It’s official: Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl as the Archbishop of Washington.
This statement was communicated in the following bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, indication resignations and nominations, which was published at noon today Rome time: “The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Washington, United States of America, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl.”
Cardinal Wuerl had already submitted his resignation in November 2015, when he reached age 75.
The Cardinal has issued his own statement following the Pope’s acceptance today. Here is the statement, found on the Archdiocese of Washington website:
Statement from Cardinal Wuerl
October 12, 2018
“Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has accepted the resignation first offered on November 12, 2015, when I reached my 75th birthday. I am profoundly grateful for his devoted commitment to the wellbeing of the Archdiocese of Washington and also deeply touched by his gracious words of understanding.
The Holy Father’s decision to provide new leadership to the Archdiocese can allow all of the faithful, clergy, religious and lay, to focus on healing and the future. It permits this local Church to move forward. Once again for any past errors in judgment I apologize and ask for pardon. My resignation is one way to express my great and abiding love for you the people of the Church of Washington.”
The acceptance of the resignation was accompanied by a personal letter of the Pope to the cardinal, that nominates him in the interim as apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese of Washington posted the letter with an unofficial courtesy translation of the Pope’s letter to the American prelate.
The Pennsylvania Grand Jury report published this August showed that Cardinal Wuerl did not react properly in managing abusive priests during the time where he was Archbishop of Pittsburgh.
Here are images of the letter sent to the cardinal by Pope Francis, which were published on the Archdiocese of Washington website with the courtesy unofficial courtesy translation: