Sex abuse: Pope to meet Thursday with United States bishops

Erika Holt
September 13, 2018

Archbishop DiNardo also has said the church must answer accusations by the former Vatican ambassador to the US that Francis and other top Vatican officials have covered up for Archbishop McCarrick since 2000.

After hearing from his council, the pope "decided to convoke a meeting with the presidents of the bishops' conferences of the Catholic Church on the theme of the protection of minors", the council said in a written communique.

The six present for the September meeting were: Cardinals Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state; Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Sean P. O'Malley of Boston; Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India; Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany; and Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican City State.

Pope Francis is summoning leading bishops from around the world for a summit on the sex abuse crisis that threatens to engulf the Catholic Church.

The U.S. bishops who will meet with Francis on Thursday are expected to press the pope on how that trial would proceed.

DiNardo has also said recent claims McCarrick's misconduct was covered up - which have been made against top Vatican officials and the Pope himself - deserve answers.

The summit will take place at the Vatican Feb. 21-24, 2019.

Francis, he said, "has enormous amounts of what (German theologian) Hans Kung has called 'capital of credibility, ' but he's losing it fast", Bellitto said.

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Vatican City itself has no such policy, even though the Holy See promised the United Nations five years ago that it was developing a "safe environment programme" - including written guidelines - to protect children inside the 44-hectare city state.

However, Cardinal Wuerl will not be attending that meeting and will be staying in Washington D.C. where he has a mass scheduled Friday at St. Matthew's Cathedral.

In an exclusive interview with FOX 5 after the grand jury report came out, Wuerl stated that he would not resign from his post and defended his record of dealing with predator priests while he was Pittsburgh's bishop.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a policy in 2002 that is regarded as the gold standard policy.

But the US plan has looked less like a model recently, given it exempted bishops like McCarrick.

The church was also rocked in August by a devastating U.S. report into child sex abuse accusing more than 300 "predator" priests of abusing more than 1,000 children over seven decades in the state of Pennsylvania.

The recently released grand jury report into sex abuse within the Catholic Church named Wuerl as someone who had allowed priests to continue their work despite allegations of abuse.

Achieving the goals, he had said, would involve "consultation with experts, laity and clergy, as well as the Vatican".

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