Pope summons senior bishops for meet

Pope summons senior bishops for meet

The US conference of bishops issued what is considered the most comprehensive policy in 2002, requiring accusations of abuse to be reported to police and the permanent removal from ministry of any priest found to have abused a minor.

The Vatican said that among those meeting the pope would be the head of the US bishops' conference, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the archbishop of the Galveston-Houston area, and Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston.

Three cardinals were absent from the latest C9 meeting, including Francisco Javier Errazuriz, who is accused of ignoring reports of abuse in Chile, and George Pell who faces prosecution in Australia for child sexual offences.

Last month, a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed more than 1,000 children were sexually abused by more than 300 clergy members.

Pope Francis plans to meet with top Roman Catholic officials next year to discuss the growing number of sexual abuse cases involving Catholic clergy.

McCarrick resigned in July over separate allegations - which U.S. Church officials said were "credible and substantiated" - that he had abused a 16-year-old boy nearly 50 years ago.

The Vatican hasn't responded to the accusations, but presumably the "clarifications" it has promised will come sometime after Francis meets with the top USA church leadership this week.

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Last month, in a letter to the world's Catholics, Francis said the church must prevent sexual abuse from being "covered up and perpetuated".

POPE Francis has taken the unprecedented step of summoning bishops from across the world to the Vatican to discuss the protection of children from sexual abuse.

Wuerl is facing increasing scrutiny both over what he may have known about abuse allegations against his predecessor, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in Washington, and how he handled abusive priests while he headed the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

DiNardo has also said recent claims of cover-up of McCarrick's misconduct - including against top Vatican officials and the pope himself - deserve answers. In a letter to priests on Tuesday, he said he would be returning to Rome soon to discuss his resignation, aware that it's time for new leadership.

The U.S. isn't alone in digging into its past.

In response to questions, she said there was no word yet on the expected release of the "possible and necessary clarifications" the council said were being formulated by the Holy See given the current debate on abuse in the church. The news outlets said the report was due to be released September 25 and they obtained it in advance.

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