Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Catholic sex abuse scandal widens after United States bishop quits

The Vatican said in a statement the pope would meet US church leaders on Thursday The Vatican said in a statement the pope would meet US church leaders on Thursday
Patty Aguilar | 14 September, 2018, 12:33

Baltimore Bishop William Lori said in a statement that Francis had instructed him to "conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults against Bishop Bransfield".

Claiming the Pope had personally ignored abuse allegations against prominent U.S. cardinal Theodore McCarrick for five years, Vigano also called on Francis to step down. "It is oppressive and shameful for us", Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier said in a statement Wednesday.

"In these times, it seems like the "Great Accuser" [a reference to Satan] has been unchained and is attacking bishops", Pope Francis said.

Last month, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano sparked a firestorm when he accused Pope Francis of covering up sexual abuse allegations against an American cardinal.

Those allegations, as well as an explosive letter from a formal papal diplomat, have raised serious questions among senior church leaders about why McCarrick was allowed to rise through the church's ranks, as well as who knew about the accusations.

The head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, and two USCCB officials will also attend today's meeting.

In a letter to priests, the 77-year-old cardinal wrote that he plans to meet with the Pope to discuss stepping down.

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Rashford is now suspended for three games after being sent off for violent conduct in United's 2-0 win over Burnley before the global break.

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That's something we're monitoring very closely", OCHA spokesman David Swanson told AFP . Security Council on the same day", Burt added.

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Like Hurricane Harvey, which stalled over Texas in 2017, Florence could linger over the Southeast for several days after landfall. Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic. "We expect it to move slowly across the ground when it gets here".

Bransfield came as the pontiff began a closed-door meeting in his private study with four USA bishops and cardinals to address the church's wave of sexual abuse crises, including a cover-up scandal that even implicated the pope himself.

The meeting, set to take place in February 2019, is believed to be the first of its kind, and represents a recognition at the highest levels of the church that sexual abuse of children by clergy is a global problem.

As the moment the USA cardinals arrived for their meeting with Francis in the Vatican's apostolic palace, the Holy See announced the Pope had ordered Archbishop of Baltimore, William E. Lori, to investigate harassment allegations against West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield.

McCarrick's removal was followed by a bombshell Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing decades of sexual abuses and a wide-ranging cover-up.

Di Nardo has said he wants Francis to authorize a full-fledged Vatican investigation into ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was removed as cardinal in July after a credible accusation that he groped a teenager. He had said he wanted to discuss further action to deal with and stop cases of clerical sexual abuse in the US, including how to make bishops more accountable for their actions or punishable for their mismanagement.

Wuerl has faced calls to resign, including from a local deacon at St. Matthew's Cathedral and many other D.C. -area Catholics over his handling of sex abuse allegations by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania when Wuerl was bishop there almost 30 years ago.

The church is now facing abuse scandals in the United States, Chile, Australia, Germany and elsewhere.

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