In his letter to Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Pope Francis exposes the shallowness of the Catholic Church’s fight to curb the evil of sexual abuse.
‘I am proud of you’ says Pope Francis writes to Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who became the most senior clergy to quit in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed the Catholic Church in United States.
Pope Francis in his letter to the Archbishop of Washington, said, ” You have sufficient elements to justify your actions and distinguish between what it means to cover up crimes or not to deal with problems, and to commit some mistakes.”
“However, your nobility has led you not to choose this way of defense. Of this, I am proud and thank you,” expressed the Vicar of the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis further stated that there is difference between a cover-up of sexual abuse and official mistakes.Donald Wuerl
Cardinal Donald Wuerl was heavily criticised after a Grand Jury Report revealed details ofÂ widespread sexual abuse of children within Roman Catholic dioceses across the state of Pennsylvania.
The two-year investigation uncovered 70 years of claims across the state from more than 1,000 victims that they had suffered abuse by some 300 priests.
Wuerl, previously the bishop of Pittsburgh, is mentioned several times involving his response to some abuse cases.
The pontiff also said Wuerl would stay on as the archdiocese’s caretaker until the appointment of his successor. He is also expected to remain a cardinal, helping appoint US bishops and choose Pope Francis’s successor.
On June30,1989, BishopDonald Wuerl sent a letter to theVatican with respect to several diocesan priests who had recently been accused of sexually abusing children and whose cases had generated significant publicity.
In the letter, Wuerl documented his diocesan policies for sexual abuse and stated his responsibility as Bishop was to determine the course of action in these cases.Wuerl wrote that Catholic parishioners had a right to know whether a priest accused of such crimes had been reassigned to their parish. Further,Wuerl advised that due to thescandal caused by these priests,he initiated a review of any previous cases of diocesan priests who had been accused of “pedophilic activities”with minors.
Wuerl warned theVatican that Catholic bishops and dioceses could become liable once they are made aware of sexual abuse complaints and that priests who deny the”crime”of pedophilic activity with minors is”common in pedophiles”and that pedophilia is”incurable.”
Wuerl noted his exclusive role and stated that the”unassignability”of a priest must rest solely with the bishop due to the potential victims’ parents ‘who have a moral right to expect chaste conduct from the priest’ and the parishioners ‘who would be gravely unsettled and scandalised’ in the knowledge that a priest pedophile has been assigned in their midst.
However, despite Wuerl’s summary of the serious and criminal nature of the problem to the Vatican; Diocesan records reveal that Wuerl granted, Paone’s ((a priest guilty of sexual abuse) to be reassigned again on Oct 2, 1991. This time, Paone was permitted to transfer to the Diocese of Reno-Las Vegas to serve as the Parochial Vicar at a local Parish. Then to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Wuerl’s continued approval to the priest accused of sexual abuse permitted Phone to enjoy all the faculties of the Diocese.
In March 1992, Paone took a leave of absence from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for ‘reasons’ of health.
On July 25, 1994, the Diocese of Pittsburg received another complaint of child sexual abuse committed by Paone in the 1960’s.
In June, 2002, another victim advised the Diocese of Pittsburgh that he was sexually abused by Paone in the1960’s.
The abuse included fondling, oralsex, and anal sex. It occured at the victim’s house,at a hunting camp to which Paone had access to in the woods, and, in Paone’s car. Paone also provided the victim with alcohol, pornographic magazines, and cash.
Approximately 41years after the Diocese learned that Paone was sexually assaulting children, he was finally retired from active ministry. In spite of Wuerl’s statements to the Vatican,the clear and present threat that Paone posed to children was hidden and kept secret from parishioners in three states. Wuerl’s statements had been meaningless without any action.
IndianExpose.com highlights another case of Father George Zirwas:
Father George Zirwas was ordained in September1979. Zirwas was assigned to eight different parishes as Parochial Vicar until 1995 when he was placed on a leave of absence.
He appeared to have remained in this status until his death in May 2001.
The Diocese was aware of complaints against Zirwas for sexually abusing children as early as 1987. Additional complaints were received between1987and1995.
However, Zirwas continued to function as a priest during this period and was reassigned to several parishes.
It was Bishop Donald Wuerl who approved Zirwas’s return to ministry, even though he had full-knowledge of sexual abuse complaints. This happened in 1994.
Let me share an even more startling information of Father George Zirwas, a serial child sexual abuser, who was returned to ministry through a clearance by Bishop Donald Wuerl, who later became the Cardinal.
During the course of the investigation of the child abuse cases in Pennsylvania, the Grand Jury uncovered a ring of predatory priests operating within the Diocese who shared intelligence or information regarding victims as well as exchanging the victims amongst themselves. This ring also manufactured child pornography on Diocesan property, including parishes and rectories. The group included Zirwas, Francis Puci, Robert Walk, and Richard Zula.
This group of priests used whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims.
During the investigations into the Pennsylvania child sexual abuse cases by priests; the Grand Jury learned that it was Donald Wuerl who coined the phrase ‘circle of secrecy’ within the dioceses for the church’s child sex abuse cover up.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl is the man the Pope Francis extolls in his letter. A man who closed his eyes when young children were being sadistically abused.
Here all the cases in details of the involvement of Cardinal Donald Wuerl in sexual abuse cover-ups.Pages from pa-abuse-report