Cardinal Wuerl hits U.N. report on Catholic sex abuse scandal

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, a longtime advocate for victims of pedophile priests, took aim this week at a recent U.N. commission report on the Catholic Church’s child sex abuse scandal, saying it failed to recognize the progress the church has made in the past decade.

“It stopped its study 10 years ago, so it made no mention of all the extraordinary steps the Catholic Church has taken in the past 10 years to see that these things don’t happen,” Cardinal Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, said of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child during an exclusive interview with The Washington Times.

“It made no reference at all to the fact that there’s no other institution, including our public schools, that goes through what the Catholic Church now does to ensure that children are not abused, or that if someone is abused, that is reported and that [abuser] removed,” he told The Times.

In the wide-ranging interview at his office, the avuncular Cardinal Wuerl discussed the sex abuse scandal and other challenges facing the church, the widespread popularity and influence of Pope Francis, and the upcoming canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II as well as his own spiritual journey that has posited him in the leadership of the archdiocese as it enters its 75th year.

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