Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Pope to meet U.S. church leaders over 'abuse cover-up'

Pope to meet U.S. church leaders over 'abuse cover-up'

The Pope also instructed Archbishop Lori to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults against Bishop Bransfield.

The development, announc- ed just as a highly anticipated meeting between Francis and USA cardinals and bishops was beginning, lent a dramatic twist to the emergency gathering, called to address another scandal involving an ex-US cardinal.

The study was carried out by a team of investigators from three German universities-Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Gießen-under the auspices of the German Bishops' Conference. He listened very deeply from the heart.

The Vatican is grappling with claims that the leader of the Catholic Church helped cover up an American cardinal's misconduct.

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There were no immediate details of the allegations against Bransfield.

A former ambassador to the Holy See, Monsignor Carlo Vigano, has even demanded the pope's resignation, accusing him of covering up for McCarrick.

In a letter to priests, the 77-year-old cardinal wrote that he plans to meet with the Pope to discuss stepping down.

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. J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the conference, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the conference, and Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the conference.

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At the same time as the top US church leaders were sitting down to speak to Pope Francis today, the Vatican announced that the pope had accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in West Virginia and has asked the archbishop of Baltimore to launch an investigation into allegations that the bishop had sexually harassed adults. After news broke of the investigation, several former seminarians and priests came forward to report that they, too, had been abused or harassed by McCarrick as adults.

The US Catholic Church has been shaken by the publication of a report on sexual abuse by clergy in Pennsylvania and by the resignation in July of US Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

DiNardo has said that he wants the pontiff to authorize a full-fledged investigation of the McCarrick case and the allegations of a coverup by the Vatican.

The report cited 301 priests, clergy and lay teachers with credible allegations of child sexual abuse against them. Protocols for dealing with abuse in the church vary wildly from country to country.

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Wuerl has faced calls to resign, including from a local deacon at St. Matthew's Cathedral and many other D.C. -area Catholics over his handling of sex abuse allegations by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania when Wuerl was bishop there almost 30 years ago.

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