Cardinal Wuerl Resignation Doesn’t Go Far Enough

The Vatican is facing mounting criticism for not taking a more heavy-handed approach to sexual abuse allegations after accepting the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl but allowing him to remain influential in the church.

Pope Francis issued a letter Friday saying he would accept the resignation of the archbishop of Washington, D.C.,in response to accusations that he did nothing to stop abuse by senior clerics in Pennsylvania where he served as a bishop from 1988 to 2006.

While some church leaders and parishioners have called for Wuerl’s resignation in recent weeks, critics point to the fact that Francis asked Wuerl to remain the apostolic administrator of the archdiocese. He will also attend the annual American bishops meeting slated for November and holds an influential role on the Congregation of Bishops, which chooses who will take roles of church leadership.

Wuerl will no longer serve as leader to more than 650,000 Catholics in Washington, but he’s still expected to retain significant influenceas a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which over sees Vatican theology.

The Vatican did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.

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