Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Resigns As Vatican OKs Investigation Into Sexual Harassment Allegations

Sergio Conner
September 13, 2018

The US bishops next meet as a body in November in Baltimore, where they are expected to debate and vote on DiNardo's plans.

In the United States alone, the Church spent about $4 billion in compensation and other costs related to the priest sex abuse crisis between 1950 and 2015, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

Viganò said he had told Francis soon after the pontiff's election in 2013 that McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington D.C., had engaged in sexual misconduct with adult male seminarians.

"My primary concern is for the care and support of the priests and people of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston at this hard time", Lori said in a statement.

"I. pledge to conduct a thorough investigation in search of the truth into the troubling allegations against Bishop Bransfield and to work closely with the clergy, religious and lay leaders of the diocese until the appointment of a new bishop", Baltimore Archbishop William Lori said in the statement.

Three members of the C9 were not present during the September meetings: Cardinal George Pell, who has been in Australia since summer 2017 undergoing a trial; and Cardinals Francisco Javier Errázuriz and Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya.

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The Vatican is planning a response to allegations that Pope Francis covered up sexual abuse by clergy, according to members of the Pope's global Council of Cardinals.

An open letter published on Catholic Women's Forum, which calls on the Pope to respond to allegations by Viganò surrounding the sexual abuse scandal, has gained more than 44,000 signatures in just under two weeks.

Francis has refused to respond to claims by the retired ambassador to the US, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, that Francis rehabilitated ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from canonical sanctions imposed on him by Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop Viganò writes that the Vatican was aware of McCarrick allegations in 2000, but despite that was named Archbishop of Washington and made a cardinal in 2001.

But the document - an unprecedented attack on the papacy from inside the Vatican - was coloured by claims about "homosexual networks" inside the Church and included a slew of accusations against Francis' allies.

DiNardo has said Vigano's accusations "deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence".

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