DUBLIN (Reuters) – The Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, retreated Saturday from the Dublin Family Reunion, the second senior cleric who retired from Catholicism in the midst of clerical sexual abuse scandals in the United States Conditions.
The Archbishop of Washington, Donald Wuerl, Welcomes Schoolchildren to the Vatican Embassy in Washington 24 September 201
The meeting, a major congress that takes place every three years, is closed by the Pope Francis came to Ireland during the first Pope's visit in almost 40 years, where a series of abuse scandals also shook the Church's position in the once strictly Catholic country.
The retreat from the event in Dublin was followed by a grand jury report this week highlighting the widespread abuse by hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania and a systematic cover-up by their bishops over a 70-year period.
Wuerl, bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh in western Pennsylvania from 1988 to 2006, was not himself accused of taking action against children.
The report found that Wuerl in 1989 informed the Vatican of several priests accused of sexually abusing children. In the following years, he gave instructions to some other parishes to retire in other parishes and, in one case, to grant a loan to help such a priest with personal debts.
In a statement on Tuesday, Wuerl said that although he understood that the report could criticize some of his actions, he "confirmed that he acted with care, with concern for the victims and to prevent future abuse."
A spokeswoman for the World Family Meeting said she could confirm that Cardinal Wuerl will no longer attend the event in Dublin. No reason was given.
In the most comprehensive US sexual abuse test by priests since the scandal occurred in Boston in 2002, the two-year Pennsylvania investigation found that at least 1,000 people, mostly children, had been sexually abused by about 300 clerics.
The report said that the number of actual victims and abusers could be much higher.
The Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O & M Malley, who was to hold a podium discussion on protecting children at the convention, retired earlier this week to oversee an investigation into the various allegations of inappropriate behavior in a Boston seminar ,
Editorial by Andrew Heavens