Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Pope To Meet With U.S. Church Leaders Over Clergy Sex Abuse

Pope To Meet With U.S. Church Leaders Over Clergy Sex Abuse

Catholic Church in United States are shaken by Grand Jury report that found 301 priests sexually abusing minors.

Pope Francis is summoning all bishops conference presidents for a February summit to discuss preventing clerical sexual abuse against children - evidence that he realises the scandal is global and that inaction threatens to undermine his legacy.

The US church was also rocked by a grand jury report that said 300 priests in Pennsylvania had abused more than 1,000 children since the 1940s.

With the Catholic Church in crisis once again over clerical sex abuse and cover-up, Pope Francis will meet on Thursday with United States cardinals and bishops who are demanding to know how one of their own was able to climb the clerical ranks despite allegations that he slept with seminarians.

Claiming the Pope had personally ignored abuse allegations against prominent U.S. cardinal Theodore McCarrick for five years, Vigano also called on Francis to step down.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was accused of molesting and harassing adult seminarians.

A delegation of US cardinals and bishops is already heading to the Vatican Thursday to meet with Francis over accusations from a retired Vatican ambassador that he rehabilitated a top American cardinal from sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI for having molested and harassed adult seminarians.

Pope Francis will host a meeting in February of senior bishops from around the globe to discuss "the protection of minors", the Vatican announced on Wednesday.

In a separate development, an open letter published on Catholic Women's Forum, which calls on the Pope to respond to allegations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò surrounding the sexual abuse scandal, has gained more than 44,000 signatures in just under two weeks.

And yet St. John Paul II made him archbishop of Washington and a cardinal in 2001, presumably because Vatican officials impressed by his fundraising prowess considered his past homosexual activity a mere "moral lapse" and not a gross abuse of power.

DiNardo has also said recent claims of cover-up of McCarrick's misconduct - including against top Vatican officials and the pope himself - deserve answers.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a policy in 2002 that is regarded as the gold standard policy. Protocols for dealing with abuse in the church vary wildly from country to country. German media reported Wednesday that a church-commissioned study detailed 3,677 abuse cases between 1946 and 2014.

Achieving the goals, he had said, would involve "consultation with experts, laity and clergy, as well as the Vatican". Many cases were not brought to justice, and sometimes abuse suspects - primarily priests - were moved to other dioceses without new congregations being informed about the pastor's past, they said.

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