The Vatican said it was aware that such an investigation may produce evidence that mistakes were made, when evaluated with today’s standards. But it said Francis would “follow the path of truth, wherever it may lead.”
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Thursday accepted the resignation of a West Virginia bishop, Michael Bransfield, and at the same time authorized a fellow bishop to investigate allegations that Bransfield sexually harassed adults,…
Pope Francis declined Sunday to confirm or deny claims by the Vatican’s retired ambassador to the United States that he knew in 2013 about sexual misconduct allegations against the former archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, but rehabilitated him anyway.
An extensive Pennsylvania grand jury report details alleged abuse by 301 priests in six dioceses, including Pittsburgh, where the Washington archbishop had served as bishop for 18 years. There are multiple instances in the 900-page report where Wuerl is said to have reported priests’ abusive behavior to the Vatican, but also approved the transfer and continued ministry of known offenders. Earlier Tuesday, the cardinal defended how abuse allegations were handled under his watch.
In an open letter to Washington’s faithful, Cardinal Donald Wuerl writes, “What is particularly disheartening, certainly for me, is the sense that we had already gone through this traumatic scandal in 2002.”
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo said the allegations against his former colleague reveal a “grievous moral failure” and urged anyone who has experienced sexual abuse at the hands of the church to come forward.