Pope Blames The Devil For Church Sex Abuse Scandals

Larry Hoffman
October 13, 2018

In it, Ouellet both defended the pope and excoriated Vigano, asserting that the conservative cleric had used the scandal over sexual abuse in the U.S.to score ideological points with Francis' critics on the Catholic right. I understand that bitterness and delusions have been a part of your journey in service to the Holy See, but you can not conclude your priestly life in this way, in open and scandalous rebellion, which is inflicting a very painful wound on the Bride of Christ, whom you claim to serve better, thus aggravating the division and confusion in the People of God! Pope Benedict elevated then-Archbishop Wuerl to the College of Cardinals in November 2010, shortly after Wuerl's 70th birthday.

In his letter to Wuerl, the pope said he recognized that Wuerl wanted to step down for the greater good of the Church. In it, the pope praised the cardinal's "nobility" in choosing to resign, saying "you make clear the intent to put God's Project first, before any kind of personal project, including what could be considered as good for the Church".

The prosecutor who released a grand jury report in August on rampant sex abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses says it is unacceptable that Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl is retiring with no apparent consequences.

A month after Pope Francis wrote an open letter to all Catholics regarding the "the abuse of power and of conscience at the hands of priests over a period of approximately seventy years" within the church, he has now laid the blame of that abuse at the feet of the devil itself.

And yet another wrote simply, "Yes, and you are cooperating with that devil".

Abuse survivors accuse the Vatican of turning a blind eye to child abuse when priests suspected of being abusers were moved by Bishops into new parishes instead of being reported to the police.

In a message delivered from his balcony at the Vatican, the Pope claimed that Satan has been working to undermine the work of the Roman Catholic Church and the divisions it has created. He joined the priesthood in 1966 and was ordained a bishop in 1986 by Pope John Paul II in 1986.

Cardinal Wuerl's episcopal career appears to be ending in as much controversy as it began when he became an auxiliary bishop in Seattle in 1986.

Pope Francis's letter was far from accusatory against Cardinal Wuerl. Wuerl presided over 32 accused priests during his time at the Pittsburgh diocese.

Cardinal Wuerl is a member of several Vatican departments, including the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Congregation for Bishops.

Benedict XVI appointed him archbishop of Washington in 2006, upon the retirement of the now-disgraced McCarrick, who had led the archdiocese since 2001.

Those factors led to calls for Cardinal Wuerl's resignation and demonstrations outside of his Washington residence.

Cardinal Ouellet said in all his meetings with Francis about bishop nominations, he never heard him refer once to McCarrick as a trusted counsellor.

In another case, Wuerl returned a priest to active ministry in 1995 despite having received multiple complaints that the priest, George Zirwas, had molested boys in the late 1980s.

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