The U.S. conference of bishops issued what is considered the gold-standard policy in 2002, requiring accusations of abuse to be reported to police and the permanent removal from ministry of any priest found to have abused a minor.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Francis' top adviser on the sex abuse crisis Thursday at the Apostolic Palace. Among the four was Bransfield's cousin, Monsignor Brian Bransfield, secretary-general of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"My primary concern is for the care and support of the priests and people of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston at this hard time".
Separately, the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston said on its website that Mr Bransfield, 75, will be investigated over "allegations of sexual harassment of adults".
In a statement issued Thursday regarding the case of Bransfield, Lori said: "My primary concern is for the care and support of the priests and people of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston at this hard time", Catholic News Service reported.
In the note, Cardinal Wuerl acknowledged that many Catholics in the archdiocese "have questions about their bishop's ability to provide the necessary leadership".
The request followed the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on sexual abuse cases in six Pennsylvania dioceses and the announcement of credible allegations of child sexual abuse committed by Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, the former cardinal-archbishop of Washington. Surveys show plummeting confidence in the Church the United States, Chile, Australia, and Ireland where the scandal has hit hardest, as well as in other countries.
DiNardo has also said recent claims McCarrick's misconduct was covered up - which have been made against top Vatican officials and the Pope himself - deserve answers.
McCarrick has said that he had "absolutely no recollection" of the alleged abuse of the teenager but has not commented on the other allegations against him. "We look forward to actively continuing our discernment together identifying the most effective next steps". "Father Bransfield would jokingly say, 'I'm going to have Stanley put you on the train to come down and see me sometime'".
Three of the nine council members were absent for the meetings: Cardinal George Pell, 77, who now is on trial in Australia on sex abuse charges; Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, 85, retired archbishop of Santiago, Chile, who is facing questioning over his handling of abuse allegations; and Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo, who turns 79 in early October.
Last month, conservative Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano claimed Pope Francis had personally ignored abuse allegations against prominent United States cardinal Theodore McCarrick for five years.