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>> Pope Francis has ordered an investigation of a US Bishop accused of sexually harassing adults and accepted his resignation. As the Catholic church reels from child sexual abuse crises worldwide. The pope met US church leaders on Thursday to discuss the fallout from another scandal involving a former American cardinal.
And even demands made by an archbishop that the pontiff himself step down. Reuters Vatican correspondent, Philip Pullella.>> Francis' critics have been accusing him for sometime of underestimating the depth and the gravity of the sexual abuse crisis in the church. And he himself admitted that the church was slow to react, but now everything seems to be coming to a boil at the same time.
And so this will definitely leave a mark on the legacy of his papacy, there's no doubt about it. People have called on him to resign, most people think that that would be absurd, that it shouldn't happen.>> The bishop who resigned Thursday is Michael J Bransfield, no details of the allegations have emerged.
Pope Francis appointed an archbishop to stand in, running his diocese in West Virginia and to investigate the accusations. And Francis has summoned senior Catholic bishops from around the world to the Vatican in February to work out how the church can protect the young. But the avalanche of allegations keeps coming.
Abuse scandals have shaken confidence in the church in the United States, Chile, Australia, and Ireland. Germany is the latest, Der Spiegel magazine reporting Wednesday on a leaked study commissioned by German Bishops. It found that more than 1,600 clerics had sexually abused more than 3,600 minors, mostly boys over a period of 70 years.
And it catalogued face-saving coverups by the church which often chose switching the accused to new posts over disciplinary action.