HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — A Catholic high school will shed the name of Washington’s archbishop, who was cited in a sweeping grand jury report as having allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children to be reassigned or reinstated while he was Pittsburgh’s bishop.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh said Wednesday that Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl made the request to remove his name from Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School. The school’s sign was discovered vandalized Monday.
The 77-year-old Wuerl has defended himself, saying he acted to protect children, promptly investigate allegations and strengthen policies as understanding of child abuse evolved.
The move is part of the growing fallout from a grand jury report that accused a succession of Church leaders of covering up abuse by 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania since the 1940s.
Meanwhile, the Baltimore archbishop is considering naming a new Catholic school after the nun who founded the first order of black nuns and started the country’s first Catholic school for black children.
The Baltimore Sun reports a school opening in 2020 might feature the Mother Mary Lange’s name. It was originally supposed to be named for the late Cardinal William H. Keeler, accused of failing to act in the case of priests who abused children in Pennsylvania.
Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori says Keeler’s name was dropped in light of the “painful revelations” in last week’s grand jury report.
In a letter to the newspaper, Ralph Moore suggested honoring Lange. Archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine says Lori is open to the idea, noting the school will serve a primarily black community.