Excerpts of Pope Francis' Letter to Cardinal Wuerl

Satan working overtime to destroy Church says Pope

Satan working overtime to destroy Church says Pope

Cardinal Ouellet's letter marked the Vatican's first direct response to Archbishop Vigano's 11-page denunciation on August 26 in which he accused two dozen Vatican and United States church officials of covering up for McCarrick, and demanded Francis's resignation over his role in the scandal.

In one case cited in the report, Wuerl - acting on a doctor's recommendation - enabled priest William O'Malley to return to active ministry as a canonical consultant in 1998 despite allegations of abuse lodged against him in the past and his own admission that he was sexually interested in adolescents.

Wuerl has come under fire since the release in August of a US Grand Jury report on sexual abuse which found evidence that at least 1,000 people, mostly children, had been sexually abused by some 300 clergymen over the course of 70 years.

Originally the namesake for the diocese's newest high school in Cranberry Township, North Catholic made the decision to remove Cardinal Wuerl from their name.

Pope Francis is now calling on Catholics worldwide to pray through the month in a bid to fight back the devil and protect the Church.

Wuerl was born in Pittsburgh, attended Catholic University in Washington and received a doctorate in theology from the University of Saint Thomas in Rome. In his first months as bishop, after the priests were charged with more than 100 counts of abuse, he formed a review board at the diocese level.

He said he would like to see a liberal Francis acolyte, such as Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, as the next archbishop of Washington.

Pope Francis believes many young believers no longer turn to the church for solace as a result of the ongoing scandal.

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For the last five years, Wuerl has also been the single most important voice within the USA hierarchy defending Pope Francis, at a time when some other American bishops and Catholic leaders have struck discordant notes.

Wuerl is also accused of knowing about sexual misconduct by his predecessor in Washington DC, ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

The abuse crisis that exploded this summer shook up all prior speculation about who would eventually replace Wuerl, 77, who was expected to retire in the next several years. He removed some accused priests from ministry, and lobbied for some of the changes the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted in 2002.

You have sufficient elements to "justify" your actions and distinguish between what it means to cover up crimes or not to deal with problems, and to commit some mistakes.

"Despite the things that have been spoken about, he did a heck of a lot to address the issue of sexual abuse", Bishop David Zubik said. In the immediate aftermath of the report's release, the archdiocese published a website attempting to defend Wuerl's record, a move that brought widespread condemnation.

For more on all this, we're joined by John Carr.

The Seattle situation "was, in everybody's words, unworkable", said Rodgers.

Wuerl, who is considered a moderate and a supporter of Francis' style of papacy, spoke in the interview about the constructive role he hoped to play at the annual meeting of American bishops in November. He held this position until he was appointed in May 2006 to head the Archdiocese of Washington.

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