Catholic sex abuse scandal widens after U.S. bishop quits

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

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Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Francis' top adviser on the sex abuse crisis Thursday at the Apostolic Palace.

Viganò's accusations came on the heels of a Pennsylvania grand jury report which detailed over 1,000 instances of sexual abuse by 300 priests and cover-ups by bishops.

The diocese said in a news release accompanying the bishop's letter that Rock confirmed he was the boy in the vehicle and that nothing inappropriate occurred.

While no one has attacked churches with airplanes full of passengers, Gaenswein said, recent news from the USA "sends a message that is even more awful than the sudden collapse of all the churches of Pennsylvania together with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington".

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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At the same time as the top USA church leaders were sitting down to speak to Pope Francis today, the Vatican announced that the pope had accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in West Virginia and has asked the archbishop of Baltimore to launch an investigation into allegations that the bishop had sexually harassed adults.

The summit was announced as Francis still works to recover from his botched handling of the sex abuse scandal in the Chilean church, sparked earlier this year when he repeatedly discredited victims of a notorious Chilean predator priest.

The Vatican has known since at least 2000 that McCarrick would invite seminarians to his New Jersey beach house and into his bed.

DiNardo has said Vigano's accusations "deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence". Opening a new process for reporting complaints against bishops and the more effective resolution of such complaints also would require the support and involvement of the Vatican, since only the pope has the authority to discipline or remove bishops.

Cardinal DiNardo said he wanted to present an "action plan" to the pope to facilitate reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops.

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The Vatican in 2011 ordered every bishops conference around the world to develop written guidelines to prevent abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.

The past of the Catholic Church is being dug up in other countries.

The conclusions of a study commissioned by the Church in Germany were leaked to the press on Wednesday. At that time, he had turned 75 years old, which is the customary retirement age, according to the Washington Post.

The official findings are not set for release until September 25.

More cases are coming to light.

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