Houston's Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and former San Antonio Archbishop Cardinal Jose Gomez are leading a high-level delegation of U.S. Catholic leaders to the Vatican, today, as the church confronts a growing sex abuse and cover up scandal, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
DiNardo has said he wants Pope Francis to authorize a full-fledged Vatican investigation into ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was removed as cardinal in July after a credible accusation he groped a teenager.
While these types of allegations are not new, they've come to a head recently thanks to a Pennsylvania grand jury report, out this August, on rampant sex abuse in the Catholic Church.
Father Leo Perez at San Antonio's Oblate School of Theology is glad the Pope is confronting the issue, which has seemed to test his main message.
Since taking the lead, Francis has hammered home a message of redemption. Now, there are members of his flock who may not be redeemable,
"Pope Francis is going to be able to distinguish between mercy and justice," he says.
Next year, the Pope will meet with the presidents of every bishop’s conference, discussing the prevention of clergy sex abuse and protecting children.
Perez says, ultimately, this will make the Catholic Church stronger.
"We'll be able to share what we have learned from hard knocks, and the church will be a safer, better place."Francis is not shied away from the issue. This year, much of his messages at recent masses have been about the scandal
This week, he suggested that the devil was behind the revelations.
“In these times, it seems like the ‘Great Accuser’ has been unchained and has it in for bishops,” he said. “True, we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people.”