Cardinal Wuerl to Discuss Resignation With Pope Francis

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Catholic Church in United States are shaken by Grand Jury report that found 301 priests sexually abusing minors.

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, on February 21-24, is believed to be the first of its kind.

The request followed the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on sexual abuse cases in six Pennsylvania dioceses and the announcement of credible allegations of child sexual abuse committed by Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, the former cardinal-archbishop of Washington.

In an explosive 11-page letter, Archbishop Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio to the USA, accused Pope Francis of lifting sanctions that were placed upon the former D.C. Cardinal McCarrick during Pope Benedict's reign, going so far to making him a close adviser.

The Vatican said that among those meeting the pope would be the head of the US bishops' conference, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the archbishop of the Galveston-Houston area, and Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston.

Francis eventually admitted to "grave errors in judgment" and took steps to make amends, including securing offers of resignation from every active member of Chile's bishops' conference.

Bishops, he said, should be men of prayer, and should know they were chosen by God and keep close to their flock.

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The Vatican said on Tuesday that the US delegation would be headed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and also include Francis' top sex abuse adviser, Cardinal Sean O'Malley. DiNardo is asking for outsiders to play a role in church investigations and for there to be new channels established to report abuse, reports CBS News correspondent Seth Doane.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a policy in 2002 that is regarded as the gold standard policy.

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

In other eyebrow-raising comments on Tuesday, a top aide to both Francis and Benedict said the sex abuse scandal was such a game-changing catastrophe for the church that it amounted to its "own 9/11".

A diocesan statement also referred to allegations the priest, Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, abused a 16-year-old girl in 2001.

The conclusions of a study commissioned by the Church in Germany were leaked to the press on Wednesday.

Garcia Ovejero reiterated the council's last written statement from September 10 in which the members asked Pope Francis for a reflection on "the work, structure and composition of the council itself, also taking into account the advanced age of some of its members".

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