American bishop resigns as pope holds meeting on abuse scandal

Donald Wuerl to talk resignation with Pope Francis in Vatican

Donald Wuerl to talk resignation with Pope Francis in Vatican

Last month, a Pennsylvania grand jury report into sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses, including Pittsburgh and Greensburg, was released.

The Vatican hasn't responded to the accusations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, but has promised "clarifications" that presumably will come sometime after Francis' meeting Thursday with the USA delegation. 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.

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.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano sparked a firestorm last month when he claimed Francis had personally ignored abuse allegations against prominent United States cardinal Theodore McCarrick for 5 years. They are to discuss the church's sexual abuse scandal in the country and the cover-up of years of abuse claims against hundreds of parish priests.

But that policy has been questioned recently, given it exempted bishops like McCarrick, who according to the church's own laws, can only be judged by the pope.

The Pontiff will meet with top officials from the Catholic Church early next year, the Vatican press office confirmed this afternoon. Pope Francis removed McCarrick from his position as a cardinal in July. The mass aims to "give voice to the pain and suffering of the survivors of clergy sexual abuse and failures in episcopal oversight, while also recognizing the pain and wound of the whole Church", he wrote.

Ryan, a practicing Catholic, said the church is in need of "total transparency and total accountability".

After hearing from his council, the pope "decided to convoke a meeting with the presidents of the bishops' conferences of the Catholic Church on the theme of the protection of minors", the council said in a written communique.

Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke said DiNardo and O'Malley would meet with Francis on Thursday in the Apostolic Palace. He denies the allegation, which the church said it learned of in 2007.

McCarrick resigned in July over separate allegations - which U.S. Church officials said were "credible and substantiated" - that he had abused a 16-year-old boy nearly 50 years ago.

In a statement issued Thursday regarding the case of Bransfield, Lori said: "My primary concern is for the care and support of the priests and people of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston at this hard time", Catholic News Service reported.

The archdiocese issued a statement Wednesday confirming that both alleged victims had come forward to report abuse by the priest, the Rev. Manuel LaRosa-Lopez, one of them in 2001.

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