May 17, 2006

Appreciation: Wuerl a man of discretion who quietly fixed what was broken

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

By Dennis B. Roddy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On his visits to Rome, before repairing to the Spartan dormitory at the North American College, Bishop Donald Wuerl would end his day in St. Peter's Square, usually with other young priests or seminarians, to recite the Apostles Creed.

"It says who we are as Catholics," he explained. ...

On his arrival, Bishop Wuerl quietly suspended priests accused of sexual misconduct. In 1993, that policy put him in a rare confrontation with the Vatican after the church's supreme court ordered him to reinstate Anthony Cipolla, a priest accused in a civil lawsuit of molesting a teenager.

Bishop Wuerl defied an order by the Signatura to reinstate Mr. Cipolla, instead maneuvering an appeal through the Vatican courts. Two years later, the Vatican court reversed itself.

"That's a case where something that was terrible turned out to have some good ramifications," said the Rev. Frank Almade, a member of Bishop Wuerl's senior staff at the time.

Posted by kshaw at May 17, 2006 06:26 AM