Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Pope says the Devil is to blame for the church scandals

Pope says the Devil is to blame for the church scandals

"Of this, I am proud and thank you", the pope wrote.

"The congregation's decision was inspired by prudence, and the letters from my predecessor and my own letters urged him, first through the apostolic nuncio, (Archbishop) Pietro Sambi, and then through you (Archbishop Viganò), to lead a life of prayer and penance for his own good and for the good of the church", Cardinal Ouellet wrote in an open letter to Archbishop Viganò. Wuerl at times acted with authority to deal with abusive priests (more on this below), but in several cases allowed such priests to escape scrutiny and in a few to continue as priests in good standing elsewhere - and to continue abusing others. It permits this local Church to move forward.

Cardinal Ouellet's letter, written with the approval of Pope Francis, was published the day after the Vatican said the pope had ordered a "thorough study of the entire documentation present in the archives of the dicasteries and offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick in order to ascertain all the relevant facts, to place them in their historical context and to evaluate them objectively". And on Labor Day, at a gathering for priests and seminarians of the archdiocese, seminarians even refused to pose for a picture with him. Wuerl was in Washington on Friday morning. In a letter to them earlier this month, he shared his intent to meet the pope about his future. He discerned in Wuerl's request "the heart of the shepherd.who prioritizes actions that support, stimulate and make the unity of the Church grow above every kind of sterile division sown by the father of lies who, trying to hurt the shepherd, wants nothing more than that the sheep be dispersed".

While he doesn't use the term "The Devil" directly, it is clear whom he is referencing when using the descriptors "the malign one" and "the great accuser".

The McCarrick scandal has thrown the United States and Vatican hierarchy into turmoil, given it was apparently an open secret in some U.S. church circles that he would invite seminarians to his New Jersey beach house and into his bed. "It seems like the great accuser has been unchained", the pope said, adding, "He tries to uncover the sins so they are visible in order to scandalize the people".

In August, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released a grand jury report detailing sexual abuse.

On the abuse crisis, Wuerl also would have been as among the more aggressive American bishops in supporting and implementing a "zero tolerance" policy - ironically, a reputation that reached back to his time as the bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006.

You are not signed in as a Premium user; we rely on Premium users to support our news reporting. "And that was to introduce the zero tolerance and... any priest against whom there was a credible, proven accusation, that appropriate action was taken", Wuerl had said.

Pope Francis greets Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, before a private audience September 13 at the Vatican. Bransfield, and Cardinal Séan O'Malley of Boston, met with Pope Francis to discuss the ongoing sexual abuse scandals in the Church in the U.S.

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