Pope meets with leaders of besieged US Catholic Church

Catholic Church in United States are shaken by Grand Jury report that found 301 priests sexually abusing minors

Catholic Church in United States are shaken by Grand Jury report that found 301 priests sexually abusing minors

The announcement comes amid growing criticism of the Pope's role in dealing with historical child abuse within the Catholic Church, and a day before he is scheduled to meet Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

A Vatican spokesperson said the meeting would take place from February 21, 2019 to February 24, 2019.

The Catholic Church is facing sexual abuse scandals in the United States, Chile, Australia and Germany, among others.

The credibility of the USA church leadership is in tatters over the McCarrick scandal and recent revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, which found that about 300 priests had abused more than 1,000 children since the 1940s.

The summit involving the presidents of every bishops conference was announced a day before Francis meets USA church leaders hit by fresh accusations over the cover-up of sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former Vatican ambassador to the USA, has accused church leadership, including Pope Francis, of being aware of the allegations against McCarrick, but helping him to climb the ranks of the church anyway.

The Vatican has known since at least 2000 that McCarrick slept with seminarians.

In an explosive 11-page letter, Archbishop Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio to the USA, 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.

They included the finding that priests sexually assaulted more than 3,600 children in Germany over almost seven decades.

"It was lengthy, and we shared a lot of thoughts and ideas together", the cardinal told Catholic News Service, "so I found the meeting very good from that point of view".

The recently released grand jury report into sex abuse within the Catholic Church named Wuerl as someone who had allowed priests to continue their work despite allegations of abuse.

Pope Francis met with USA bishops and cardinals on Thursday (Sep 13) to discuss the Vatican's response to a new wave of devastating claims of sexual abuse by clergy.

Cardinal DiNardo requested the meeting with Pope Francis in order to discuss the allegations in Viganò's letter which, he said in a statement, deserve answers.

According to the results of a new poll published by the U.S. news channel CNN on Wednesday, Pope Francis's popularity has nosedived in the United States recently.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a policy in 2002 that is regarded as the gold standard policy.

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of an American bishop accused of sexually harassing adults and assigned another bishop to investigate the matter, Vatican officials announced Thursday amid a wave of scandals enveloping leaders within the Catholic Church. McCarrick, 88, became a cardinal in 2001 and served as archbishop of Washington from 2001 to 2006.

The cardinal explained that the U.S. bishops' executive committee had agreed a three-prong response to the crisis which included an investigation "into the questions surrounding" McCarrick, the opening of "new and confidential channels" for reporting complaints about bishops' misconduct and for more effective ways to resolve future complaints.

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