However, Wuerl won't be gone immediately. Wuerl's office said he had been asked to stay on in a temporary capacity until a new archbishop is found.
A Vatican statement Friday said Francis had accepted Wuerl's resignation, but named no immediate replacement. However, your nobility has led you not to choose this way of defence.
Pope Francis says Satan is responsible for the sexual abuse crisis and is asking Catholics to pray every day to God to combat the devil's behavior.
"I think about the damage that has occurred to the Church, so this is bigger than any specific case or reference in that grand jury report", said Patricia McGuire, the president of Trinity Washington University, a Catholic university in Washington D.C.On her blog and in a recent interview with OSV, McGuire said Cardinal Wuerl should resign because his credibility as an archbishop has been compromised.
"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.
"Your renunciation is a sign of your availability and docility to the Spirit who continues to act in his Church", he added.
"There are distortions and serious omissions in the grand jury report so that it incorrectly portrayed his record here".
The church must "at the same time be made ever more aware of its guilt, its mistakes, and abuses committed in the present and the past", he continued.
In his letter to Wuerl, the pope said he recognized that Wuerl wanted to step down for the greater good of the Church. The website was quickly taken down. He'll be in charge in the DC archdiocese until the Vatican appoints a new archbishop to replace him.
A sweeping U.S. grand jury report released in August revealed credible allegations against more than 300 predator priests and identified over 1,000 victims of child sex abuse covered up for decades by the Catholic Church in the state of Pennsylvania. Pope Francis appointed him as a member of the 2014 and 2015 Synods on the Family. Among the accusations against him is that he reassigned and reinstated some of them.
Wuerl, who turns 78 in November, technically tendered his resignation upon reaching age 75, as all Catholic bishops and cardinals do. His loyalty no doubt helps explain why Francis went out of his way today to shower Wuerl with praise, saying, among other things, he's putting "the good of the Church" above his own personal interests.
"We believe that Cardinal Wuerl's decision to request that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, accept the resignation he first offered years ago is a clear manifestation of his love and concern for the people of this archdiocese", wrote Bishops Mario Dorsonville, Roy Campbell Jr. and Michael Fisher.
These "mistakes" were in actuality crimes, and Wuerl's name was mentioned 169 times in the Pennsylvania grand jury report published in August.