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US bishops to work with Vatican on abuse

US bishops to work with Vatican on abuse”

The grand jury's report focused on not just the sexual abuse - ranging from fondling to rape - committed by priests, but the role of the church's bishops, including Cardinal Wuerl when he was bishop of Pittsburgh, in moving miscreants to other parishes, in silencing or buying off victims and families, and in not reporting criminal acts to authorities.

With the Catholic Church in crisis once again over clerical sex abuse and cover-up, Pope Francis will meet on Thursday with USA cardinals and bishops who are demanding to know how one of their own was able to climb the clerical ranks despite allegations that he slept with seminarians.

The meeting in February will bring together the heads of all national bishops' conferences.

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 McCarrick scandal and a Pennsylvania grand jury's allegations that some 300 priests had abused more than 1,000 children since the 1940s have left the credibility of USA church leaders in tatters.

The Vatican announced Tuesday that Francis will meet this week with two other USA cardinals, one of whom has said he wants a full-scale Vatican investigation of Archbishop McCarrick.

It's unknown when the meeting between the Pope and Wuerl will take place.

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.

Wuerl, who was bishop of Pittsburg for some 18 years, offered to resign almost three years ago when he turned 75 but Francis hasn't accepted it.

The pope met Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who leads the US Conference of Bishops, and Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, who advises the pope on sex abuse issues.

Wuerl is now the leader of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and was a former Bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese.

The delegation of US bishops announced no plans to speak to the media after their audience.

The U.S. isn't alone in digging into its past. They are to discuss the church's sexual abuse scandal in the country and the cover-up of years of abuse claims against hundreds of parish priests. DiNardo is asking for outsiders to play a role in church investigations and for there to be new channels established to report abuse, reports CBS News correspondent Seth Doane.

The conclusions of a study commissioned by the Church in Germany were leaked to the press on Wednesday. The news outlets said the report was due to be released September 25 and they obtained it in advance.

McCarrick has said that he had "absolutely no recollection" of the alleged abuse of the teenager but has not commented on the other allegations against him.



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