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Pope calls meeting of key bishops on sexual abuse: Vatican
15 September 2018, 07:30 | Erica Roy
The Vatican said in a statement the pope would meet US church leaders on Thursday
The Pope has so far refused to respond to these allegations.
DiNardo had asked for the meeting after Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano last month accused the pope of knowing for years about sexual misconduct by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and of doing nothing about it.
The meeting is set at the Vatican from February 21 to 24, 2019, according to a communiqué of the Pope's Council of Cardinals.
The planned Vatican meeting is believed to be unprecedented, indicating that the church recognises that clergy sex abuse is a global problem - potentially even in non-Western countries where the church maintains strong social power and cases have not come to light in great number. He called the meeting "a lengthy, fruitful, and good exchange".
He eventually said he had made "grave errors in judgment" and took steps to make amends by sanctioning guilty bishops in a bid to reform the Chilean church.
Pope Francis has ordered an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults against West VirginiaBishop Michael Bransfield and has accepted his resignation, church officials said Thursday.
Francis' key cardinal advisers announced the decision Wednesday, as the latest chapter in the Catholic Church's long-running sex abuse and cover-up scandal has thrown Francis' papacy into crisis.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, will seek Pope Francis' acceptance of his resignation at the Vatican soon as footage of the District of Columbia prelate being heckled by a parishioner emerged on CNN.
DiNardo has said Vigano's accusations "deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence".
The Vatican is taking steps to try to assuage Catholics in the US and elsewhere, who have increasingly expressed frustration with the slow progress stopping clerical sex abuse - and the apparent cover-ups of such cases by the church. The Vatican said the guidelines should specify how bishops should tend to victims, punish offenders and keep pedophiles out of the priesthood.
While most conferences obliged, some have not.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) commented Thursday on the sexual abuse and cover-up scandal that is rocking the Catholic church.
The U.S. bishops specifically requested the Vatican to conduct an apostolic visitation into questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick.
In August, a grand jury report in the USA state of Pennsylvania concluded that the US Catholic Church systematically hushed up sex abuses committed by 301 priests over a period of 70 years.
The sex abuse crisis engulfing the Pope has escalated after he was forced to investigate a United States bishop accused of molestation and a report said that there were thousands of victims of predatory priests in Germany. A leaked report commissioned by the church alleged that one in 20 Catholic clergy in Germany... He is also the oldest member of the C9, at 85 years old.
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