A man interrupted Sunday mass to shout “shame on you” at Catholic Cardinal Donald Wuerl as he asked for parishioners’ support amid the church’s current scandals.
The parishioner attempted to shame Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, during the prelate’s brief, post-Eucharist speech in which he asked those present to forgive his “inadequacies” and “errors in judgement.” Wuerl stands accused of mishandling allegations of sexual abuse during his tenure as bishop of Pittsburgh and of knowing about allegations of sexual abuse against his predecessor, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Cellphone footage of Wuerl’s address shows the parishioner, identified as Brian Garfield, shouting at Wuerl after he asked for parishioners to support Pope Francis and storming out, followed shortly thereafter by a woman. (RELATED: Cardinal Wuerl Claims Pope Is Under ‘Concentrated Attack’)
LIVE in DC: Cardinal Wuerl speaks about the current crisis in the Church. https://t.co/XEN7LD8x5N
— Jason Calvi (@JasonCalvi) September 2, 2018
Pennsylvania’s recently published grand jury report on child sexual abuse in six dioceses accuses Wuerl of reassigning priests accused of abuse to other dioceses instead of removing them from ministry. Wuerl issued a preemptive statement before the report’s release, claiming that he acted “diligently” to address and prevent sexual abuse in Pittsburgh and that he hoped a “just assessment” of the report would bring that to bear. Parishioners had the opposite reaction and have increasingly called for Wuerl’s name to be stricken from places of honor and for him to resign as archbishop of Washington.
The archdiocese of Washington acknowledged Garfield and several others who expressed anger by leaving during Wuerl’s speech, but claimed the overwhelming reaction by most of the congregations was one of support.
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