Pope accepts resignation of US cardinal over abuse cover-up claim

Cover-up claims

The report is thought to be the most comprehensive to date into abuse in the US church, but while prosecutors have filed charges against two priests, the vast majority of crimes happened too long ago to prosecute under current laws.

In the report, Wuerl, who was bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006, is repeatedly cited as one of the church leaders who helped cover up the scandal.

Despite facing numerous calls for his resignation, including from his own clergy, Wuerl said at the time the report confirmed he had acted with “diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse”.

The Catholic Church in the United States had already been shaken by the resignation of former archbishop of Washington Theodore McCarrick in July.

The case triggered a storm in August when Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to Washington, accused the pope of ignoring allegations that McCarrick had abused a teenager decades ago.

On Saturday, Francis ordered an investigation into the Vatican archives over the allegations.

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