Pope accepts resignation of United States bishop accused of sexual harassment
Pope accepts resignation of United States bishop accused of sexual harassment
Pope calls meeting of key bishops on sexual abuse: Vatican
14 September, 2018, 12:30
Earlier this morning, news from Rome announced that the Pope will be summoning the presidents of the Catholic Bishops conferences from around the world - top officials of the Catholic Church - to discuss the escalating sexual abuse scandals dominating countless headlines.
DiNardo's deputy Jose Horacio Gomez and general secretary Brian Bransfield also attended the closed-door meeting. In the USA, a grand jury report released last month from Pennsylvania found that more than 300 priests had sexually abused minors in the state over seven decades.
But even DiNardo has been accused this week of covering up for a priest who was just arrested for sexually abusing children.
The men told the pope how the US Church "is lacerated by the evil of sexual abuse. We look forward to actively continuing our discernment together identifying the most effective next steps".
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Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, will seek Pope Francis' acceptance of his resignation at the Vatican soon as footage of the District of Columbia prelate being heckled by a parishioner emerged on CNN.
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Monsignor Michael Bransfield as bishop of Wheeling-Charleston in the USA state of West Virginia, a Vatican statementsaid. Cardinal DiNardo requested the meeting with Pope Francis in order to discuss the allegations in Viganò's letter which, he said in a statement, deserve answers.
Referring to the McCarrick case, DiNardo called for a "prompt and thorough examination. into how the grave moral failings of a brother bishop could have been tolerated for so long and proven no impediment to his advancement".
Bransfield also was accused during a 2012 trial of another priest of molesting a boy in the Philadelphia Archdiocese in the 1970s.
The head of the USA bishops' conference, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the archbishop of the Galveston-Houston area in the southwestern state of Texas, and other Catholic leaders in the United States say they want answers from the pontiff about allegations he knew years ago about credible information that Archbishop Theodore McCarrick of Washington had abused a teenage altar boy in the 1970s and other seminarians and young priests, but did not confront McCarrick about the allegations.
Archbishop Vigano's statement "brings particular focus and urgency to this examination", the cardinal's statement said. Accompanying them at the meeting was Boston Cardinal Sean O' Malley, who is president of the Vatican's Commission for the protection of minors.
In Germany, a first-of-its kind study leaked to German news outlets found that over the past seven decades, at least 3,677 children have been sexually abused by clergy members there.
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