Pope Francis summons bishops for summit on clergy sex abuse

Pope Francis summons bishops for summit on clergy sex abuse

Francis appointed Baltimore Bishop William Lori to take over Bransfield's diocese in West Virginia temporarily.

The Americans have called on Francis to launch a Vatican-led investigation into how Theodore McCarrick, a former United States cardinal, climbed the ranks, even as rumours swirled about his behaviour.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has said he wants the Pope to authorize a full-fledged Vatican investigation into McCarrick, who was removed as cardinal in July after a credible accusation he groped a teenager.

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 U.S. bishops said Pope Francis "listened deeply from the heart" in their discussions but they offered few details and no "next steps".

Those allegations against Bransfield are not included the statement.

Mr DiNardo has said recent accusations of top Vatican officials, including the current pope, covering up for McCarrick deserve answers.

"The Holy Father Francis, after hearing the Council of Cardinals, has chose to convene a meeting with the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the Catholic Church on the theme of the 'protection of minors, '" announced the press office.

The Archbishop of Washington has said he will travel to Rome to ask the Pope to consider accepting his resignation.

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Today, top US bishops met with Pope Francis to discuss the ongoing sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

There was no immediate indication from the Vatican as to whether the Pope would authorise a visitation into the McCarrick affair, although there is speculation that a lay-led board will be set up to investigate claims made against bishops.

Also attending the meeting were Archbishop Jose Gomez, vice president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Monsignor Brian Bransfield, the conference's general secretary. Last month, a Pennsylvania grand jury report into sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses, including Pittsburgh and Greensburg, was released.

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.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) commented Thursday on the sexual abuse and cover-up scandal that is rocking the Catholic church.

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

The revelation was the latest twist in an incredible turn of events in the US church that began with the June 20 announcement that one of the most prestigious USA cardinals, Theodore McCarrick, had been accused of groping a teenage altar boy in the 1970s.

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