Donald Wuerl to talk resignation with Pope Francis in Vatican

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 attorneys general of Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey and New Mexico are investigating sex abuse by Catholic priests in their states.

With the Catholic Church in crisis once again over clerical sex abuse and cover-up, Pope Francis will meet on Thursday with United States cardinals and bishops who are demanding to know how one of their own was able to climb the clerical ranks despite allegations that he slept with seminarians.

The Vatican said Francis accepted his resignation Thursday, announcing the decision at the exact moment that the US delegation was arriving at the Apostolic Palace for the meeting with the pope.

Mr Di Nardo said he wants Francis to authorise a Vatican investigation into Theodore McCarrick, who was removed as cardinal in July after he was accused of groping a teenager.

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

In response to questions, she said there was no word yet on the expected release of the "possible and necessary clarifications" the council said were being formulated by the Holy See given the current debate on abuse in the church.

Following allegations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano that Pope Benedict XVI had imposed sanctions on Archbishop McCarrick and that those sanctions had been ignored by Pope Francis, Cardinal DiNardo issued another statement August 27 reiterating his call "for a prompt and thorough examination into how the grave moral failings of a brother bishop could have been tolerated for so long".

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A US bishop accused of molesting adults resigned on Thursday, in the latest sex abuse scandal to rock the Catholic Church.

The announcement was made as the pope was meeting U.S. Catholic Church leaders to discuss the fallout from a scandal involving a former American cardinal and demands from an archbishop that the pontiff step down.

The Vatican in 2011 ordered every bishops conference around the world to develop written guidelines to prevent abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.

"Where are the laity and others who might provide both new and uncomplicit voices and insights into the process?" asked Margaret Susan Thompson, associate professor of history at Syracuse University.

"Cardinal Wuerl did not act with moral courage to remove predator priests from public ministry".

The Vatican's statement on Wednesday did not set out what the agenda might look like in February.

DiNardo is heading the USA delegation at Thursday's audience. They are to discuss the church's sexual abuse scandal in the country and the cover-up of years of abuse claims against hundreds of parish priests.

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