Cardinal apologizes to man who brought abuse claim in '88

A former Roman Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh who now heads the Washington archdiocese is apologizing for initially voicing doubts about a seminarian's claims in 1988 that as a boy he had been sexually abused by a priest.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl (wurl) says the complaint prevented the accused priest from harming other children.

His apology came in a Nov. 23 interview in the archdiocese's newspaper, the Catholic Standard.

The complainant, Tim Bendig, who left the seminary and is now a businessman, tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he is humbled by the cardinal's apology.

Despite Wuerl's initial skepticism, the priest was removed from the ministry and Wuerl successfully fought a Vatican court order to have him reinstated.

The priest was never charged criminally and denied wrongdoing. He died this year.