Pope calls meeting of key bishops on sexual abuse

Clay Curtis
September 12, 2018

According to Catholic News Agency, the Pope's Council of Cardinals, all nine of which were appointed by him, have pledged their "full solidarity" to the current Pontiff and plan to issue a formal response to the allegations. When Wuerl spoke with Francis at the end of August, the pope told him to consult his priests about what he should do - and Wuerl did so at an annual Labor Day picnic for clergy, which he referred to in his letter on Tuesday.

Wuerl had served as Bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese for 18 years, and, his name was mentioned prominently in the grand jury report for allegedly not doing enough to remove predator priests from ministry...while noting at the same time, that Wuerl did, at times, refuse to return priests to parishes, after they were accused of sexual abuse.

Wuerl can ask to step down, but only the pope can accept the resignation of an archbishop.

But he acknowledged Catholics' questions about their bishops' ability to lead them to healing amid a massive sex-abuse crisis and said he will discuss his resignation.

The grand jury's report focused on not just the sexual abuse - ranging from fondling to rape - committed by priests, but the role of the church's bishops, including Cardinal Wuerl when he was bishop of Pittsburgh, in moving miscreants to other parishes, in silencing or buying off victims and families, and in not reporting criminal acts to authorities.

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With the Catholic Church in crisis once again over clerical sex abuse and cover-up, Pope Francis will meet on Thursday with United States cardinals and bishops who are demanding to know how one of their own was able to climb the clerical ranks despite allegations that he slept with seminarians.

"It was clear that some decision, sooner rather than later, on my part is an essential aspect so that this archdiocesan Church we all love can move forward", Wuerl wrote, the Post reported.

DiNardo wants Francis to greenlight a Vatican investigation into ex-Washington, DC, Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who resigned in disgrace in July over substantiated allegations that he sexually abused a teenage altar boy 47 years ago. Also involved are two officials from the conference, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and Monsignor Brian Bransfield.

Archbishop DiNardo also has said the church must answer accusations by the former Vatican ambassador to the US that Francis and other top Vatican officials have covered up for Archbishop McCarrick since 2000.

The Vatican has known since at least 2000 that the archbishop would habitually invite seminary students to his New Jersey beach house and into his bed.

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