The Attorney General for the District of Columbia launched an investigation into the Archdioceses of Washington to find out whether the church covered up cases of sexual abuse of minors.
“While we generally don’t talk publicly about our confidential enforcement activity, I can report that our office has launched a civil investigation into whether the Archdiocese — which is a nonprofit institution — violated the District’s Nonprofit Act by potentially covering up allegations of sexual abuse of minors,” Attorney General Karl Racine said.
The attorney general’s office also set up an online portal for victims of clergy abuse to report their cases. In addition the US Attorney for the District of Columbia, which handles criminal sexual abuse complaints, set up a hotline for abuse survivors.
The announcement comes on the heels of last week’s resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former Archbishop of Washington. Big League Politics reported:
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Vatican announced Friday.
“Once again for any past errors in judgment, I apologize and ask for pardon. My resignation is one way to express my great and abiding love for you the people of the church of Washington,” Wuerl said in a statement.
Wuerl has been accused of covering up sexual abuse to protect clergy members and reassigning accused priests to new posts without punishment, effectively letting them off the hook for their alleged abuse. The 77-year-old Cardinal was at the center of a Pennsylvania grand jury’s findings that priests had abused more than 300 minors over a 70 year period. Wuerl was the bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006 during the height of the sexual abuse. He then took over the archdiocese of Washington, where he denied knowing that his predecessor, disgraced Cardinal and former Archbishop Theodore McCarrick was suspected of abusing young men in the seminary.
More than 10 states are actively investigating all of their Catholic Dioceses for sex crimes and potential coverups.
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