Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Bishop resigns as pope orders inquiry in sex abuse case

Bishop resigns as pope orders inquiry in sex abuse case

Pope Francis met with USA bishops and cardinals on Thursday to discuss the Vatican's response to a new wave of devastating claims of sexual abuse by clergy.

The archdiocese issued a statement Wednesday confirming that both alleged victims had come forward to report abuse by the priest, the Rev. Manuel LaRosa-Lopez, one of them in 2001.

"We are grateful to the Holy Father for receiving us in audience", DiNardo said in a statement after the meeting.

The pope's acceptance of his resignation was announced just as a four-member USA delegation of bishops - including Bransfield's cousin, Monsignor Brian Bransfield - was meeting with Francis about the impact of recent revelations of sex abuse by priests and cover-ups by the church that have implicated Francis himself.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the embattled archbishop of Washington, will ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation when he travels to the Vatican in the near future, CNN reported.

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. "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".

The Vatican says Pope Francis will meet Thursday with the head of the US bishops conference and other top USA church officials over the sex abuse and cover-up scandal roiling the Catholic Church.

The US church was also rocked by a grand jury report that said 300 priests in Pennsylvania had abused more than 1,000 children since the 1940s.

DiNardo's deputy Jose Horacio Gomez and general secretary Brian Bransfield also attended the closed-door meeting.

In a statement issued Thursday regarding the case of Bransfield, Lori said: "My primary concern is for the care and support of the priests and people of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston at this hard time", Catholic News Service reported.

A Vatican communique added that Francis had accepted Bishop Bransfield's resignation and handed executive responsibility of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston to Archbishop Lori as an apostolic administrator.

In July, Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick resigned amid claims of abuse.

Those allegations against Bransfield are not included the statement.

Claiming the Pope had personally ignored abuse allegations against prominent USA cardinal Theodore McCarrick for five years, Vigano also called on Francis to step down. That man also said Gana told him Bransfield was having sex with a boy. The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston issued the same information in its own press release today.

But the US plan has looked less like a model recently, given it exempted bishops like McCarrick.

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