Pope Francis Summons Bishops for Summit on Preventing Clergy Sex Abuse

Pope Francis in Vatican City Italy on Sept. 5 2018

The pope instructed Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore to conduct a probe into allegations that Bransfield, 75, sexually harassed adults, the Catholic News Service reported.

Pope Francis met with USA bishops and cardinals on Thursday (Sep 13) to discuss the Vatican's response to a new wave of devastating claims of sexual abuse by clergy.

"In these times, it seems like the "Great Accuser" [a reference to Satan] has been unchained and is attacking bishops", Pope Francis said.

Those allegations, as well as an explosive letter from a formal papal diplomat, have raised serious questions among senior church leaders about why McCarrick was allowed to rise through the church's ranks, as well as who knew about the accusations.

Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to Washington, also called on the pope to step down. Accompanying them at the meeting was Boston Cardinal Sean O' Malley, who is president of the Vatican's Commission for the protection of minors.

"11 letter to priests", reads a tweet from the Archdiocese of Washington, "Cardinal Wuerl shared that the best way to serve the Church as it moves into the future will be to meet soon with Pope Francis to request that he accept his resignation that was submitted three years ago". The Pope has so far refused to respond to these allegations.

Also attending the meeting were Archbishop Jose Gomez, vice president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Monsignor Brian Bransfield, the conference's general secretary.


Pope Francis addressed the recent sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church in some controversial remarks Tuesday in his homily. The pontiff subsequently sanctioned guilty priests that had covered up the priest's abuse.

Mr Di Nardo said he wants Francis to authorise a Vatican investigation into Theodore McCarrick, who was removed as cardinal in July after he was accused of groping a teenager.

The Vatican announced Thursday that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield, and had named a temporary administrator for his Wheeling-Charleston diocese.

The credibility of the US church leadership is now in tatters over the McCarrick scandal and recent revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, which found that some 300 priests abused more than 1,000 children since the 1940s - and that a string of bishops in six dioceses covered up for them, including the current archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) commented Thursday on the sexual abuse and cover-up scandal that is rocking the Catholic church.

In Germany, a church study published in a magazine on Wednesday showed 1,670 clerics and priests had sexually abused 3,677 minors, mostly males, in the country between 1946 and 2014.

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