Vatican orders US bishops to delay taking action on sexual abuse crisis

Pope Francis Attends His Weekly Audience at St Peters Square

The Vatican has told the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to delay voting on measures to hold bishops accountable for failing to protect children from sexual abuse, the president of the conference said in a surprise announcement Monday morning.

In his announcement, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said he was “disappointed” by the Vatican’s decision, which he said he learned of on Sunday afternoon. Pope Francis met with his ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, on Saturday, according to the pope’s public schedule.

A Vatican spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pierre is in Baltimore and addressed the body of bishops on Monday morning. He did not mention the Vatican’s insistence that the US bishops delay their vote.

Pope Francis will convene a meeting of bishops from around the world in February to address the sexual abuse crisis, which has roiled the church on several continents, including North America, South America and Australia.

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