CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. - As pressure grows to have Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s name removed from North Catholic High School, the school’s sign was vandalized.
On Monday morning, it was discovered that someone sprayed red spray paint over “Cardinal Wuerl” on the sign.
The school’s principal, Luke Crawford, said the vandalism happened sometime between 8 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday. Cranberry Township police are investigating.
Monday marked the first day of school for students, who have the option of wearing the normal Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic uniform or opting for a plain white or red polo shirt or white oxford, Crawford said. About a dozen students chose not to wear the uniforms with the school’s name.
Crawford said the uniform option is a temporary measure until the diocese makes a ruling on the school’s name.
North Catholic became Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School in 2013, when it moved from Troy Hill to Cranberry Township.
After the release of a grand jury report on sexual abuse by priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses -- including Pittsburgh, where Wuerl served as bishop from 1988 to 2006 -- an online petition was started to have Wuerl’s name removed from the school.
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According to the grand jury report, Wuerl was part of the coverup of child sex abuse in the diocese.
In a letter to priests ahead of the grand jury report’s release, Wuerl defended himself.
“While I understand this report may be critical of some of my actions, I believe the report confirms that I acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse. I sincerely hope that a just assessment of my actions, past and present, and my continuing commitment to the protection of children will dispel any notions otherwise made by this report,” Wuerl said in the letter.
As people called for the removal of Wuerl’s name from North Catholic, Crawford sent a letter to parents telling them that its board of directors met and sent a recommendation to the diocese.
It is ultimately up to the diocese to decide to make a name change or not. Crawford hopes the issue is resolved by the end of the week.
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