POPE FRANCIS has called an emergency meeting at the Vatican to discuss child abuse cases within the Catholic church.
Top officials within the church have arrived at the Vatican today to attend a meeting organised by the pontiff to address the issue of clergy sex abuse and to discuss ways to protect children.
The meeting comes just a few weeks after the Pope visited Ireland and was faced with protests over the church’s cover up of years of abuse within the country.
Several cardinal’s from the US have travelled to Rome including Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops,
It is believed that he requested the audience last month following revelations that a now-disgraced ex-cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, had risen through church ranks despite allegations of sexual misconduct that were known in US and Vatican circles.
DiNardo followed up his request for a full-fledged Vatican investigation into the McCarrick affair with a request for answers about allegations that a string of Vatican officials — including Francis — knew of McCarrick’s misdeeds since 2000.
The delegation is just the beginning of Francis’s meetings with American senior church leadership.
DC Archbishop Donald Wuerl, who has faced calls to resign in recent weeks over his role in both the McCarrick case and in sexual abuse cover-ups more widely, announced in a letter to priests in his diocese Tuesday that he would meet with Pope Francis in Rome to discuss his resignation.
Wuerl is accused of knowing about McCarrick’s actions and failing to act.
The Pope has been under pressure to deliver an adequate response to the overwhelming outcry against abuse in the church.
He will meet the presidents of the Catholic bishops conferences from around the world in the Vatican from February 21-24 of next year as part of a summit on how to address the abuses within the Catholic Church.