Source: The New York Times
By the editorial board, which represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.
In his letter on Friday accepting the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Catholic archbishop of Washington, Pope Francis praised the departing prelate for his “nobility” in not trying to defend “mistakes” in his handling of sexual-abuse allegations.
The pope misses the point.
The archbishop may not be as culpable as other bishops who more systematically covered up sexual predation, and in at least one case he took action that was initially thwarted by the Vatican.
But a devastatingly detailed grand jury report on widespread child sex abuse in Pennsylvania churches showed that Cardinal Wuerl, as bishop of Pittsburgh, was immersed in a clerical culture that hid pedophilic crimes behind euphemisms, conducted unprofessional investigations and evaluations of accused priests, kept acknowledged cases of sex abuse secret from parish communities and avoided reporting the abuse to police.