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Pope to meet with US Church leadership over abuse crisis

Pope to meet with US Church leadership over abuse crisis

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, leader of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., has recently come under criticism after that critical Pennsylvania Grand Jury report that said more than 300 priests in the Commonwealth had abused over thousand children, dating back to the 1940's.

The decision is up to the Pope, but Wuerl hinted it is likely his resignation will be accepted, closing his letter by anticipating "a new beginning" for the church.

While Wuerl has argued parishioners should be allowed to know if a priest facing allegations of child molestation has been moved to another church, he allegedly engaged in the practice himself. He admitted to sex abuse survivors that he had been "part of the problem" in that instance.

Wuerl was referring to a letter of resignation sent when he was 75 years old, the customary retirement age, the Washington Post reported.

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McCarrick is accused of molesting an altar boy and having seminary students sleep in his bed with him.

Pope Francis will meet September 13 with Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, the Vatican press office announced.

The Pope upset many Catholics Tuesday when, rather than addressing the horrific sexual abuse and cover-ups by Catholic bishops, he preached a homily saying "the Great Accuser" was attacking bishops to create scandal.

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.

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The Americans have called on Francis to launch a Vatican-led investigation into how Theodore McCarrick, a former USA cardinal, climbed the ranks, even as rumours swirled about his behaviour.

DiNardo has also said recent accusations that senior Vatican officials including the current pope had covered up for McCarrick since 2000 deserve answers.

As sexual abuse scandals continue to plague the Catholic church, Pope Francis has now taken an unprecedented step towards doing something about it.

Three of the nine council members were absent for the meetings: Cardinal George Pell, 77, who now is on trial in Australia on sex abuse charges; Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, 85, retired archbishop of Santiago, Chile, who is facing questioning over his handling of abuse allegations; and Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo, who turns 79 in early October.

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Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the USCCB, and Msgr.