Friday, 21 September, 2018

Pope Francis summons bishops from all over world for sex abuse summit

Pope summons bishops for summit on sex-abuse prevention Pope calls meeting of key bishops on sexual abuse: Vatican
Jeannette Daniel | 14 September, 2018, 12:31

The pope instructed Baltimore Archbishop William Lori to conduct an investigation into Bishop Bransfield and appointed him as the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in West Virginia.

The Vatican hasn't responded to the accusations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, but has promised "clarifications" that presumably will come sometime after Francis' meeting Thursday with the USA delegation.

DiNardo, of the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas, requested the meeting with the pontiff as the Catholic Church in the USA faces clerical sex abuse scandals on several fronts.

"In these times, it seems like the "Great Accuser" [a reference to Satan] has been unchained and is attacking bishops", Pope Francis said.

"He listened very deeply from the heart", said a statement released after the meeting September 13.

Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, private secretary to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, on Tuesday described sexual abuse against minors by clergy as the Church's "own 9/11".

Those allegations against Bransfield are not included the statement.

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 United States church officials.

The head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, and two USCCB officials will also attend today's meeting.

More news: Carolina Braces for Florence Storm Surge

Ed McFadden, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington, said on Wednesday that Wuerl will ask the Pope to accept his resignation, CNN reported.

Francis's key cardinal advisers announced the decision Wednesday, a day before Francis meets with US church leaders who have been deeply discredited by the latest accusations in the Catholic Church's decades-long sex abuse and coverup scandal.

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.

Yesterday, officials announced that the pope has taken the unprecedented step of summoning top officials of the Catholic church from about 130 countries around the world to discuss the issue at a Vatican summit in February.

The pope initially said he would not say a "single word" on the accusations and refused to even answer a question about when he first knew of McCarrick's behavior.

Viganò's accusations came on the heels of a Pennsylvania grand jury report which detailed over 1,000 instances of sexual abuse by 300 priests and cover-ups by bishops.

A leaked copy of a report found Wednesday contains Germany's Catholic Church admitting to at least 3,766 instances of child abuse between 1946 and 2014, according to Die Zeit and Spiegel Online.

Pope Francis is set to meet at the Vatican with top church officials from the US on Thursday about sexual abuse and cover-up accusations.

He added: "Elitism, clericalism fosters every form of abuse".

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