Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Cardinal Wuerl to discuss his possible resignation with Pope Francis

Cardinal Wuerl to discuss his possible resignation with Pope Francis

The archbishop of Baltimore, William E. Lori, has been appointed to fill in on an interim basis in West Virginia - serving in both roles - until a permanent bishop is chosen.

The petition calls for a response to allegations from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò that the pope learned of sexual abuse accusations lodged against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013 and did not take subsequent action.

While DiNardo offered no specifics about how they plan to address the abuse, he said they prayed with the pope "for God's mercy and strength as we work to heal the wounds". He listened very deeply from the heart.

He wrote that Pope Francis instructed him during their recent encounter in Rome to come up with new ways forward for the church "as we face new revelations of the extent of the horror of the clergy abuse of children and the failures in episcopal oversight".

The hearsay allegations surfaced during a 2012 trial of other Catholic priests, but the alleged victim rejected them as false, and Mr Bransfield professed his innocence.

But, the case has continued to fuel criticism directed at the pope after a statement written by a high-ranking Italian Vatican official called for the Pope's resignation over the mishandling of the McCarrick case.

Francis is due to meet on Thursday with US Catholic Church leaders who want to discuss the fallout from the report as well as a scandal involving a former American cardinal and demands from an archbishop that the pontiff step down.

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Just prior to their meeting, the pope accepted the resignation of West Virginia bishop Michael Bransfield and has authorized an investigation into allegations that he abused adults.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl was named in Philadelphia's grand jury report into sex abuse in the Catholic Church as someone who had allowed priests to continue working despite allegations of sexual assault during his time as Archbishop of Pittsburgh.

There was no immediate indication from the Vatican as to whether the Pope would authorise a visitation into the McCarrick affair, although there is speculation that a lay-led board will be set up to investigate claims made against bishops.

In an embarrassing coincidence, Bishop Bransfield's cousin, Father Brian Bransfield, was among those meeting the Pope.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) commented Thursday on the sexual abuse and cover-up scandal that is rocking the Catholic church.

The Vatican in 2011 ordered every bishops conference around the world to develop written guidelines to prevent abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.

The commission, which was funded by the German Bishops' Conference, stated that "3,677 mostly male minors" had been victims of sexual abuse by 1,670 members of the clergy.

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