Pope accepts resignation of Cardinal Wuerl amid abuse cover-up scandal

Synod's first week takes stock of future

Pope says the Devil is to blame for the church scandals

The pontiff has been referring to the devil as the "great accuser" ever since the Vatican's former ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, published an 11-page accusation on August 26 saying the pope and dozens of other officials are covering up allegations against the former Washington, D.C., archbishop, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

"SO it's not the Pedophiles, the cover-ups, the Inquisition, The Crusades, and every other crime against humanity that the Catholic church has committed over the last 1000 years", tweeted one.

"I think it's fair to say that the Catholic Church, in the U.S.at least, is in a crisis that it's not seen for a long time", Hornbeck said.

Another one tweeted, "Catholic priests who can't keep their hands off children is what is dividing the Catholic Church".

"In response to your unjust and unjustified attack, dear Vigano, I conclude that your accusation is a political setup without any real foundation that could incriminate the pope, and I repeat that it has profoundly wounded the communion of the church", Ouellet wrote.

A top bishop has denied claims by the Vatican's former United States envoy that Pope Francis covered up sex abuse by former Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and should therefore resign.

"I renew the invitation to everyone to pray the Rosary every day of the month of October ending it with the antiphon "Under Your protection" and the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, to repel the attacks of the devil who wants to divide the Church", he said.

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The Archdiocese of Washington released a letter in which Pope Francis praises Cardinal Wuerl for not trying to justify his actions in the handling of sexual abuse cases even though he had sufficient evidence to do so.

The pope asked Wuerl to remain an "Apostolic Administrator to the Archdiocese" in Washington until the appointment of his successor.

Like many people in the church, Cardinal Ouellet asked: "How is it possible that this man of the church, whose incoherence has now been revealed, was promoted many times, and was nominated to such a high position as archbishop of Washington and cardinal?"

"The pope learned about it from me on June 23, 2013, and continued to cover for him", Archbishop Viganò wrote. Archbishop Vigano later explained that Pope Benedict issued the sanctions "privately" perhaps "due to the fact that he (Archbishop McCarrick) was already retired, maybe due to the fact that he (Pope Benedict) was thinking he was ready to obey". It permits this local Church to move forward.

Cardinal McCarrick "was strongly exhorted not to travel and not to appear in public so as not to provoke further rumors", Cardinal Ouellet said, but "it is false to present these measures taken in his regard as "sanctions" decreed by Pope Benedict XVI and annulled by Pope Francis".

Pope Francis said that he was aware that Wuerl's request "rests on two pillars" in his ministry: "to seek in all things the greater glory of God and to procure the good of the people entrusted to your care".

Francis has refused to confirm or deny the allegations, saying the letter "speaks for itself".

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