Pope OKs resignation of Cardinal Wuerl amid cover-up scandal

VATICAN CITY— Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl after he became entangled in two major sexual abuse and cover-up scandals and lost the support of many in his flock.

Wuerl, who turns 78 in November, becomes the most prominent head to roll in the scandal roiling the Catholic Church after his predecessor as Washington archbishop, Theodore McCarrick, was forced to resign as cardinal over allegations he sexually abused at least two minors and adult seminarians.

A Vatican statement Friday said Francis had accepted Wuerl’s resignation, but named no immediate replacement. The decision came after months in which Wuerl initially downplayed the scandal, insisted on his own good record, but then progressively came to the conclusion that he could no longer lead the archdiocese.

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