In a first for the Catholic Church, Pope Francis will hold a bishops' summit to deal with sexual abuse in the clergy.
The Vatican said the guidelines should specify how bishops should tend to victims, punish offenders and keep pedophiles out of the priesthood. For the sake of his reputation, but mainly for the sake of justice, the Pope needs urgently to make a full apology for the church's role in enabling and then ignoring crimes of violence against children.
Also attending the meeting were Archbishop Jose Gomez, vice president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Monsignor Brian Bransfield, the conference's general secretary.
The meeting had been requested by Cardinal Di Nardo following the damaging release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report in July that, since 1947, hundreds of priests in the state sexually abused more than 1,000 children - and the news that a now-demoted cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, rose through the ranks within the church, despite officials in the Vatican and in the US knowing about sexual allegations against him dating back to 2000.
It was a good moment, he said, to reflect on what Jesus did in that Gospel account - pray, elect others and minister to the multitude - and what it teaches today's bishops.
According to a new poll published by the U.S. news channel CNN on Wednesday, Pope Francis's popularity has nosedived in the United States recently.
An open question in advance of the summit is whether the Vatican will issue a universal call for bishops and religious superiors to report suspected abuse to police; now, it advises church leaders to report suspected abuse when it's required under local laws.
While Wuerl has argued parishioners should be allowed to know if a priest facing allegations of child molestation has been moved to another church, he allegedly engaged in the practice himself.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the embattled archbishop of Washington, will ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation when he travels to the Vatican in the near future, CNN reported. He is also the oldest member of the C9, at 85 years old.
"We are aware of the extent of sexual abuse that is proven by the results of the study". Following new allegations of abuse in Pennsylvania and Germany, and accusations the officials including Pope Francis were aware of them, Hickey, a survivor of clergy abuse, wrote a letter to Pope Francis.
Bransfield's resignation was accepted just eight days after he turned 75, the age at which diocesan bishops are requested to submit a letter of resignation to the pope.
The Vatican said Wednesday the heads of the national Catholic bishops' conferences would meet with Francis from February 21 to 24.