West Virginia Bishop Resigns, Pope Orders Probe of Harassment Claims

Pope Francis joins his hands during the Urbi et Orbi Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Monday Dec. 25 2017. (AP

Pope Francis joins his hands during the Urbi et Orbi Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Monday Dec. 25 2017. (AP

Bransfield was forced to resign his post in West Virginia on Thursday amid accusations of sexual harassment.

In the note, Cardinal Wuerl acknowledged that many Catholics in the archdiocese "have questions about their bishop's ability to provide the necessary leadership".

On Thursday, the pope accepted the resignation of US Bishop Michael Bransfield - a cousin of the Bransfield attending Thursday's Vatican meeting - and ordered an investigation into allegations he sexually harassed adults, his Baltimore diocese said in a statement.

The archbishop of Baltimore, William E. Lori, has been appointed to fill in on an interim basis in West Virginia - serving in both roles - until a permanent bishop is chosen.

Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to Washington, also called on the Pope to step down.

"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, '" announced the press office. J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the conference.

"He listened very deeply from the heart", said a statement released after the meeting September 13. McCarrick, 88, became a cardinal in 2001 and served as archbishop of Washington from 2001 to 2006. But, the case has continued to fuel criticism directed at the pope after a statement written by a high-ranking Italian Vatican official called for the Pope's resignation over the mishandling of the McCarrick case. Last month, a Pennsylvania grand jury accused six Catholic dioceses of covering up the abuse of more than 1,000 children by more than 300 clergy. Since the release, an archbishop claimed Pope Francis had helped hide an American cardinal's alleged abuse. Pictured from left are Msgr.

He has said he plans to travel to Rome in the near future to meet with Pope Francis to discuss his resignation. Not long after the report came out, Wuerl's name was removed from Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School in Cranberry Township, Butler County.

"We are grateful to the Holy Father for receiving us in audience".

The pope initially said he would not say a "single word" on the accusations and refused to even answer a question about when he first knew of McCarrick's behavior.

"There is something I have understood with great clarity", Francis told them.

Abuse scandals have also shaken the Catholic Church in Australia, Chile and Ireland, among other countries.

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

Christian blogger, speaker and writer for The Daily Wire, Matt Walsh joined Glenn on today's episode of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program", to react to the pope's controversial speech and weigh in on the far-reaching sexual abuse scandals within the church.

"I ask you please to include me in your prayers".

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