Pope meets with leaders of besieged US Catholic Church

13 September, 2018, 21:27 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Pope Francis joins his hands during the Urbi et Orbi Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Monday Dec. 25 2017. (AP

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.

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 meeting in February will bring together the heads of all national bishops' conferences.

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.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the embattled archbishop of Washington, will ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation when he travels to the Vatican in the near future, CNN reported.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano sparked a firestorm last month when he claimed Francis had personally ignored abuse allegations against prominent U.S. cardinal Theodore McCarrick for 5 years.

DiNardo followed up his request for a full-fledged Vatican investigation into the McCarrick affair with a request for answers about allegations that a string of Vatican officials - including Francis - knew of McCarrick's misdeeds since 2000.

"We are grateful to the Holy Father for receiving us in audience", DiNardo said in a statement after the meeting.

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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 Catholic Bishops issued a policy in 2002 that is regarded as the gold standard policy.

Viganò said that Cardinal Wuerl was "well aware of the continuous abuses committed by Cardinal McCarrick and the sanctions imposed on him by Pope Benedict" and yet ignored the sanctions and allowed McCarrick "to reside at a seminary in Washington D.C".

The U.S. isn't alone in digging into its past. Every sixth case involved rape, more than half of the victims were 13-years-old or younger and at least 1,670 clergy were involved, Spiegel Online and Die Zeit said.

Garcia Ovejero reiterated the council's last written statement from September 10 in which the members asked Pope Francis for a reflection on "the work, structure and composition of the council itself, also taking into account the advanced age of some of its members".

In response to questions, she said there was no word yet on the expected release of the "possible and necessary clarifications" the council said were being formulated by the Holy See given the current debate on abuse in the church.

Although he did not mention recent sex abuse cover-up allegations directly, the speech seemed to reference the Theodore McCarrick scandal from earlier this year.

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