Bishop resigns as pope orders inquiry in sex abuse case

14 Septembre, 2018, 12:31 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Pope summons bishops for summit on sex-abuse prevention

The administrator, Baltimore Bishop William Lori, said in a statement that Francis had instructed him to "conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults against Bishop Bransfield".

The Americans have called on Francis to launch a Vatican-led investigation into how Theodore McCarrick, a former U.S. cardinal, climbed the ranks, even as rumours swirled about his behaviour. "It is oppressive and shameful for us", Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier said in a statement Wednesday.

"He listened very deeply from the heart", said a statement released after the meeting September 13.

The summit was announced a day before Francis will meet American church leaders hit by fresh accusations over the cover-up of sex abuse by priests.

The church did not provide additional information about the allegations Bransfield faces.

The Vatican said Tuesday the meeting would be headed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and also include Francis' top sex abuse adviser, Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

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.

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Pope Francis has called a meeting for mid February with bishops from around the world to discuss preventing clergy sex abuse and protecting children - evidence he realizes the scandal is global and inaction threatens to undermine his legacy.

Also attending the meeting were Archbishop Jose Gomez, vice president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Monsignor Brian Bransfield, the conference's general secretary.

Last month, an explosive grand jury report covering a similar time period in Pennsylvania revealed that 300 "predator priests" had abused more than 1,000 victims with the help of a systematic cover-up by church leaders. The pontiff subsequently sanctioned guilty priests that had covered up the priest's abuse.

The Vatican said that a West Virginian bishop, Michael Bransfield, who resigned yesterday, was being investigated for molesting adults.

The Vatican said Francis accepted his resignation yesterday, announcing the decision at the exact moment the USA delegation was arriving at the Apostolic Palace for the meeting. "This drama of abuse, especially when it is widespread and gives great scandal - think of Chile, here in Ireland or in the United States - has behind it a Church that is elitist and clericalist, an inability to be near to the people of God".

In Germany, a church study published in a magazine on Wednesday showed 1,670 clerics and priests had sexually abused 3,677 minors, mostly males, in the country between 1946 and 2014.

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