American bishop resigns as pope holds meeting on abuse scandal

Pope summons bishops for summit on sex-abuse prevention

Last month, conservative Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano claimed Pope Francis had personally ignored abuse allegations against prominent U.S. cardinal Theodore McCarrick for five years.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has said he wants the Pope to authorize a full-fledged Vatican investigation into McCarrick, who was removed as cardinal in July after a credible accusation he groped a teenager.

The study was carried out by a team of investigators from three German universities-Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Gießen-under the auspices of the German Bishops' Conference.

The USCCB headquarters in Washington, D.C., released a short statement more than three hours after the meeting saying the pope had "listened very deeply from the heart" as they spoke to him in "a lengthy, fruitful and good exchange" about how the US church had been "lacerated by the evil of sexual abuse". Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago even claimed that people were criticizing the way the pope was silent on allegations of abuse and cover-up because he was "Latino".

There were no immediate details of the allegations against Bransfield.

In the 11-page statement published on 26 August, Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to Washington, launched an unprecedented broadside by a church insider against the pope and a long list of Vatican and U.S. church officials.

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Ed McFadden, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington, said on Wednesday that Wuerl will ask the Pope to accept his resignation, CNN reported.

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.

The credibility of the US church leadership is now in tatters over the McCarrick scandal and recent revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, which found that some 300 priests abused more than 1,000 children since the 1940s - and that a string of bishops in six dioceses covered up for them, including the current archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

The attorneys general of Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey and New Mexico are investigating sex abuse by Catholic priests in their states.

The pontiff has so far refused to respond to the allegations.

But a man testifying four years ago in the Philadelphia trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the first senior U.S. Catholic Church official convicted of concealing sex abuse, accused Bransfield of misconduct. 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.

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