Pope to meet USA church leaders over 'abuse cover-up'

Lamar Ellis
September 14, 2018

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

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.

Pope Francis is set to meet at the Vatican with top church officials from the USA on Thursday about sexual abuse and cover-up accusations.

Cardinal DiNardo said he wanted to present an "action plan" to the pope to facilitate reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops.

Following a private audience with Pope Francis on Thursday morning in Vatican City, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement regarding the recent moral crisis in the American Catholic Church.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he planned "a close review" of the latest allegations against Bransfield, which he called "disturbing".

The 81-year-old Jesuit Pontiff, the cardinal explained, "listened very deeply from the heart" during what was "a lengthy, fruitful, and good exchange".

In response to the report, Bishop Stephan Ackermann released a written statement to CNN saying the church is "dismayed and ashamed" by the findings.

Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke said DiNardo and O'Malley would meet with Francis on Thursday in the Apostolic Palace.

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Last month, a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed more than 1,000 children were sexually abused by more than 300 clergy members.

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. Pictured from left are Msgr.

Also involved are two officials from the conference, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and Monsignor Brian Bransfield.

"I intend, in the very near future, to go to Rome to meet with out Holy Father about the resignation I presented almost three years ago", Wuerl explained in a letter to the priests of the archdiocese.

More recently, Francis's papacy was hit by accusations from a retired Vatican ambassador that he helped a top American cardinal evade sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict for molesting and harassing adult seminarians.

"There is something I have understood with great clarity", Francis told them. Francis called for an unprecedented meeting of Catholic bishops in February to discuss the sexual abuse scandal and what can be done to keep children safe.

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

"We are aware of the extent of sexual abuse that is proven by the results of the study". The first abuse is of power and conscience.

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