Pope Summons Bishops For Sexual Abuse Summit

The Vatican said in a statement the pope would meet US church leaders on Thursday

The Vatican said in a statement the pope would meet US church leaders on Thursday

"There is no institution that we're afraid to investigate, period", Wray said. He had said he wanted to discuss further action to deal with and stop cases of clerical sexual abuse in the USA, including how to make bishops more accountable for their actions or punishable for their mismanagement.

Francis' nine cardinal advisers expressed their "full solidarity" with the Pope over the scandal, which has thrown his papacy into crisis.

The Vatican said Tuesday the meeting would be headed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and also include Francis' top sex abuse adviser, Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

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".

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Cardinal DiNardo said he wanted to present an "action plan" to the pope to facilitate reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops. 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.

Francis, he said, "has enormous amounts of what (German theologian) Hans Kung has called 'capital of credibility, ' but he's losing it fast", Bellitto said. "I think we have to do it step by step". The accusations against McCarrick, who has since resigned, are tied to his time as a bishop in NY.

The announcement of the Bransfield resignation and investigation followed Francis' meeting with leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. The guidelines were supposed to specify how bishops should tend to victims, punish offenders and keep pedophiles out of the priesthood.

Communications director for the diocese Tim Bishop says work the Catholic Church does supporting communities throughout the state will continue, but that Bransfield is no longer living in the region. And just yesterday in Germany, media reported that a church-commissioned study revealed some 1,700 clerics abused almost 4,000 minors over a period of 7 years.

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But the USA plan has looked less like a model recently, given it exempted bishops like McCarrick.

The McCarrick affair - coupled with revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing decades of abuse and cover-up in six dioceses - has fueled outrage among the rank-and-file faithful who had trusted church leaders to reform themselves after the abuse scandal first erupted in Boston in 2002. Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago even claimed that people were criticizing the way the pope was silent on allegations of abuse and cover-up because he was "Latino". The Catholic Church, at a global level, knew about these crimes, has known about them for millennia.

Pope Francis is summoning leading bishops from around the world for a summit on the sex abuse crisis that threatens to engulf the Catholic Church.

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