Pope Francis summons bishops from all over world for sex abuse summit

Pope Francis summons bishops from all over world for sex abuse summit

Last month, a Pennsylvania grand jury report into sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses, including Pittsburgh and Greensburg, was released.

Specifically, Vigano accused Francis of rehabilitating McCarrick from canonical sanctions imposed on him by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 or 2010.

A Vatican spokeswoman said the summit would be attended by the heads of national Catholic bishops conferences between February 21-24.

As sexual abuse scandals continue to plague the Catholic church, Pope Francis has now taken an unprecedented step towards doing something about it.

A damning letter from the former Vatican ambassador to the United States claimed Francis and other high-ranking officials knew about the allegations against McCarrick years ago but turned a blind eye.

The meeting had been requested by Cardinal Di Nardo following the damaging release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report in July that, since 1947, hundreds of priests in the state sexually abused more than 1,000 children - and the news that a now-demoted cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, rose through the ranks within the church, despite officials in the Vatican and in the USA knowing about sexual allegations against him dating back to 2000.

The head of the USA bishops conference, Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, had requested the papal audience last month following revelations that McCarrick had risen through church ranks even though the allegations of sexual misconduct were known in US and Vatican circles. It was a lengthy, fruitful, and good exchange.

The Vatican announced the event after Francis met with his Council of Cardinals, his de facto cabinet.

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

"For my shortcomings of the past and of the present I take full responsibility and wish that I could wipe away all the pain, confusion and disillusionment that people feel, and I wish that I could redo some decisions I have made in my three decades as a bishop and each time get it right", Wuerl said in the September 13 letter.

The leaders of the US bishops' conference said they shared with Pope Francis how the church in the United States has been "lacerated by the evil of sexual abuse".

The Vatican has known since at least 2000 that McCarrick invited seminarians to his New Jersey beach house and into his bed, but was made a cardinal anyway. A leaked report commissioned by the church alleged that one in 20 Catholic clergy in Germany...

The report cited 301 priests, clergy and lay teachers with credible allegations of child sexual abuse against them.

Bransfield strongly denied ever abusing anyone and the Wheeling-Charlestown Diocese said it had disproved the claims.

When asked if he believed the church's leadership was trustworthy, Ryan said, "I don't know the facts, but the facts need to come out".

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