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Pope Summons Bishops For Sexual Abuse Summit
12 September 2018, 11:26 | Erica Roy
Pope Francis will meet at the Vatican with leaders of the U.S. Catholic Church, including the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, to discuss clergy sexual abuse.
The report alleges that even though Wuerl argued that parishioners have a right to know if a priest accused of child sex abuse had been reassigned to another parish, he also reassigned priests with histories of abuse, effectively shielding them from accountability.
Last month, a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed more than 1,000 children were sexually abused by more than 300 clergy members. That resignation was submitted when Wuerl turned 75, which is the mandatory age for bishops to offer to retire.
McCarrick is accused of molesting an altar boy and having seminary students sleep in his bed with him.
The Feb. 21-24 meeting of the presidents of the more than 100 bishops conferences is believed to be the first of its kind, and signals a realization at the highest levels of the church that clergy sex abuse is a global problem and not restricted to the Anglo-Saxon world, as many church leaders have long tried to insist.
While Francis has often talked about sexual crimes as an abuse of power, some conservatives say the Pope has downplayed the role of homosexuality among priests while instead signalling a slightly more inclusive stance about gays within the church.
Washington's archbishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who has faced mounting calls for his resignation over his handling of sexual abuse cases, wrote on Tuesday that he will soon discuss with Pope Francis the possibility that he steps down from leading Washington's Catholic Church.
Members of Pope Francis's global Council of Cardinals expressed "full solidarity" with him in the midst of questions about his handling of the clerical sexual abuse scandal and said the Vatican is planning a response to allegations made against him by a former nuncio.
Mr DiNardo has said recent accusations of top Vatican officials, including the current pope, covering up for McCarrick deserve answers.
Also involved are two officials from the conference, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and Monsignor Brian Bransfield.
The Vatican said on Tuesday the delegation for the pope's U.S. visit would be headed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the U.S. conference of Catholic bishops, and would also include Francis's top sexual abuse adviser, Cardinal Sean O'Malley.
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".
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