Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Pope to meet United States church leaders over 'abuse cover-up'

The Latest: Sex abuse: Pope to meet Thursday with US bishops Cardinal Wuerl says in letter he will meet with Pope Francis to discuss possible resignation
Ellis Copeland | 13 September, 2018, 23:45

The head of the USA delegation that met with Pope Francis over the growing sex abuse and cover-up scandal says the US church and Vatican will work together to determine the next steps.

The head of the Catholic church said the devil "had it in" for bishops "in order to scandalise the people". A Vatican statement said the meeting also will include Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and Monsignor Brian Bransfield. An archbishop has accused Francis himself of turning a blind eye to the alleged misdeeds of McCarrick, who has resigned from the College of Cardinals.

The head of the USA bishops conference, Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, had requested the papal audience last month following revelations that McCarrick had risen through church ranks even though the allegations of sexual misconduct were known in US and Vatican circles.

In an explosive 11-page letter, Archbishop Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, accused Pope Francis of lifting sanctions that were placed upon the former D.C. Cardinal McCarrick during Pope Benedict's reign, going so far to making him a close adviser.

The pope met today in the Vatican with a small delegation of American Catholic Church leaders, amid the sexual abuse crisis that's dominated conversation about the US church.

In a first for the Catholic Church, Pope Francis will hold a bishops' summit to deal with sexual abuse in the clergy. Victims' groups have long said that the Vatican needs to better address how to deal with prelates who cover up abuse, and how to ensure that abuse victims have a clear way to report what happens to them.

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The Vatican has known since at least 2000 that the archbishop would habitually invite seminary students to his New Jersey beach house and into his bed.

Last month, conservative Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano claimed Pope Francis had personally ignored abuse allegations against prominent United States cardinal Theodore McCarrick for five years.

Francis' papacy has been jolted by accusations he rehabilitated a top American cardinal from sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI for having molested and harassed adult seminarians.

The Pontiff will meet with top officials from the Catholic Church early next year, the Vatican press office confirmed this afternoon. "True, we are all sinners, we bishops", he added.

Last month, a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed more than 1,000 children were sexually abused by more than 300 clergy members.

In his August 16 statement, Cardinal DiNardo said that the USCCB Executive Committee had 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". He said the devil "tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people".

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