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Pope Summons Bishops For Sexual Abuse Summit

Pope Francis reaches out to hug Cardinal Archbishop emeritus Theodore Mc Carrick after the Midday Prayer of the Divine with more than 300 U.S. Bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew

In a letter to priests in the diocese, Wuerl mentioned a recent meeting with the Pope in Vatican City. He accepted Barros's resignation in June.

In the letter sent to the D.C. priests on Tuesday (Sept. 11), Wuerl noted that he had prayed with clergy the week before "to discern the best course of action for me to pursue as we face new revelations of the extent of the horror of the clergy abuse of children and the failures of episcopal oversight".

He added he believed his decision would pave "the way forward to bring healing and a new beginning at the service of this Church".

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. He admitted to sex abuse survivors that he had been "part of the problem" in that instance.

Not long after the grand jury report came out, Wuerl's name was removed from Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School.

McCarrick is accused of molesting an altar boy and having seminary students sleep in his bed with him. Many have called for Wuerl's resignation since the report was released.

The current Washington Cardinal has remained adamant he had no idea until recently.

Many have called for Wuerl's resignation, including Catholic teachers who have protested outside his services, amid allegations he tried to hide claims child sex abuse.

This week's meeting will be chaired by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and will also include Francis's top sex abuse adviser, Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

The meeting of the heads of national bishops' conferences from around the world is scheduled for February 21-24 at the Vatican, a spokeswoman said.

The summit was announced as Francis still works to recover from his botched handling of the sex abuse scandal in the Chilean church, sparked earlier this year when he repeatedly discredited victims of a notorious Chilean predator priest.

Claiming the Pope had personally ignored abuse allegations against prominent USA cardinal Theodore McCarrick for five years, Vigano also called on Francis to step down.

DiNardo has said that he wants the pope to approve a full investigation of the McCarrick case, and that reports of a cover-up by the Vatican and the pope himself need to be answered.

In addition, the Vatican has been rocked by an archbishop's accusations that the pope knew for years about alleged sexual misconduct by a top American cardinal but took no action.