Cardinal Wuerl to discuss his possible resignation with Pope Francis

Pope Francis arrives in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican for his weekly general audience Wednesday Sept. 12 2018

Cardinal Wuerl to discuss his possible resignation with Pope Francis

The Catholic church worldwide is reeling from crises involving sexual abuse of minors, deeply damaging confidence in the church in the United States, Chile, Australia and Ireland where the scandal has hit hardest, and elsewhere.

The Pope also instructed Archbishop Lori to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults against Bishop Bransfield.

The meeting is set at the Vatican from February 21 to 24, 2019, according to a communiqué of the Pope's Council of Cardinals.

Pope Francis addressed the recent sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church in some controversial remarks Tuesday in his homily.

In August, a Pennsylvania grand jury released an explosive 900-page report detailing the abuse of more than 1,000 children by more than 300 priests going back two decades.

The head of the USA delegation that met with Pope Francis over the growing sex abuse and cover-up scandal says the US church and Vatican will work together to determine the next steps.

Wuerl's name also appeared in a recent bombshell report by the former papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, regarding Cardinal Theodore McCarrick-Wuerl's predecessor in Washington, DC-and his serial homosexual abuse of seminarians and priests.

The Vatican hasn't responded to the accusations, but presumably the "clarifications" it has promised will come sometime after Francis meets with the top USA church leadership this week.

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's top adviser on issues related to sex abuse, Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

"In these times, it seems like the Great Accuser has been unchained and is attacking bishops", the pontiff said. "He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalise the people".

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.

The Vatican has known since at least 2000 that McCarrick invited seminarians to his New Jersey beach house and into his bed, but was made a cardinal anyway. 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.

The petition asked the pope to remove Wuerl from his position for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of minors and paying off clergy to lie about their stories while serving as bishop of Pittsburgh.

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