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USCCB leaders meet with Pope Francis in Rome

14 September 2018, 08:43 | Devin Moran

A group of nuns walk through St. Peter's Square at dawn

A group of nuns walk through St. Peter's Square at dawn

The video clip showed the 75-year-old prelate giving a speech during which he drew attention to the recent sex abuse scandals involving the church, notably in the US state of Pennsylvania.

According to clergy sex abuse monitoring website, BishopAccountability.org, Bransfield was previously accused of molesting teen boys in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

An open question in advance of the summit is whether the Vatican will issue a universal call for bishops and religious superiors to report suspected abuse to police; now, it advises church leaders to report suspected abuse when it's required under local laws.

Cardinal DiNardo, who was joined by Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the leader of the papal child protection commission, and Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, the vice-president of the bishops' conference, said the bishops were now "identifying the most effective next steps", but did not spell out what those were.

The poll showed that only 48 per cent of Americans in general supported the Argentinian pontiff, and his popularity has also plummeted among US Catholics to 63 per cent from 83 per cent 18 months ago.

DiNardo requested a full-fledged Vatican investigation into the McCarrick affair, and said he also wanted answers to allegations that a string of Vatican officials, including Pope Francis, knew of McCarrick's misdeeds but turned a blind eye.




Also Thursday, Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston, W.Va., and ordered an investigation into accusations that Bransfield sexually harassed adults.

"In these times, it seems like the "Great Accuser" [a reference to Satan] has been unchained and is attacking bishops", Pope Francis said. Two people told the Associated Press they went to DiNardo to tell him about an abusive priest in his Texas archdiocese but that DiNardo didn't act. Every sixth case involved rape, more than half of the victims were 13-years-old or younger and at least 1,670 clergy were involved, Spiegel Online and Die Zeit said.

Her parents "decided not to pursue the matter" and left the country, and the priest was allowed to resume his duties in 2004 after an internal investigation, the statement said.

On Monday, September 3, prior to our annual Labor Day gathering, we had an opportunity to pray together and, as I was asked by our Holy Father Pope Francis, to discern the best course of action for me to pursue as we face new revelations of the extent of the horror of the clergy abuse of children and the failures in episcopal oversight. The Vatican hasn't responded to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano's allegations against the pope.

Among those in the firing line following the release of the report is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, who was accused of mishandling abuse cases while he was Bishop of Pittsburgh.

The Vatican announced his resignation while his cousin, Rev. Brian Bransfield, was in that same meeting with the pope. The Vatican Press Office explained that, after hearing the Council of Cardinals, the Pope chose to convene the meeting, which will be tackling the theme of "Protection of minors".



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