August 22, 2018

 

A US cardinal has pulled out of a keynote speech at the World Meeting of Families, a global event being hosted by the Roman Catholic church in Dublin, after he was criticised for his handling of child sexual abuse in a damning report.

, the archbishop of Washington, concealed abuse and moved known child molesters to new posts when he was bishop of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania from 1988 to 2006, according to the grand jury report.

His withdrawal from the event, which begins on Tuesday and which Pope Francis will attend next weekend, is another indicator that the church is struggling to get on top of a wave of sexual abuse scandals that have engulfed the Vatican this year. Survivors of sexual abuse are expected to protest during the pope’s 36-hour visit to Ireland.

No reason was given for Wuerl’s withdrawal. It follows the cancellation of the appearance another cardinal, Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, whose diocese said he had to personally attend to allegations of sexual harassment and bullying at a seminary.

In his defense the cardinal said, “Hey, I didn’t fuck nearly as many kids as the priests I protected and I never killed and ate any of them, so back the fuck off.”