PITTSBURGH (AP) — A former Roman Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh who now heads the Washington archdiocese has apologized for initially voicing doubts about a seminarian’s claims in 1988 that as a young boy he had been sexually abused by a priest.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl says Tim Bendig, who is now a businessman, “told the truth about a priest who was a terrible danger to children and without his action that priest might have continued in the ministry.”
“Telling that truth helped all of us to become a better church,” Wuerl said in an interview Nov. 23 in the church newspaper in Washington, the Catholic Standard.
Bendig, who lives near Pittsburgh, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he had asked church officials to affirm his account amid continuing efforts by some online to discredit him. The cardinal’s apology also comes as state prosecutors are investigating how the Pittsburgh Diocese and others across Pennsylvania handled abuse claims going back decades.
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