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West Virginia Bishop Resigns, Pope Orders Probe of Harassment Claims

14 September, 2018, 08:14 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Pope Francis greets the faithful as he leaves at the end of his Weekly General Audience in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City Vatican

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

The Vatican made the announcement September 12 after the pope and members of his global Council of Cardinals wrapped up three days of meetings.

"Our discernment here, I believe, has indicated the way forward to bring healing and a new beginning at the service of this church", Wuerl said.

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.

Neither the Vatican nor the Archdiocese of Baltimore gave any details of the specific allegations against Bransfield.

The man said that another priest had raped him in Bransfield's home.

In July, Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick resigned amid claims of abuse. Similar investigations are taking place in several other states.

Outrage has also been directed at Francis and the Vatican and has fueled conservative criticism of Francis' pontificate.

The Vatican said Tuesday the delegation would be headed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and also include Francis' top sex abuse adviser, Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

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A damning letter from the former Vatican ambassador to the U.S. claimed Francis and other high-ranking officials knew about the allegations against McCarrick years ago but turned a blind eye.

While DiNardo offered no specifics about how they plan to address the abuse, he said they prayed with the pope "for God's mercy and strength as we work to heal the wounds".

Those allegations against Bransfield are not included the statement.

The bishop wrote in a letter to priests and people of his diocese that a "hearsay allegation" that he had engaged in improper conduct with a high school student in the 1970s "has been put to rest" by the student in question and others. They were incensed that the cardinals who run the foundation had agreed to a $25 million request from the Vatican to bail out a troubled Rome hospital. "I have no idea of his whereabouts". J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the conference.

Joe Akers, a Catholic in West Viriginia, said the allegations are "a little unsettling". The Vatican said the guidelines should specify how bishops should tend to victims, punish offenders and keep pedophiles out of the priesthood. "I ask you for help with this".

Yesterday, officials announced that the pope has taken the unprecedented step of summoning top officials of the Catholic church from about 130 countries around the world to discuss the issue at a Vatican summit in February.

The surprise announcement was largely dismissed as a belated damage control effort by victims' advocates.

In an exclusive interview with FOX 5 after the grand jury report came out, Wuerl stated that he would not resign from his post and defended his record of dealing with predator priests while he was Pittsburgh's bishop. A leaked report commissioned by the church alleged that one in 20 Catholic clergy in Germany...

Since the Pennsylvania report was issued last month, prosecutors in a half-dozen USA states have announced plans for similar investigations.

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