(CNN)Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the embattled archbishop of Washington, ending weeks of mounting speculation and rising anger over Wuerl’s role in two clergy sexual abuse scandals.
But Francis also has asked Wuerl to remain as the archdiocese’s apostolic administrator — akin to an interim manager — until a successor is named. And in a letter released Friday
, the pope praised Wuerl for his “nobility” in handling the criticism against him, sentiments that angered some survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
The Pope wrote that Wuerl has “sufficient elements to ‘justify'” his actions “and distinguish between what it means to cover up crimes or not to deal with problems, and to commit some mistakes.”