Pope to meet United States church leaders over 'abuse cover-up'

Pope to meet United States church leaders over 'abuse cover-up'

Pope Francis has ordered an investigation into an American bishop accused of sexually harassing adults.

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

The Vatican announced Thursday that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield, and had named a temporary administrator for his Wheeling-Charleston diocese.

Lori was named apostolic administrator of the diocese and instructed by the Vatican to investigate allegations of "sexual harassment of adults" against Bishop Bransfield, according to a September 13 statement from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

In an explosive 11-page letter, Archbishop Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, accused Pope Francis of lifting sanctions that were placed upon the former D.C. Cardinal McCarrick during Pope Benedict's reign, going so far to making him a close adviser.

The pope met Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who leads the US Conference of Bishops, and Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, who advises the pope on sex abuse issues.

"The Holy Father Francis, after hearing the Council of Cardinals, has made a decision to convene a meeting with the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the Catholic Church on the theme of the 'protection of minors, '" the Vatican press office said in a statement. J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the conference.

News of the investigation came as a meeting was underway between Francis and USA cardinals and bishops to discuss the allegations involving Bransfield.

Mother and infant are first Hurricane Florence fatalities
The outer bands of Hurricane Florence began battering the coast of North and South Carolina Thursday with strong winds and rain. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and that restoring it could take weeks.

The former bishop, who was a major fundraiser for the Vatican via the Pennsylvania-based Papal Foundation, will be temporarily replaced by the archbishop of Baltimore, William E. Lori. She sought urgent intervention of the Vatican and demanded the bishop's removal as the head of the Jalandhar diocese, questioning why the church was "closing its eyes to the truth" when she mustered courage to make public her suffering.

The McCarrick scandal and a Pennsylvania grand jury's allegations that some 300 priests had abused more than 1,000 children since the 1940s have left the credibility of us church leaders in tatters. A damning letter from the former Vatican ambassador to the USA claimed Francis and other high-ranking officials knew about the allegations against McCarrick years ago but turned a blind eye. Pictured from left are Msgr.

In a letter to priests in the diocese, Wuerl said he will meet with Francis about the resignation he presented almost three years ago at age 75, the mandatory age for Catholic bishops to submit their retirement to the Pope. As required by church law Cardinal Wuerl presented his resignation as archbishop on his 75th birthday but has come under pressure to relinquish his position following the Pennsylvania report. As a fruit of our discernment I intend, in the very near future, to go to Rome to meet with our Holy Father about the resignation I presented almost three years ago, November 12, 2015.

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago even claimed that people were criticizing the way the pope was silent on allegations of abuse and cover-up because he was "Latino".

"There is something I have understood with great clarity", Francis told them. Surveys show plummeting confidence in the Church the United States, Chile, Australia, and Ireland where the scandal has hit hardest, as well as in other countries.

He added: "Elitism, clericalism fosters every form of abuse".

Two witnesses and a prosecutor alleged that Bishop Bransfield "may have known about sexual misconduct by [another priest] or abused minors himself", the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The first abuse is of power and conscience.

I ask you please to include me in your prayers. He served in parish ministry and at Lansdale Catholic High School before he began at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., in 1980, eventually becoming its rector.

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