The grand jury report released Tuesday identified about 300 Catholic priests accused of molesting more than 1,000 children in Pennsylvania dating back to the 1940s, with claims of a systematic coverup by senior church leaders using numerous same methods unearthed in the initial clergy sex-abuse scandal that broke nationwide in 2002. They were asked their views on a number of issues including allowing priests to marry, the church's response to clerical child abuse and the attitude of the church to members of the LGBT community.
Burke, in the statement, described the abuse in the report as 'betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith.
DUP Leader Arlene Foster has said she won't be able to attend an address by Pope Francis on his visit to the Republic of Ireland. The Cardinal explained that the USCCB Executive Committee has "established an outline of these necessary changes", and indicated "three goals: an investigation into the questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick; an opening of new and confidential channels for reporting complaints against bishops; and advocacy for more effective resolution of future complaints".
The Vatican statement added that the church needed to learn "hard lessons from its past, and there should be accountability for both abusers and those who permitted abuse to occur".
Pope Francis had recently accepted the resignation from cardinal's rank of former Washington archbishop Theodore McCarrick for alleged sexual misconduct. The Vatican did not directly address their request.
Pope Francis accepted the resignation of now Archbishop McCarrick last month after USA church officials said allegations that he sexually abused a 16-year-old boy nearly 50 years ago were credible and substantiated.
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A Turkish court on Friday turned down another appeal to free the pastor in the third such rejection, his lawyer said. Meanwhile, Turkish courts have moved to defuse other legal cases that have irritated relations with the EU.
McCarrick was possibly the first cardinal to resign since French theologian Louis Billot, who according to the National Catholic Reporter, a United States newspaper, left over a disagreement with Pope Pius XI in 1927.
As part of what appeared to be a coordinated response meant to stem a spiralling crisis within the Roman Catholic Church in the USA, the head of the American bishops also released a statement on Thursday. "I'm always hesitant to give 100 percent credence to any plan the bishops put forth based upon experiences in the past".
The grand jury report documented how pedophile priests were often protected by church hierarchy or moved to other postings without the faithful being told of the priests' sexual predatory history.
Similar reports have emerged in Europe, Australia and Chile, prompting lawsuits and investigations, undercutting the moral authority of the leadership of the Catholic Church, which has some 1.2 billion members around the world.