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Archbishop Donald Wuerl to Meet Pope on Resignation — WashPost

Pope Francis arrives to lead the Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican

Francis' key cardinal advisers announced the decision Wednesday, a day before Francis meets with US church leaders who have been discredited anew by the latest accusations in the Catholic Church's decades-long sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

The Philippines' representative to this meeting is expected to be Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines.

The meeting at the Vatican in February is believed to be the first of its kind, and signals a realisation from the highest levels of the church that clerical abuse is a global problem. And, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik said he would agree with the name change in the best interests of the school.

"Criminal prosecutions, governmental investigations and journalistic exposes - stemming from courageous victims and church whistleblowers - are the best way to protect kids, expose wrongdoers and end cover-ups", Clohessy said.

Abuse scandals have also shaken the Catholic Church in Australia, Chile and Ireland, among other countries.

In an explosive 11-page letter, Archbishop Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, accused Pope Francis of lifting sanctions that were placed upon the former D.C. Cardinal McCarrick during Pope Benedict's reign, going so far to making him a close adviser.

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

The Vatican is preparing to issue a response to an explosive dossier of allegations that Pope Francis covered up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick's sexual abuse of priests and seminarians.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. "This is an excellent action, but I think it should happen quicker than six months from now".

But the document - an unprecedented attack on the papacy from inside the Vatican - was coloured by claims about "homosexual networks" inside the Church and included a slew of accusations against Francis' allies.

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

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

A leaked copy of a report found Wednesday contains Germany's Catholic Church admitting to at least 3,766 instances of child abuse between 1946 and 2014, according to Die Zeit and Spiegel Online.

Pennsylvania's attorney general released the scathing report in August, revealing the results of a two-year investigation into hundreds of sexual abuse allegations. McCarrick, 88, became a cardinal in 2001 and served as archbishop of Washington from 2001 to 2006.