Published: Thu, September 13, 2018

Pope summons senior bishops for summit on clerical sexual abuse

Pope summons senior bishops for summit on clerical sexual abuse

The accusations shook the US Church, following a damning Grand Jury report in the state of Pennsylvania that found that 301 priests in the state had sexually abused minors over the past 70 years.

The USCCB Executive Committee, Cardinal DiNardo had said, met recently and established three goals: "an investigation into the questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick; an opening of new and confidential channels for reporting complaints against bishops; and advocacy for more effective resolution of future complaints".

During his homily at Mass on Tuesday morning, Pope Francis blamed the devil for the sexual abuse scandal that has shaken the Catholic church to its core.

According to Catholic News Agency, the Pope's Council of Cardinals, all nine of which were appointed by him, have pledged their "full solidarity" to the current Pontiff and plan to issue a formal response to the allegations.

Pennsylvania's attorney general released the scathing report in August, revealing the results of a two-year investigation into hundreds of sexual abuse allegations.

"I intend, in the very near future, to go to Rome to meet with out Holy Father about the resignation I presented almost three years ago", Wuerl explained in a letter to the priests of the archdiocese.

With the Catholic Church in crisis once again over clerical sex abuse and cover-up, Pope Francis will meet on Thursday with USA cardinals and bishops who are demanding to know how one of their own was able to climb the clerical ranks despite allegations that he slept with seminarians.

Following his prolonged silence on the matter, the pope's advisors announced Monday that he is preparing a statement on Viganò's claims.

The decision comes on the same day a US delegation met with the pope over the latest chapter in the Catholic Church's long-running sex abuse and cover-up scandal. "He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people".

All bishops are required to submit their resignation at the age of 75, but the Pope does not have to accept it.

The cardinal said that the decision to remove himself from his leadership role came as fruit of discernment regarding "the best course of action for me to pursue as we face new revelations of the extent of the horror of the clergy abuse of children and the failures in episcopal oversight".

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. Wuerl's name was removed from a high school in Pittsburgh and there have been many high profile calls for his resignation. In a letter to priests on Tuesday, he said he would be returning to Rome soon to discuss his resignation.

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