Pope Francis holds meeting with church leaders amid sex abuse scandal

Pope Francis poses with Mozambique president Filipe Nyusi, and his wife Isaura Nyusi, right, during a private audience at the Vatican Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Alberto Pizzoli/Pool photo via AP)

Thursday, some of the highest ranking Catholic leaders from the U.S. met with Pope Francis to discuss the priest sex abuse crisis that has shaken the church.

U.S. bishops said Pope Francis “listened deeply from the heart” in their discussions.

However, did not offer many details and no “next steps” in connection to their discussions.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo who is the head of all U.S. bishops pushed for the meeting and reportedly wants a Vatican investigation into how disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick rose to the highest levels of the church.

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DiNardo himself is now accused of covering up a predator priest and allowing him to remain in his Texas archdiocese.

In a statement, the archdiocese said that one of the cases against the accused priest was dropped years ago by the minor’s family and that a second case brought last month was taken “seriously” and reported to authorities.

Thursday, as the meeting for the ongoing crisis, took place, Bishop Michael Bransfield of West Virginia, announced his resignation due to accusations he had sexually harassed adults.

Rev. Brian Bransfield, his cousin, was participating in the Pope’s meeting when the resignation took place.

Churches all over the world have been shaken by multiple sexual abuse scandals with a study finding that more than 1,600 priests and clerics had abused over 3,600 minors in a nearly 70-year period.

Wednesday, Pope Francis called for top bishops from around the world to attend a summit at the Vatican in February in the wake of widening sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church.

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