The Latest: Pennsylvania prosecutor critical of Wuerl deal

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on the resignation of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl (all times Eastern):

12:30 p.m.

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.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania said Friday the grand jury report and diocesan records documented Wuerl oversaw and participated in a systematic cover up of child sexual abuse by clergymen while leading the Pittsburgh diocese.

Wuerl was bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006.

Wuerl is apologizing to Catholics in his archdiocese after Pope Francis accepted his resignation Friday as archbishop.

The pope, in accepting Wuerl’s resignation, asked him to stay on temporarily and suggested Wuerl had unfairly become a scapegoat, having made some “mistakes” in handling sex abuse cases, but not having covered them up.

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11:35 a.m.

Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl is apologizing to Catholics in his archdiocese after Pope Francis accepted his resignation as archbishop amid unfolding sex abuse and cover-up scandals.

Wuerl wrote in a letter that he asked priests to share at Mass this weekend that “I am sorry for all of you, faithful members of the church, who have had to face the shame of these scandals and witness doubt and perplexity among your family and friends.”

The pope, in accepting Wuerl’s resignation as archbishop on Friday, asked him to stay on temporarily and suggested Wuerl had unfairly become a scapegoat, having made some “mistakes” in handling sex abuse cases, but not having covered them up.

Wuerl, 78, becomes the most prominent head to roll in the Catholic Church scandals since his predecessor as Washington archbishop, Theodore McCarrick, was forced to resign as cardinal over allegations he sexually abused at least two minors and adult seminarians.

A grand jury report in August on rampant sex abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses accused Wuerl of helping to protect some child-molesting priests while he was bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006.

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6:05 a.m.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl after he became entangled in two major sexual abuse and cover-up scandals and lost the support of many in his flock.

But in a letter released by Wuerl’s office, Francis asked him to stay on temporarily and suggested Wuerl had unfairly become a scapegoat, having made some “mistakes” in handling sex abuse cases, but not having covered them up.

With the resignation, Wuerl, 78, becomes the most prominent head to roll in the scandal roiling the Catholic Church after his predecessor as Washington archbishop, Theodore McCarrick, was forced to resign as cardinal over allegations he sexually abused at least two minors and adult seminarians.

A grand jury report issued in August on rampant sex abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses accused Wuerl of helping to protect some child-molesting priests while he was bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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