Cardinal O'Malley, U.S. Catholic Officials Meet With Pope Francis

Cardinal O'Malley, U.S. Catholic Officials Meet With Pope Francis

Cardinal O'Malley, U.S. Catholic Officials Meet With Pope Francis

The announcement of Bransfield's resignation came while the pope was meeting Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, and Archbishop José Horacio Gómez of Los Angeles.

Francis called for an unprecedented meeting of Catholic bishops in February to discuss the sexual abuse scandal and what can be done to keep children safe.

Pope Francis removed McCarrick as a cardinal in July, but the Vatican's former USA ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, has called for the pope step down in the wake of his failure to act against McCarrick until recently.

Viganò said that Cardinal Wuerl was "well aware of the continuous abuses committed by Cardinal McCarrick and the sanctions imposed on him by Pope Benedict" and yet ignored the sanctions and allowed McCarrick "to reside at a seminary in Washington D.C".

The revelation was the latest twist in an incredible turn of events in the USA church that began with the June 20 announcement that one of the most prestigious US cardinals, Theodore McCarrick, had been accused of groping a teenage altar boy in the 1970s. It was a lengthy, fruitful, and good exchange.

An investigation in the United States earlier this year found rampant sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children in Pennsylvania.

DiNardo has also said Vigano's accusations deserve answers.

In late August, the diocese of Pittsburgh announced that the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School would strip the cardinal's name from its title following the report.

"Criminal prosecutions, governmental investigations and journalistic exposes - stemming from fearless victims and church whistleblowers - are the best way to protect kids, expose wrongdoers and end coverups", Clohessy said.

Pope Francis met with United States bishops and cardinals on Thursday (Sep 13) to discuss the Vatican's response to a new wave of devastating claims of sexual abuse by clergy. On Wednesday, German media reported that a church-commissioned study on abuse in the German church detailed 3,677 abuses cases between 1946 and 2014, with more than half of the victims aged 13 or younger and most boys. They are to discuss the church's sexual abuse scandal in the country and the cover-up of years of abuse claims against hundreds of parish priests.

The Pennsylvania report and the McCarrick allegations have ignited outrage among rank-and-file Catholics and rocked the papacy of Francis, who himself has been accused of ignoring or covering up sex abuse charges.

The cardinal explained that the USA bishops' executive committee had agreed a three-prong response to the crisis which included an investigation "into the questions surrounding" McCarrick, the opening of "new and confidential channels" for reporting complaints about bishops' misconduct and for more effective ways to resolve future complaints.

The head of the Catholic Church in West Virginia resigned this week. Church historians questioned why such an urgent problem was being scheduled for discussion six months from now with the very bishops who are blamed for much of the scandal.

Related news