Pope to Meet US Church Leaders Over Claims
MISSOURI — September 12, 2018
President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal Daniel DiNardo asked for the meeting after Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano last month accused the Pope of knowing for years about sexual misconduct by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and of doing nothing about it.
In his 11-page statement published on August 26, Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to Washington, launched an unprecedented broadside by a Church insider against the Pope and a long list of Vatican and US Church officials.
The accusations shook the US Church, following a damning grand jury report in the state of Pennsylvania that found 301 priests there had sexually abused minors over the past 70 years.
DiNardo has said Vigano's accusations "deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence".
DiNardo has called for the Vatican to help with an investigation into how McCarrick could have risen steadily through the ranks of the US Church while many people knew that he had engaged for years in sexual misconduct with adult male seminarians.
Pope Francis has refused to respond to the accusations of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.
The Pontiff also declined to comment on Vigano's call for his resignation.
Despite the global nature of the problem, the Holy See often tried not to notice such inconvenient trends among clerics, calling such situations "sins" and "misdeeds" of individual clergy. The scandal forced the Pontiff to make a statement in which he uncharacteristically harshly commented on the new revelations. However, despite the consent of Pope Francis, the Vatican has not created a special body-a Tribunal that would consider reports of indecent behavior of pastors.
Today the situation has slightly changed. Pope Francis is expected to meet US Catholic Church leaders who want to discuss the fallout from a scandal involving a former American cardinal and an archbishop's demands that the pontiff step down.
The Vatican said in a statement the Pope would meet with DiNardo, Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston, and two USCCB officials on Thursday.
Over the past five years, the highest hierarchs of the Church unfriendly to Pope Francis, have repeatedly openly opposed him. But he firmly repelled the attacks. However, the current strike is the most painful, because the head of the Church was accused of harboring pedophiles. Therefore, the worst scenario may well be realized. And then the Catholics will have two "Pope at rest" - Benedict and Francis. For the first time in history.