Pope summons senior bishops for summit on clerical sexual abuse

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is either an honest moral crusader or a score-settling careerist depending on whom you talk

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is either an honest moral crusader or a score-settling careerist depending on whom you talk

The meeting with the Pope will take place in the Vatican from 21-24 February 2019.

Francis" nine cardinal advisers expressed their "full solidarity' with the Pope over the scandal, which has thrown his papacy into crisis.

In an explosive 11-page letter, Archbishop Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio to the USA, accused Pope Francis of lifting sanctions that were placed upon the former D.C. Cardinal McCarrick during Pope Benedict's reign, going so far to making him a close adviser.

DiNardo asked for the meeting last month, saying he wanted the pope to support an investigation into the scandal around former Washington DC Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who resigned from the College of Cardinals in response to allegations that he once abused a teen-aged boy.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said DiNardo would meet with Francis on Thursday in the Apostolic Palace, along with Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Francis' top sex abuse adviser.

The Vatican has known since at least 2000 that the archbishop would habitually invite seminary students to his New Jersey beach house and into his bed.

DiNardo has also said recent accusations that top Vatican officials - including the current Pope - covered up for McCarrick since 2000 deserve answers.

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

While most have obliged, some conferences, particularly in Africa, have not, either citing lack of resources or other impediments.

Remarkably, Vatican City itself has no such policy, even though the Holy See promised the United Nations five years ago that it was developing a "safe environment program" - including written guidelines - to protect children inside the 110-acre (44-hectare) Vatican City.

In a letter to priests, Wuerl did not say whether he will ask the Pope to accept his resignation, which he submitted three years ago at the customary retirement age of 75, the Post reported. He said that "sooner rather than later" he would need to make a decision about his possible resignation.

The U.S. isn't alone in digging into its past.

Der Spiegel magazine reported on Wednesday that a study commissioned by the German Bishops' Conference had revealed that 1,670 clerics and priests had sexually abused 3,677 minors, mostly males, in Germany over a 70-year period.

Despite the pope's frequent calls for transparency and accountability for those responsible for committing or covering up sex abuse, he seemed to suggest Tuesday that the former nuncio had behaved like Satan by making public the errors of his brother bishops.

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