Cardinal Wuerl to discuss possible resignation with Pope Francis

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick archbishop emeritus of Washington was sanctioned

The Pontiff will meet with top officials from the Catholic Church early next year, the Vatican press office confirmed this afternoon.

The summit, of the presidents of all Catholic bishops' conferences, will take place at the Vatican Feb. 21-24, 2019.

During the meetings of the Council, Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap., updated those present on the work of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

But first Pope Francis will meet with the head of the United States bishop's conference and other top USA church officials on Thursday to discuss the sex abuse scandal.

Last month, in a letter to the world's Catholics, Francis said the church must prevent sexual abuse from being "covered up and perpetuated".

Mr DiNardo has said recent accusations of top Vatican officials, including the current pope, covering up for McCarrick deserve answers.

Francis, he said, "has enormous amounts of what (German theologian) Hans Kung has called 'capital of credibility, ' but he's losing it fast", Bellitto said.

The unprecedented summit is scheduled to take place February 21-24 and comes on the heels of serious questions about Pope Francis's handling of the sexual abuse committed by Catholic bishops and priests most recently in the United States and Chile.

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However, Cardinal Wuerl will not be attending that meeting and will be staying in Washington D.C. where he has a mass scheduled Friday at St. Matthew's Cathedral.

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

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

Wuerl's name was mentioned several times in the report for allegedly not doing enough to remove some predator priests from ministry.

The letter comes after an extraordinary meeting held Labor Day weekend at which the cardinal talked with archdiocesan priests about the best way to address the mounting criticism, spurred by the release in August of a bombshell grand jury report outlining clergy abuse in Pennsylvania.

The past of the Catholic Church is being dug up in other countries.

On Wednesday, German media reported that a church-commissioned study on abuse in the German church detailed 3,677 abuses cases between 1946 and 2014, with more than half of the victims, who were mostly boys, aged 13 or younger. The news outlets said the report was due to be released September 25 and they obtained it in advance.

Moving priests who have been accused of child sex abuse is widely seen as a way to help them avoid facing any consequences.

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