Pope summons senior bishops for summit on clerical sexual abuse


Those reports come on top of a 900-page investigative report released last month by a grand jury in Pennsylvania that found that more than 300 priests had sexually abused more than 1,000 children in six dioceses since 1947, often while church leaders covered up the crimes.

He announced Tuesday that he will be meeting with the pope in the near future about the mandatory resignation letter he submitted when he turned 75 in 2015. At the Labor Day meeting, some priests suggested that Wuerl should resign.

The decision is up to the Pope, but Wuerl hinted it is likely his resignation will be accepted, closing his letter by anticipating "a new beginning" for the church.

One of the alleged victims was promised that La Rosa-Lopez would be removed from any contact with children, only to discover that the priest remained in active ministry at another parish 70 miles away. He admitted to sex abuse survivors that he had been "part of the problem" in that instance.

St. John Paul II made him archbishop of Washington and a cardinal in 2001, presumably because Vatican officials were impressed by his fundraising prowess and considered his past homosexual activity a mere "moral lapse" and not a gross abuse of power.

McCarrick is accused of molesting an altar boy and having seminary students sleep in his bed with him.

The current Washington Cardinal has remained adamant he had no idea until recently.

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The meeting of Episcopal Conference presidents will be held at the Vatican from February 21 to 24, the C9 cardinals' conference that advises the pope on reform said in a statement.

The unprecedented summit is scheduled to take place February 21-24 and comes on the heels of serious questions about Pope Francis's handling of the sexual abuse committed by Catholic bishops and priests most recently in the United States and Chile.

Wuerl has been accused of covering up child sex abuse in the church, and of knowing about allegations of molestation leveled at his predecessor, Theodore McCarrick (pictured).

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

DiNardo has also said Vigano's accusations deserve answers.

The U.S. delegation will be headed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and includes Francis' top adviser on the clergy abuse issue, Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

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