Pope calls unprecedented meeting of top officials over sexual abuse

Pauline Gross
September 15, 2018

An exhaustive, almost 900-page grand jury investigation into sexual abuse by Pennsylvania priests mentions Wuerl over 200 times.

Francis' key cardinal advisers announced the decision Wednesday, as the latest chapter in the Catholic Church's long-running sex abuse and cover-up scandal has thrown Francis' papacy into crisis.

DiNardo's deputy Jose Horacio Gomez and general secretary Brian Bransfield also attended the closed-door meeting.

"My primary concern is for the care and support of the priests and people of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston at this hard time", Lori said in the release.

The Vatican said the pope had appointed Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore to run the diocese until a new bishop is appointed.

As sexual abuse scandals continue to plague the Catholic church, Pope Francis has now taken an unprecedented step towards doing something about it.

The Vatican is taking steps to try to assuage Catholics in the US and elsewhere, who have increasingly expressed frustration with the slow progress stopping clerical sex abuse - and the apparent cover-ups of such cases by the church. McCarrick, who has denied the accusations about the altar boy and not responded to the allegations about the seminarians, resigned from his position in July.

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The Bransfield revelation comes in the wake of the June 20 announcement that one of the most prestigious USA cardinals, Theodore McCarrick, had been accused of groping a teenage altar boy in the 1970s.

Mr DiNardo has said recent accusations of top Vatican officials, including the current pope, covering up for McCarrick deserve answers.

The McCarrick scandal and a Pennsylvania grand jury's allegations that some 300 priests had abused more than 1,000 children since the 1940s have left the credibility of US church leaders in tatters.

"There's absolutely no reason to think any good will come of such a meeting", given the church's decades of failure to reform, David Clohessy, former director of the victims' advocacy group SNAP, said. "Father Bransfield would jokingly say, 'I'm going to have Stanley put you on the train to come down and see me sometime'".

In February, Catholic bishops from across the world will convene in Rome at the pope's invitation to discuss the "prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults". A leaked report commissioned by the church alleged that one in 20 Catholic clergy in Germany...

Following allegations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano that Pope Benedict XVI had imposed sanctions on Archbishop McCarrick and that those sanctions had been ignored by Pope Francis, Cardinal DiNardo issued another statement August 27 reiterating his call "for a prompt and thorough examination into how the grave moral failings of a brother bishop could have been tolerated for so long".

Other reports by GizPress

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