Goodbye, cruel Wuerl.

Pope Francis on Friday accepted the resignation of Washington’s archbishop, concluding a weeks-long scandal sparked by the revelation that one of the Catholic Church’s most prominent leaders enabled sexual abusers.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl originally submitted his resignation on Nov. 12, 2015, after he turned 75-years-old, as canon law requires. On Sept. 21, the archbishop sent Francis a note asking that he accept his resignation. Francis obliged.

But the act of accepting the resignation is the only good thing that this pope has done to respond to the clergy sex abuse crisis. Francis continues to either ignore or obscure the truth of the scandal, as is obvious from a reading of his response to Wuerl.

“This request rests on two pillars that have marked and continue to mark your ministry: to seek in all things the greater glory of God and to procure the good of the people entrusted to your care,” Francis said in a letter obtained on Oct. 12 by the Catholic News Agency. “Your renunciation is a sign of your availability and docility to the Spirit who continues to act in his Church.”

Moreover, Francis asked that Wuerl “remain as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese until the appointment of your successor.”

As if asking an accused enabler of sexual abusers to stay on in an administrative capacity until a successor can be appointed didn’t already signal that Francis refuses to understand or accept the charges against Wuerl, the pope also wrote the following to the archbishop:

You have sufficient elements to 'justify' your actions and distinguish between what it means to cover up crimes or not to deal with problems, and to commit some mistakes. However, your nobility has led you not to choose this way of defense. Of this, I am proud and thank you.

For the record, the allegations against Wuerl are no small matter. When he served as the bishop of Pittsburgh, he “permitted to occur on [his] watch” the crimes of at least three predatory priests, including one named George Zirwas, according to a Pennsylvania grand jury report released earlier this year.

The Pittsburgh diocese received complaints alleging Zirwas was sexually abusing children between 1987 and 1995. Wuerl, who served as the bishop of that diocese from 1988 to 2006, did nothing. Rather, he shuffled Zirwas around the state, during which time the abusing cleric joined a "ring of predatory priests."

They "shared intelligence or information regarding victims as well as exchanging the victims amongst themselves," the report claims. "This ring also manufactured child pornography on Diocesan property, including parishes and rectories. ... This group of priests used whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims."

The diocese placed Zirwas on “leave of absence” in 1994. In 1995, Wuerl granted his return to ministry after Zirwas threatened legal action against the diocese. The return was short-lived: They placed him on "leave of absence" again in 1995 after another victim came forward to allege the priest "fondled him and performed oral sex on him when he was approximately 15 years old." Zirwas remained on "leave" until his death in 2001.

In 1996, Zirwas offered to snitch on other predatory priests in the Pittsburgh diocese. There was a catch, though: He'd do it only if the bishop agreed to increase his sustenance payments. Wuerl gave Zirwas two options: Either “document in writing the names of the priests involved,” or “state that he had no knowledge of what he had previously claimed.” Zirwas took the second option. In return, “he was granted an additional financial stipend and his sustenance payments were continued.”

At Zirwas' funeral, Wuerl eulogized him by saying, "a priest is a priest. Once he is ordained, he is a priest forever." As bishop, Wuerl had the power to remove Zirwas from the priesthood at any time, but he didn’t.

Francis wants to say with a straight face that Wuerl’s resignation shows the disgraced cardinal is a great leader and protector of the flock? Francis wants to treat this accused enabler of sexual abusers as the real victim?

It's clear this pope doesn't take the cancer of clergy sexual abuse seriously (at least, not as seriously as he takes denouncing border walls and air conditioning, as National Review's Michael Brendan Doughtery correctly notes). Perhaps it’s time for him to step aside for someone who does.