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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - A group of laity will rally in the nation's capital this weekend to tell the hierarchy they want a faithful bishop to replace Cdl. Donald Wuerl.
The organization, Catholic Laity for Orthodox Bishops and Reform, is planning a rally outside the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. ET.
Known as "Catholic Laity" for short, the group is petitioning Papal Nuncio Abp. Christophe Pierre, who acts as the Vatican's ambassador to the United States. They have sent several letters to him asking to have a meeting where they can give their input on who they think should be the next archbishop of Washington.
The organization noted in a press release, "Catholic Laity has already written four times to the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, in October, November, December, and January, to request a meeting to discuss the appointment of a new archbishop. No reply has been received."
Their press release about Saturday's rally claims that Abp. Pierre has himself called for input from the laity, noting:
Abp. Pierre made a point in his address to all U.S. bishops on November 12 that "there can be no question that the insights of experts, the contributions of time and professional skill of all the faithful, laity together with the clergy ... are critical to carrying out our mission as shepherds."
Regarding the message of Saturday's rally, Catholic Laity says, "At the rally, we will say, 'HERE WE ARE. TALK TO US.'"
Encouraging fellow Catholics to get involved, the group states, "As Catholic Laity's purposes have national impact, we invite interested laity from across the country to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to participate and contribute to these efforts."
"The restoration of the Catholic clergy to holiness," the organization noted, "will require the prayers, persistence, and example of the laity."
Archbishop Pierre, in his role as apostolic nuncio to the United States, is in the same position that was once held by Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò, the whistleblower prelate now in hiding after releasing a testimony stating Pope Francis knew about ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's misdeeds.
Part of Catholic Laity's mission, the organization says, is "to assist in the appointment of a worthy archbishop in Washington."
Also part of its mission is "establishing a means of communicating effectively with the U.S. hierarchy and the Holy See about Catholic life in the United States."
There was a similar rally outside the Apostolic Nunciature in D.C. last month.
Catholic Laity for Orthodox Bishops and Reform was founded by Winnie Obike and Donna Bethell. They have started two online petitions for faithful Catholics: one calling for Cdl. Wuerl's removal and another opposing the idea of Cdl. Joseph Tobin being appointed as Wuerl's successor. Cardinal Tobin was a rumored frontrunner.
Church Militant reached out to Catholic Laity for comment but did not hear back in time for press.
Amid outrage from faithful Catholics following the 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report, Cdl. Wuerl sought permission from Pope Francis to step down. Eventually, the Pope accepted his resignation. News broke on Oct. 12 that Wuerl was no longer acting archbishop of Washington. But he has remained as the apostolic administrator ever since, awaiting the appointment of his successor.
EWTN News Nightly did a short segment on Catholic Laity on Nov. 15, 2018 showing them speaking outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.