Pope calls meeting of key bishops on sexual abuse: Vatican

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Pope calls meeting of key bishops on sexual abuse: Vatican

Francis' key cardinal advisers announced plans for the summit early next year the day before the pope meets with US church leaders embroiled in their own credibility crisis from the latest accusations in the Catholic Church's decades-long sex abuse scandal.

A study commissioned by the German bishops' conference reports the sexual abuse of thousands of children by priests and religious in that country over a period of 70 years. The hotline number is 1-833-272-4225.

"He got up and said Satan is at work in the church, which I agree with that part", Matt said.

Pfeiffer told the Times that researchers from three universities were unable to look directly at church files, instead relying on church workers to fill out questionnaires. But within the divided church, Francis's stance on the underlying reasons for abuse have been contested.

The official findings are not set for release until September 25. Opening a new process for reporting complaints against bishops and the more effective resolution of such complaints also would require the support and involvement of the Vatican, since only the pope has the authority to discipline or remove bishops.

The announcement of Bransfield's resignation came while the pope was meeting Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, and Archbishop José Horacio Gómez of Los Angeles. "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".

A statement issued by DiNardo after the papal audience made no mention of his request for a Vatican investigation.

On the eve of the USA audience, Francis announced he was summoning the presidents of bishops conferences around the world to a February summit to discuss prevention measures and protection of minors and vulnerable adults.

Pope Francis has ordered an investigation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston, W.Va., in connection with sexual harassment charges and accepted his resignation, the Vatican announced Thursday.

"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. The archbishop will perform both roles until a new bishop is appointed and in place.

DiNardo, of the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas, requested the meeting with the pontiff as the Catholic Church in the United States faces clerical sex abuse scandals on several fronts.

At the trial, a witness testified that a now-defrocked priest had told him that a young man in a auto with then-Father Bransfield was being abused by Father Bransfield. He has repeatedly denied those allegations.

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