Pope Francis to Meet with US, World Catholic Leaders

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The report cited 301 priests, clergy and lay teachers with credible allegations of child sexual abuse against them.

The letter comes as Francis prepares for a Thursday meeting with a delegation of U.S. church leaders - including the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, and Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the Vatican's top adviser on clergy sex abuse - to discuss the best way to handle the clergy abuse scandal.

Also attending the meeting were Archbishop Jose Gomez, vice president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Monsignor Brian Bransfield, the conference's general secretary.

The archbishop of Washington plans to meet with the pope in Rome to discuss the possibility of resigning as he confronts accusations that he mismanaged and concealed alleged sex abuse within the church, he wrote to local priests.

The McCarrick scandal and a Pennsylvania grand jury's allegations that some 300 priests had abused more than 1,000 children since the 1940s have left the credibility of us church leaders in tatters.

The head of the USA delegation that met with Pope Francis over the growing sex abuse and cover-up scandal says the US church and Vatican will work together to determine the next steps.

After weeks of silence and mounting pressure from the laity, the Vatican now says it will issue a response to allegations made by Archbishop Maria Viganò, accusing Pope Francis and several high-ranking prelates of participating in a coverup for the sexually abusive then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

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In Cardinal Wuerl's letter to the priests, which was obtained by LifeSiteNews and confirmed by the Archdiocese of Washington that it was sent on Tuesday, he discusses a resignation letter that he submitted in November 2015. McFadden said he did not know when the meeting would occur.

Wuerl submitted his resignation three years ago, but stayed on working at the Vatican's request.

The delegation of USA bishops announced no plans to speak to the media after their audience. DiNardo is asking for outsiders to play a role in church investigations and for there to be new channels established to report abuse, reports CBS News correspondent Seth Doane.

The U.S. isn't alone in digging into its past.

In other eyebrow-raising comments on Tuesday, a top aide to both Francis and Benedict said the sex abuse scandal was such a game-changing catastrophe for the church that it amounted to its "own 9/11".

The conclusions of a study commissioned by the Church in Germany were leaked to the press on Wednesday. Every sixth case involved rape, more than half of the victims were 13-years-old or younger and at least 1,670 clergy were involved, Spiegel Online and Die Zeit said. It is likely they will be replaced from the council due to advanced age.

In their conclusions, the German researchers said there was evidence that some church files were manipulated or destroyed.

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