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Pope summons bishops for summit on sex-abuse prevention

Pope summons bishops for summit on sex-abuse prevention

A Vatican communique added that Francis had accepted Bishop Bransfield's resignation and handed executive responsibility of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston to Archbishop Lori as an apostolic administrator.

While DiNardo offered no specifics about how they plan to address the abuse, he said they prayed with the pope "for God's mercy and strength as we work to heal the wounds".

While Francis has often talked about sexual crimes as an abuse of power, some conservatives say the Pope has downplayed the role of homosexuality among priests while instead signalling a slightly more inclusive stance about gays within the church.

This also applies to the findings that provide a deeper insight into the actions of perpetrators and the behavior of Church leaders over the past decades.

Mr DiNardo has said recent accusations of top Vatican officials, including the current pope, covering up for McCarrick deserve answers.

"The Holy Father Francis, after hearing the Council of Cardinals, has chose 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.

In a letter to priests sent earlier this week, Wuerl said he planned to meet with Pope Francis "in the near future" to discuss his possible resignation.

The pope is scheduled to meet with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as well as his top adviser, at the Vatican on September 13 to discuss clergy sex abuse, the media reports. Two dioceses also had announced allegations of inappropriate contact between Archbishop McCarrick and seminarians, resulting in settlements totaling more than $100,000.

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The bishop is commissioner for questions of sexual abuse in the Church and for questions of the protection of children and minors of the German bishops' conference.

Last month, the Vatican expressed "shame and sorrow" over the sexual abuse of at least 1,000 children by more than 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania.

In an embarrassing coincidence, Bishop Bransfield's cousin, Father Brian Bransfield, was among those meeting the Pope.

Mr Di Nardo said he wants Francis to authorise a Vatican investigation into Theodore McCarrick, who was removed as cardinal in July after he was accused of groping a teenager.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) commented Thursday on the sexual abuse and cover-up scandal that is rocking the Catholic church.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Monsignor Michael Bransfield as bishop of Wheeling-Charleston in the US state of West Virginia, a Vatican statement said.

In Germany, a church study published in a magazine on Wednesday showed 1,670 clerics and priests had sexually abused 3,677 minors, mostly males, in the country between 1946 and 2014.

A USA bishop accused of molesting adults resigned on Thursday, in the latest sex abuse scandal to rock the Catholic Church.


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