Published: Wed, September 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Pope calls meeting of key bishops on sexual abuse

Pope calls meeting of key bishops on sexual abuse

The heads of the national Catholic bishops' conferences will meet with Francis from February 21-24, a Vatican spokeswoman said.

Francis" nine cardinal advisers expressed their "full solidarity' with the Pope over the scandal, which has thrown his papacy into crisis.

The former nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, recently accused a number of prelates of dereliction of duty in dealing with clerical sex abuse and claimed that the pope had rehabilitated serial abuser Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, elevating him to a position of influence despite knowledge of his misdeeds.

A Vatican spokesman says the meeting at the Apostolic Palace on Thursday will include Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who leads the U.S. Conference of Bishops, and Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, who advises the pope on sex abuse issues.

The Vatican has known since 2000 that McCarrick slept with seminarians.

DiNardo has also said recent accusations that top Vatican officials - including the current Pope - covered up for McCarrick since 2000 deserve answers.

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The exercise will be carried out in five army training grounds across the Sea of Japan, Bering Straits and Sea of Okhotsk. "These are very important drills but they are part of routine annual work to develop the armed forces", he said.


The Vatican said on Tuesday the delegation for the pope's United States 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. The Vatican said the guidelines should specify how bishops should tend to victims, punish offenders and keep pedophiles out of the priesthood.

The letter comes after an extraordinary meeting held Labor Day weekend at which the cardinal talked with archdiocesan priests about the best way to address the mounting criticism, spurred by the release in August of a bombshell grand jury report outlining clergy abuse in Pennsylvania.

One question is how early Pope Francis was advised of McCarrick's alleged misconduct and what, if anything, he did in response. In a letter to priests on Tuesday, he said he would be returning to Rome soon to discuss his resignation.

Since the Pennsylvania report was published last month, prosecutors in half a dozen other states have announced plans for similar investigations.

Der Spiegel magazine reported on Wednesday that a study commissioned by the German Bishops' Conference had revealed that 1,670 clerics and priests had sexually abused 3,677 minors, mostly males, in Germany over a 70-year period.

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.

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