Tomorrow Pope Francis is due to meet with US Catholic Church leaders who want to discuss the fallout from the report as well as a scandal involving a former American cardinal and demands from an archbishop that the pontiff step down.
Pope Francis formed the Council of Cardinals, often referred to as the C9, shortly after his election in 2013 to advise him on the reform of the Roman Curia and on church governance generally. Some of the cardinals who make up the council were named in Archbishop Carlo Viganò's report, including Cardinals Pietro Parolin, Sean O'Malley, and Rodriguez Maradiaga.
In an explosive 11-page letter, Archbishop Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio to the U.S., accused Pope Francis of lifting sanctions that were placed upon the former D.C. Cardinal McCarrick during Pope Benedict's reign, going so far to making him a close adviser.
Wuerl visited the Vatican last month after the release of a bombshell grand jury report in Pennsylvania that revealed allegations of abuse by more than 300 priests across the state, which also questioned Wuerl's own conduct as a supervisor of priests when he was bishop of Pittsburgh.
"In these times, it seems like the "Great Accuser" has been unchained and has it in for bishops", he said.
Since then, a number of bishops have criticized the pope's "no comment" media strategy, insisting the allegations are very serious and that Francis has the duty to clarify the facts to provide the "accountability" for which he himself has called.
"It is true, we are all sinners, we bishops", he said, but the Great Accuser "seeks to unveil sins so that they may be seen, to scandalize the people".
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.
Archbishop Georg Gaenswein told a book presentation that he by no means was comparing the scandal to the almost 3 000 people killed in the USA 17 years ago on Tuesday, on September 11, 2001.
Gaenswein recalled that during a 2008 trip to the US, Benedict spoke from the National Shrine to denounce the "profound shame" and pain that abuse had caused the Catholic community.
Cardinal Wuerl, as is customary, presented his resignation from the College of Cardinals upon his 75th birthday three years ago.
"Neither the lament of the Holy Father nor the formal assurances and commitments pledged by a large part of the hierarchy has been able to contain the evil", he said.