Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Catholic archbishop of Washington, told priests in the archdiocese Tuesday that after speaking with them on Labor Day, "I intend, in the very near future, to go to Rome to meet with our Holy Father about the resignation I presented nearly three years ago," when he hit the retirement age of 75. He did not say if he will ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation, but with parishioners and some clergy angry over his role in handling child sex abuse cases when he was archbishop of Pittsburgh, it's "clear that some decision, sooner rather than later, on my part is an essential aspect so that this archdiocesan Church we all love can move forward," Wuerl wrote.
Wuerl, who has led the Washington archdiocese since 2006, spoke with Pope Francis once since a Pennsylvania grand jury report in August recounted his mixed record on handling priests accused of sexual abuse. In that conversation, The Washington Post reports, the pope told him to consult the priest in the archdiocese to determine what he should do. Wuerl can request to step down as archbishop, but Francis will have the final say. He did not give any timing for his visit to Rome. Peter Weber