A man stood and shouted angrily at Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, as the prelate spoke Sunday at a church in the District.
A video of the incident at Annunciation Catholic Church indicated that the man shouted “Shame on You” as the Cardinal asked prayer and loyalty for Pope Francis, saying that he was the object of attacks.
Critics have targeted Wuerl recently in connection with two issues roiling the church. They have claimed his record was mixed in dealing with sexually abusive priests when he was bishop of Pittsburgh.
It has also been claimed that he knew of alleged sexual misconduct by his predecessor as Archbishop here. Wuerl has denied the accusation.
Moreover, critics of the pope have contended that he himself has not responded adequately to allegations of abuse.
It was unclear if any of those issues motivated Sunday’s outburst. However, it appeared unusual, and a sharp departure from the decorum that usually prevails. One parishioner said she could recall nothing like it in 40 years or more.
In a statement the Archdiocese of Washington said one person “expressed anger” and “several left” during the cardinal’s remarks.
However, the statement said, Wuerl also received “applause and expressions of support from the parishioners” as he concluded.
That sentiment was echoed, the statement said, as the cardinal “greeted the faithful who approached him” after Mass and expressed their prayers and support.
It appeared that the man who shouted was not a member of the parish.
Annunciation is in a red-brick building with a peaked roof in the 3800 block of Massachusetts Avenue NW. The cardinal celebrated Mass there to install a new pastor.