Pope summons bishops for summit on sex-abuse prevention

Adjust Comment Print

Claiming the Pope had personally ignored abuse allegations against prominent USA cardinal Theodore McCarrick for five years, Vigano also called on Francis to step down. The cardinals' statement noted that during this week's reunion, the Council had "reflected fully together with the Holy Father on the issue of abuse".

But that policy has been questioned recently, given it exempted bishops like McCarrick, who according to the church's own laws, can only be judged by the pope.

The 81-year-old Jesuit Pontiff, the cardinal explained, "listened very deeply from the heart" during what was "a lengthy, fruitful, and good exchange".

This also applies to the findings that provide a deeper insight into the actions of perpetrators and the behavior of Church leaders over the past decades.

DiNardo has also said recent claims McCarrick's misconduct was covered up - which have been made against top Vatican officials and the Pope himself - deserve answers.

Some of the highest ranking Catholic leaders from the US met with Pope Francis to discuss the priest sex abuse crisis that has rocked the church.

McCarrick is accused of molesting an altar boy and having seminary students sleep in his bed with him.

POPE Francis has taken the unprecedented step of summoning bishops from across the world to the Vatican to discuss the protection of children from sexual abuse.

Also involved are two officials from the conference, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and Monsignor Brian Bransfield.

On the eve of this meeting at the Vatican, Di Nardo was added to the list of high Catholic clerics in the US who may have failed to prevent a priest suspected of abuse from having contact with minors.

The sex abuse crisis engulfing the Pope has escalated after he was forced to investigate a USA bishop accused of molestation and a report said that there were thousands of victims of predatory priests in Germany.

The credibility of the USA church leadership is now in tatters over the McCarrick scandal and recent revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, which found that some 300 priests abused more than 1,000 children since the 1940s - and that a string of bishops in six dioceses covered up for them, including the current archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

The Cardinal said the Pope had asked him to work out what he wanted to do "as we face new revelations of the extent of the horror of the clergy abuse of children and the failures in episcopal oversight".

The Vatican announced Thursday that Pope Francis accepted the resignation of West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield, who has been accused of sexually harassing adults. "This drama of abuse, especially when it is widespread and gives great scandal - think of Chile, here in Ireland or in the United States - has behind it a Church that is elitist and clericalist, an inability to be near to the people of God".

A study commissioned by the German bishops' conference reports the sexual abuse of thousands of children by priests and religious in that country over a period of 70 years.