Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Pope Francis to Convene Summit on Sex Abuse Scandal

Pope Francis arrives in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican for his weekly general audience Wednesday Sept. 12 2018 Pope Francis to Convene Summit on Sex Abuse Scandal
Melinda Barton | 13 September, 2018, 21:30

The report cited 301 priests, clergy and lay teachers with credible allegations of child sexual abuse against them.

The Vatican announced that Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield, and had named a temporary administrator for his Wheeling-Charleston diocese.

The meeting will take place in the Vatican from the 21st to the 24th of February 2019.

During the sex abuse scandal in Chile earlier this year, Pope Francis was forced to apologize for "errors in judgment" after calling accusations of cover-up against Bishop Juan Barros a "calumny" for years.

The Catholic Church in the United States has been shaken by a damning Grand Jury report in the state of Pennsylvania that found that 301 priests in the state had sexually abused minors over the past 70 years.

In the 11-page statement published on 26 August, Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to Washington, launched an unprecedented broadside by a church insider against the pope and a long list of Vatican and USA church officials.

DiNardo asked for the meeting last month, saying he wanted the pope to support an investigation into the scandal around former Washington DC Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who resigned from the College of Cardinals in response to allegations that he once abused a teen-aged boy.

Francis' key cardinal advisers announced the decision Wednesday, a day before Francis meets with United States church leaders, who are facing fresh accusations following the bombshell grand jury report.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl told his priests in a letter Tuesday that he will travel to Rome "very soon" to discuss his resignation with Pope Francis.

McCarrick has said that he had "absolutely no recollection" of the alleged abuse of the teenager but has not commented on the other allegations against him.

The U.S. delegation will be headed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and includes Francis' top adviser on the clergy abuse issue, Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

The Vatican has known since at least 2000 that McCarrick invited seminarians to his New Jersey beach house and into his bed, but was made a cardinal anyway. McFadden said he did not know when the meeting would occur. They are to discuss the church's sexual abuse scandal in the country and the cover-up of years of abuse claims against hundreds of parish priests.

Pennsylvania's attorney general released the scathing report in August, revealing the results of a two-year investigation into hundreds of sexual abuse allegations.

DiNardo has also said Vigano's accusations deserve answers.