Pope orders investigation of U.S. bishop accused of sexual misconduct

Pope summons bishops for summit on sex-abuse prevention

Francis appointed Baltimore Bishop William Lori to take over Bransfield's diocese in West Virginia temporarily.

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

The cardinal's "recent statements that he knew nothing about it", said Viganò, "are absolutely laughable".

"In these times, it seems like the "Great Accuser" [a reference to Satan] has been unchained and is attacking bishops", Pope Francis said. The U.S. bishops said Pope Francis "listened deeply from the heart" in their discussions but they offered few details and no "next steps".

The summit was announced a day before Francis will meet American church leaders hit by fresh accusations over the cover-up of sex abuse by priests.

Those allegations against Bransfield are not included the statement.

"The Holy Father Francis, after hearing the Council of Cardinals, has chose to convene a meeting with the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the Catholic Church on the theme of the 'protection of minors, '" the Vatican press office said in a statement.

Wuerl has said he plans to travel to Rome in the near future to meet with Pope Francis to discuss his resignation.

Some of the highest ranking Catholic leaders from the USA met with Pope Francis to discuss the priest sex abuse crisis that has rocked the church. Two dioceses also had announced allegations of inappropriate contact between Archbishop McCarrick and seminarians, resulting in settlements totaling more than $100,000. J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the conference, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the conference, and Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the conference.

"There is no institution that we're afraid to investigate, period", Wray said. The mass aims to "give voice to the pain and suffering of the survivors of clergy sexual abuse and failures in episcopal oversight, while also recognizing the pain and wound of the whole Church", he wrote.

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

Wuerl has faced calls to resign, including from a local deacon at St. Matthew's Cathedral and many other D.C. -area Catholics over his handling of sex abuse allegations by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania when Wuerl was bishop there almost 30 years ago.

A US bishop accused of molesting adults resigned on Thursday, in the latest sex abuse scandal to rock the Catholic Church.