass we pray for him [Francis] by name. As we do so with our voices may we do so as well with our hearts,” continued Wuerl, seeming at first to ignore Garfield’s outburst. 

Then, departing from his planned remarks, Wuerl looked up at the congregation and acknowledged what Garfield had said, saying, “Yes, my brothers and sisters, ‘shame.’”   

“I wish,” said Wuerl, stuttering a bit, “I wish I could redo everything over these thirty years as a bishop.  And each time, get it always right.  That's not the case. I do think together, asking for God's mercy, pleading for God's grace, recognizing that we can move into light, I simply ask you to keep me, keep all of those that have been abused, all of those who have suffered, all of the church in your prayers.”  

Afterward, speaking about Wuerl, Garfield told CNN, “I don't think he is a monster but I wish he would talk less about defending himself and more about his failings.”

“It's a little galling to be lectured on transparency by people who are lying to us,” continued Garfield.  “I wish he would talk to us as a pastor and not a politician.”

The embattled Wuerl has been under fire since early August when a Pennsylvania grand jury released the results of two-year long investigation of clerical abuse in six of the state’s Catholic dioceses.  Wuerl’s name was mentioned over two hundred times in that report.  

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro accused Wuerl of “not telling the truth.”

Then, after an extraordinary testimony penned by a former apostolic nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò implicating Pope Francis and several senior prelates in covering up disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s alleged homosexual abuses was made public, Cardinal Wuerl was again accused of lying to cover up his complicity.  

Viganò’s explosive testimony details exchanges the papal nuncio had with Cardinal Wuerl regarding McCarrick’s scandalous sexual behavior, who preceded Wuerl as Archbishop of Washington, DC.

“I myself brought up the subject with Cardinal Wuerl on several occasions,” wrote Archbishop Viganò, “and I certainly didn’t need to go into detail because it was immediately clear to me that he was fully aware of it.”

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

Cardinal Wuerl tendered his resignation to Pope Francis a couple years ago when he turned 75 years old, standard procedure for all Roman Catholic bishops.

Pope Francis has still not accepted Wuerl’s resignation and so he remains in place. 

Many Catholics would like to see him removed, and even the Washington Post and the Washington Examiner have published articles calling for his ouster.

LifeSiteNews has launched a petition urging Cardinal Donald Wuerl to resign as Archbishop of Washington D.C. the petition is now nearing 10,000 signatures. 

Write to Doug Mainwaring at [email protected].  

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