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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - A deacon in Cdl. Donald Wuerl's own archdiocese is calling on him publicly to resign.
Deacon James Garcia wrote in an open letter to Cdl. Wuerl, "Most Reverend Father, in view of recent developments, I cannot, in good conscience, continue to assist you personally, whether as an assisting deacon or a master of ceremony."
The letter states, "I implore you, for the good for the Church we both love so dearly: Act with courage and humility. Relinquish your position as archbishop without delay."
"I am firmly convinced that genuine healing, first and foremost of the victims of sexual abuse, but also of the Church more broadly, requires precisely this response from you," he explained.
Garcia is stationed at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, D.C. — the seat of the archdiocese headed by Cdl. Wuerl.
Garcia originally sent the letter privately to Cdl. Wuerl, but later gave permission to Joelle Casteix, a journalist and advocate for sex abuse survivors, to share it online.
In the letter, Garcia shared the text of a reflection that he presented in connection to a holy hour at the cathedral. One part of his reflection stated, "The time for cowardice and self-preservation is long past. Victims cry out for justice and the faithful deserve shepherds who are not compromised. Apology and accompaniment are critical. But no amount of apology will suffice unless and until bishops and other complicit clergy are removed or resign."
Deacon Garcia said in an interview Saturday with local news, "I felt the time had come to take some manner of action."
He said of the sex abuse scandal, "This is a problem generations in the making."
Deacon Garcia is joining a chorus of voices calling for Cdl. Wuerl's resignation.
For instance, Church Militant produced a special report on Aug. 14 titled "Episcopal Sodomy: Donald Wuerl Must Go!"
Likewise, the American Enterprise Institute's Marc Thiessen wrote an op-ed on Aug. 16 for The Washington Post titled "Cardinal Wuerl must go." On the same day, The Washington Examiner produced a piece called "For the church's and the nation's sake, Cardinal Wuerl must go."