Pope to meet U.S. bishops over abuse scandal

Lester Mason
September 13, 2018

But he said the years-long scandal, and recent revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, showed just "how many souls have been wounded irrevocably and mortally by priests from the Catholic Church".

Wuerl has been repeatedly confronted by protestors including recently during a mass where a man yelled "shame on you" and walked out during the homily.

Pope Francis is calling a meeting of Church leaders from across the world to discuss child protection as he seeks to step up his response to the clerical sexual abuse crisis.

Wuerl, who was bishop of Pittsburg for some 18 years, offered to resign almost three years ago when he turned 75 but Francis hasn't accepted it.

The U.S. conference of bishops issued what is considered the gold-standard policy in 2002, requiring accusations of abuse to be reported to police and the permanent removal from ministry of any priest found to have abused a minor.

Some clergy from the Catholic Church have been carrying out abuse for decades.

Many have called for Wuerl's resignation, including Catholic teachers who have protested outside his services, amid allegations he tried to hide claims child sex abuse.

McCarrick is accused of molesting an altar boy and having seminary students sleep in his bed with him.

The head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, had requested the papal audience last month following revelations that McCarrick had risen through church ranks even though the allegations of sexual misconduct were known in U.S. and Vatican circles.

The meeting of more than 100 Roman Catholic officials is believed to be the first of its kind and a recognition that church leaders think the sex abuse scandal is an worldwide problem.

The Pontiff will meet with top officials from the Catholic Church early next year, the Vatican press office confirmed this afternoon.

Archbishop DiNardo also has said the church must answer accusations by the former Vatican ambassador to the US that Francis and other top Vatican officials have covered up for Archbishop McCarrick since 2000. Also involved are two officials from the USA conference, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and Monsignor Brian Bransfield, according to a Vatican statement. The Vatican Press Office explained that, after hearing the Council of Cardinals, the Pope made a decision to convene the meeting, which will be tackling the theme of "Protection of minors".

On Thursday, the pope accepted the resignation of US Bishop Michael Bransfield - a cousin of the Bransfield attending Thursday's Vatican meeting - and ordered an investigation into allegations he sexually harassed adults, his Baltimore diocese said in a statement.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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