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13 September 2018, 09:29 | Darnell Patrick
Council of Cardinals Expresses ‘Full Solidarity’ with Pope Francis on Sexual Abuse Scandal CNS
The U.S. conference of bishops issued what is considered the gold-standard policy in 2002, requiring accusations of abuse to be reported to police and the permanent removal from ministry of any priest found to have abused a minor.
Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke said DiNardo and O'Malley would meet with Francis on Thursday in the Apostolic Palace.
The summit was announced as Francis still works to recover from his botched handling of the sex abuse scandal in the Chilean church, sparked earlier this year when he repeatedly discredited victims of a notorious Chilean predator priest.
In the USA, a grand jury report released last month from Pennsylvania found that more than 300 priests had sexually abused minors in the state over seven decades.
DiNardo has also said recent claims McCarrick's misconduct was covered up - which have been made against top Vatican officials and the Pope himself - deserve answers.
Following allegations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano that Pope Benedict XVI had imposed sanctions on Archbishop McCarrick and that those sanctions had been ignored by Pope Francis, Cardinal DiNardo issued another statement August 27 reiterating his call "for a prompt and thorough examination into how the grave moral failings of a brother bishop could have been tolerated for so long".
After weeks of relative silence, Pope Francis has agreed to meet a delegation of USA bishops and cardinals to discuss the Vatican response to the clergy abuse crisis.
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Cardinal Donald Wuerl told his priests in a letter Tuesday that he will travel to Rome "very soon" to discuss his resignation with Pope Francis.
The Vatican said on Tuesday that the US delegation would be headed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and also include Francis' top sex abuse adviser, Cardinal Sean O'Malley.
McCarrick is accused of sexually abusing a teenager in the 1970s and young religious workers.
"He listened very deeply from the heart", said a statement released after the meeting September 13.
Cardinal Di Nardo has said he wants Francis to authorize a probe of Archbishop McCarrick.
"In these times, it seems like the "Great Accuser" [a reference to Satan] has been unchained and is attacking bishops", Pope Francis said. "He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people".
The petition asked the pope to remove Wuerl from his position for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of minors and paying off clergy to lie about their stories while serving as bishop of Pittsburgh.
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