Thursday, August 30, 2018


Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, sent the following letter to priests on August 30, 2018. In an email to which the letter was linked, the cardinal noted, “In this time of so much distress and pain, I send you this letter in the hope that it might tell you of my desire to be close to you and the people entrusted to your pastoral care, particularly as you prepare for this weekend’s Masses.”)

Dear Brother Priest,

I very much look forward to our time together on Labor Day, first in prayer and then in conversation.  With all the disconcerting news and terrible revelations that have happened, and with such rapidity, I recognize that I have not been as close to you as I need to be to help you and me minister to the people we both love and serve. 

Last Sunday at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle, as so many of you did in your own parish church, I offered Holy Mass – a Liturgy focused on the spiritual context for so much of the pain, suffering, darkness and disillusionment brought on by the sexual abuse of children and young people by priests and its cover-up by bishops. Whatever our response to this spiritual crisis, it has to begin at the altar – and in prayer. 

As so many of you did, we prayed first for the survivors – those who bear the scars of abuse. On too many occasions over these past three decades as a bishop, I have sat with survivors and their families to listen, to try to be present, to pray and often simply to cry together.

At the Cathedral, as I am sure you did, we also prayed for the whole Church – the Body of Christ – wounded by the shame and horror of these egregious actions. It is our people who also bear a deep hurt because they love their Church and do not know what is coming next.  Thank you for being there with them, even when there is so little to say, other than prayer. Your, and I hope my own, ministry is the beginning of some healing. 

My prayers and what I asked of those at Mass are also for you.  Each priest – all of us – somehow bears the joys and sorrows of one another because we are all rightly seen as sharers in the priesthood. Your ministry is a precious gift to those you serve – to the Body of Christ.  I want you to know my desire – even if I have not well expressed it – to be close to you.  In the rush to get information to you, I failed to share fully with you my spiritual and fraternal care and offer you and our faithful people a strong sign of pastoral leadership. I hope this effort today and our Labor Day gathering will clearly show my great appreciation, not to say affection, for all of you, my brother priests and the recognition of your efforts to be pastorally present to our people in their struggles.

I ask you, as I did at the Cathedral, for prayers for me, for forgiveness for my errors in judgment, for my inadequacies, and also for your acceptance of my contrition for any suffering I have caused, as well as the grace to find, with you, ways of healing, ways of offering fruitful guidance in this darkness.

This Sunday in our churches all across this great archdiocese, I ask you please to let your people – the men, women and children – we love and minister to and hold in our pastoral care know that I do recognize and share their pain.  Let them know I wish I could wipe it away even though that is simply not possible.  I would give anything, as would all of us, to turn the clock around and have the Church do everything right.  But I do join them in sorrow for all that has happened.  I plead for their prayerful support as I with you and them try to do whatever I can to help move this Church closer to the pathway that leads us from this darkness.  

At the Mass this Sunday that I shall celebrate, I hope to offer some thoughts on how we as a Church – all of us laity, religious and clergy – might begin with faith strengthened in prayer to discern that level of reform rooted in accountability and transparency that would permit the Church to enter a new era.

Finally, we need to hold close in our prayers and loyalty our Holy Father, Pope Francis. Increasingly, it is clear that he is the object of concentrated attack. At each Mass we pray for him by name. As we do so with our voices may we do so as well with our hearts. 

Dear brother in the Lord, I hope you will sense something of my anguish for those who have suffered and my sorrow for any of my failures to be there for both the abused and all who now feel a sense of alienation. In my heart, I now ask myself what is the way I can best serve this Church that I, too, much love.

Would you please let the faithful you serve know of my love, my commitment to do whatever is necessary to right what is wrong, and my sincere solidarity with you and them.

Faithfully in Christ,

Cardinal Donald Wuerl
Archbishop of Washington


TJM said...

LOL - how about the concerted attacks the Pope levels at Faithful Catholics? Spare me this hypocritical nonsense. Wuerl is a big part of the problem, and certainly not the solution.

DJR said...

This prelate gives the green light to lesbian Buddhists who are "married" to their "partners" to receive Our Lord sacrilegiously at the same time he throws loyal priests under the bus.

Where are all the lesbian Buddhists who are willing to come to your defense now, Your Eminence?

You are reaping what you have sown, as the chickens have now come home to roost.

Dan said...

TJM.. oh you've noticed how the Francis never let's an opportunity to belittle the faithful go to waste as well.

Mark Thomas said...

Cardinal Wuerl said..."Whatever our response to this spiritual crisis, it has to begin at the altar – and in prayer."

Beautiful. The hatred that the world, and most distressing of all, certain Catholics, have displayed against various Cardinals and bishops in recent weeks must be met with love, peace, and prayer.

Satan's lynch mob has been unleashed in recent days and weeks to attack certain Churchmen. In turn, the Catholic response to said mob is love.

Cardinal Wuerl said..."Finally, we need to hold close in our prayers and loyalty our Holy Father, Pope Francis. Increasingly, it is clear that he is the object of concentrated attack."

I believe that all signs point to that.

It has become clear that Pope Francis decision not to respond (for now...he said that he may respond in time) to Archbishop Viganò's letter is wise.

I will obey Church teaching in that I will honor Pope Francis' good name. I stand with the Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis.

Catholics, in spiritual fashion, must encircle Pope Francis to help protect him from that which is obvious — Satan's mobilization of forces designed to attack Pope Francis.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...


What you posted is what we call in the secular journalist world a "major barf alert."

I'd like to see you slobber over Pope Benedict that way.

sarto2012 said...

@ Mark Thomas. Truly and utterly sickening. Your attitude signals the end of the Catholic Church.
Bergoglio must go. Now.

R. E. Ality said...

We laity are member of the Body of Christ, the Church, that magnificent three-legged stool (Scripture, Tradition, and genuine Magisterium properly defined. We owe respect to all, but we do not owe obedience to personal, non-magisterial statements and asides from the Pope or anyone else. We are in turn entitled to respect, courtesy, clarity, honesty, transparency, integrity and freedom from the gross clericalism demonstrated by the Pope's refusal to respond, not only the the Dubia but to App. Vigano's clear exposition to the homosexual crisis and its cover-up. The laity not only has the right to fraternal correct the Pope and the hierarchy but also the obligation to do so, PWR

ByzRus said...

MT -

I find your willingness to ignore the sin, apostasy, malfeasance, criminality, clericalism and any other "ism" that I cannot readily recall regarding past and recent events within the Church to be disturbing. Perhaps I'm wrong, but, I've not heard from you one scintilla of prayerful remorse, dismay etc. regarding the sins being identified within the Church and particularly within the hierarchy. Likewise, I cannot recall one scintilla of prayerful sympathy for the victims of abuse. Were you ever this loyal to Pope Benedict XVI? Should a conclave be called, and a new pope elected, will you be able to swear fidelity to the new pontiff? Because, should that occur outside of death, it would be a clear sign that something is/was flawed with the current papacy.

What will you do should this papacy end in resignation?

What will you do if circumstance and prudence lead certain bishops to resign and/or be removed?

By what will you do, I mean, are you that committed to the cult of personality and the ideologies propagated by these personalities that you will be unable to see past it and accept a new pontiff? I am really curious to hear you thoughts here. Perhaps others are as well.

Cletus Ordo said...

Church Militant (yes, I KNOW) just broke the following story:

• The Vatican wants Wuerl in Rome

•. The Feds are building a RICO case and if Wuerl is picked up, the pope is afraid he'll sing

•. Wuerl is in hiding and the archdiocese of DC is in lockdown mode

•. Govt is thinking of revoking Wuerl's passport

•. Vatican is exploring means to smuggle Wuerl out

If Wuerl goes to the Vatican, you might as well have Pope Bergoglio sign an admission of guilt. It's as good as a confession, PR wise.

Anonymous said...

Is MT a real person or is he troll? His comments are artificial, something you would get from a poorly programmed R2D2. Perhaps comments posted under his nome de plume are the musings of an ultra montane crank.

DJR said...

Breaking news: Cardinal Wuerl allegedly ordered by the pope to flee the U.S. to avoid arrest by the Feds.

Not sure that the Feds would have a reason to arrest him... at this point anyway. Unless they've been conducting some type of investigation.

These people are apparently running scared.

DJR said...

Breaking news: Cardinal Wuerl allegedly ordered by the pope to exit the U.S. to avoid arrest.

Wonder how true that is.

Carol H. said...

I sincerely hope and pray that Cardinal Wuerl is honestly sorry for his mishandling situations that were brought to his attention, but this reads like he is sorry that he might lose his job. I hope that I am wrong; after all, isn't he past the age of handing in his resignation letter?

Mark Thomas said...

Right-wing Catholics, some five years ago, denounced the notion of Papal resignations. Today, via their hatred of the Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis, they favor the resignation of Popes (at least one Pope).

I guess that when a perceived right-wing Pope is in place, the Catholic left-wing will feel justified to follow the lead of the right-wing...that is, spew venom daily at the "right-wing" Pope to the point of demanding said Pope's resignation.

Imagine the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, models of humility, treating His Holiness Pope Francis in the manner in which the right-wing has treated His Holiness?

The world spews venom daily at the Vicar of Christ. Unfortunately, that applies also to a certain group of Catholics.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Although I lack their holiness/humility, I join my many brothers and sisters in the Faith who love Pope Francis, submit unhesitatingly to his God-given authority over them, and call upon God to protect His Holiness from the satanic attacks that have befallen the Pope.

I have met many, many such folks at my parish, additional parishes near me, and throughout my daily travels. They are humble Catholics whom the world looks down upon. Many are poor financially. However, they are rich in spirit.

They have tremendous love for God, Holy Mother Church, and Pope Francis.

Speaking in the spiritual sense, they surrounded Pope Francis daily to protect him from Satan. That is what I wish to do.

Pope Francis, who is always under assault from the world, is under assault from within Holy Mother Church. A faction of — and the following is shocking to say — Catholics! hate His Holiness. They are determined to pressure him to resign as Pope.

I ask my brothers and sisters in the Faith to aid and protect Pope Francis spiritually.


Mark Thomas

ByzRus said...

MT -

But, do you feel A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G for the people who have been hurt, both clergy and laity......anything at all? The hell with the ideologies at this point - no one cares when the flood waters are pouring over the levees. Do you have any feelings for your fellow suffering Christian human beings or, do you just want to sit in your Parish of Holy Perfection in the idyllic town of Plasticville where everyone just nicely smiles and nods at each other while quoting Pope Francis (do they wave copies of his teachings like the Communist Chinese did with Chairman Mao's writings too??) all the while wondering what possibly could be wrong?

Rood Screen said...

Had he not brought Pope Francis into it, I might have believed this to be a genuine statement of repentance.

TJM said...


You know the left supports abortion and gay marriage, where the right does not. So are you telling me you're just another Soros paid troll, posting here to cause dissension among the Faithful?

Although I disagree with Kavanaugh a lot, he's not unhinged. You are unhinged. Please leave us alone and go mess up someone's else website, preferably, someone on the left!

Cletus Ordo said...

I'm with TJM. Please depart from us Troll. I suggest we all just ignore any more posts and stop taking the bait to reply to him.

Mark Thomas said...

Homosexual priests have, for centuries, occupied the Church.

We have known for decades that bishops transferred from parish to parish various priests who had been accused of having committed sexual assaults.

-- "Traditional" Catholics have insisted that during the reigns of Popes Pius XI and Venerable Pius XII, homosexuals, communists, and modernists packed seminaries throughout the Church.

-- "Traditional" Catholics have insisted that in Mexico, Central, and South America, bishops and priests, as a matter of routine, marry secretly or have girlfriends. That has long been the case supposedly.

-- "Traditional" Catholics have insisted that it's common knowledge that, as a matter of routine, bishops and priests in Africa engage in sexual relations with women. That has long been the case supposedly.


Incredibly, "traditional" Catholics pretend that the perceived collapse of the Church in regard to homosexuality within the priesthood...sexual immorality within the priesthood...

...that it's Pope Francis' fault. Pope Francis must resign! The filth within the priesthood is Pope Francis' fault.

Resign! Resign! Resign!

Nonsense! Nonsense! Nonsense!


Mark Thomas

DJR said...

Thank God for people like Archbishop Vigano, Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider, Cardinal Cafarra, Father Weinandy, and those who run websites such as Rorate Caeli, Lifesite News, IP5, et cetera.

Just as in times past, God is raising up holy men and women to rise to the defense of the Faith and clean out the filth that has entered the bosom of the Church, even to its highest level.

ByzRus said...

Anonymous Cletus Ordo said...
I'm with TJM. Please depart from us Troll. I suggest we all just ignore any more posts and stop taking the bait to reply to him

1,000% AGREE - Am on board if others agree to do the same. The nature of what's occurring is entirely too serious for these endless distractions. I wish I could program a filter onto my combox view to remove his posts.

ByzRus said...

Mark Thomas

August 30, 2018 at 7:59 PM

Such a load of crap.

Dan said...

MT, I'm tired of being dismissed with a "traditional" or "right wing" label. I don't recall anything other than the NO guitar masses. I'm just Catholic please AND I'm fed up!

Anonymous said...

This seems like rank clericalism. The main victims in this letter appear to be Wuerl and the priests! The line "I wish I could go back in time so the church would do everything perfectly." is intended to put the blame on other's unrealistic expectations. What a self-indulgent load of vomit. Netflix documentaries produced by the lawyers of convicted rapists aimed at getting their clients new trials aren't as self-serving.

This is what we're dealing with. This is what the clergy thinks of the faithful. It's al ME ME ME. If Wuerl has to pay the consequences for Wuerl's actions, then Wuerl is the victim of cruel circumstance. Justice is for the little people. Priests are supposed to be alter Christi, but that appears to only apply to the "sitting at the right hand of the Father" part and not the "righteous" part and of course the cross is nowhere to be found. "Mercy" was introduced in recent years not to give repentant sinners a second chance, but to absolve the clergy of sins before they were even committed.

Anonymous said...

Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Mark Thomas said...

Dan said..."MT, I'm tired of being dismissed with a "traditional" or "right wing" label. I don't recall anything other than the NO guitar masses. I'm just Catholic please AND I'm fed up!"

I am just a Catholic, too. But it's "traditional Catholics" who, if you will, insist upon the hyphen label.

Regarding guitar Masses:

Cardinal Ratzinger noted the overall poor state of pre-Vatican II Latin Church liturgy. A great many Catholics accepted with joy the many radical changes to liturgy that occurred circa Vatican II.

The Low Mass mentality that abounded throughout the Latin Church resulted in the impoverished state of Latin Church liturgy.

Cardinal Ratzinger:

"On the other hand, it must be admitted that the celebration of the old liturgy had strayed too far into a private individualism, and that communication between priest and people was insufficient.

"I have great respect for our forefathers who at Low Mass said the "Prayers during Mass" contained in their prayer books, but certainly one cannot consider that as the ideal of liturgical celebration!

"Perhaps these reductionist forms of celebration are the real reason that the disappearance ne was never in contact with the liturgy itself."
of the old liturgical books was of no importance in many countries and caused no sorrow.

"One was never in contact with the liturgy itself."

That is as bleak as it was never in contact with the liturgy itself.

The poor state of Latin Church liturgy opened the door to such things as guitar Masses.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...


Pedal your lies over at Pray Tell aka Pray Sniff. I lived then and you do not know what you are talking about. If it was so bad, why could I at age 10 chant 5 Latin Ordinaries by heart? You do know what the Ordinary is, don't you.

If the EF was a problem why did PB as Cardinal celebate it many, mamy times and issue Summorum Pontificum? And why did he refer to the OF as a made up on the spot job by a team of loons? Get lost, you are a divisive lefty, lefty, lefty and the left supports abortion and gay marriage. Ergo, so do you, so you are a fake catholic

DJR said...

"That is as bleak as it was never in contact with the liturgy itself."

Saint Padre Pio agrees, no doubt.

As well as the Catholics who knew no other liturgy, most of whom showed up for it every week, at least in the U.S.

And, of course, the liturgy is so bleak that we should replace it with one that is even bleaker.

Makes sense!