A D.C. area cathedral announced that Cardinal Donald Wuerl, accused of covering up sexual abuse, will celebrate a Mass of healing for victims of abuse.
Wuerl will celebrate a Penitential Mass to initiate a Season of Healing at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. The archbishop of Washington has faced increasing calls for his resignation from prominent D.C. Catholics in light of the Pennsylvania grand jury report that accuses him of helping to cover for priests accused of sexual abuse and keeping them in ministry. (RELATED: Main Org For Catholic Business Owners Cut Vatican Off From Tithes)
Wuerl addressed parishioners Sunday concerning the crisis, and several of those attending the mass scorned and shamed him after he asked for their support and implored them to pray for Pope Francis. He asked parishioners to forgive him for his “inadequacies” and “errors in judgement.” Instead, several parishioners walked out after one man stood up and yelled “shame on you.”
Wuerl also stands accused of knowing about the alleged abuses perpetrated by Theodore McCarrick before the allegations were made public, though the cardinal denied any prior knowledge. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano claimed otherwise about Wuerl in his 11-page letter accusing Francis, Wuerl, and 31 other high ranking church officials of actively covering for McCarrick.
Karl Racine, the attorney general of Washington, Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, and faculty in Holy Trinity School in Georgetown have all called for Wuerl’s immediate removal, as have sex abuse survivors.
“As a Catholic, my personal opinion is that Cardinal Wuerl should step aside in light of the sex abuse allegations in the Pennsylvania report and increasing reports of more abuse survivors,” Racine said.
The mass is intended to initiate a six week Season of Healing which will feature a special day of prayer each Friday.
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