Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Pope Francis summons bishops to discuss sexual abuse scandal

Pope Francis summons bishops to discuss sexual abuse scandal

The council has been meeting with Francis over the last three days and on Monday expressed their "full solidarity" with the Pope noting that the Vatican was preparing a response to an explosive dossier from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

On Thursday, the pope accepted the resignation of US Bishop Michael Bransfield - a cousin of the Bransfield attending Thursday's Vatican meeting - and ordered an investigation into allegations he sexually harassed adults, his Baltimore diocese said in a statement.

The council of nine cardinals advising the Pope, known as the C9, met with Francis from the 10 September to 12 September.

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the USCCB, and Msgr.

Although he did not mention recent sex abuse cover-up allegations directly, the speech seemed to reference the Theodore McCarrick scandal from earlier this year.

Francis has refused to comment directly about Vigano's claims, but almost every day over the past two weeks his homily at morning Mass has seemed somewhat related to the scandal.

Addressing the congregation at the Vatican yesterday, he suggested the "Great Accuser" - or the devil - was behind Vigano's revelations.

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'True, we are all sinners, we bishops. A top aide to Pope Benedict and Pope Francis on Tuesday said the scandal amounted to the church's "own 9/11" catastrophe.

The grand jury report also came after a host of allegations against former Washington archbishop Theodore McCarrick, including that he molested a teenager.

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

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.

While no one has attacked churches with airplanes full of passengers, Gaenswein said, recent news from the U.S. "sends a message that is even more bad than the sudden collapse of all the churches of Pennsylvania together with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington".

Francis has, however, responded to the overall scandal with a series of initiatives aimed at trying to convince the faithful that he "gets it" and is prepared to take measures to put an end to what he has called the "culture of cover-up" in the church.

Bransfield had been implicated in 2012 in an infamous Philadelphia priestly sex abuse case, but he denied ever abusing anyone and claimed vindication years ago.

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