U.S. bishops call for Vatican, lay abuse probe into ex-cardinal

REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

The organization representing U.S. Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday called for a Vatican-led probe backed by lay investigators into allegations of sexual abuse by former Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who resigned last month.

The call comes two days after a Pennsylvania grand jury released the findings of the largest-ever probe of sex abuse in the U.S. Catholic Church, finding that 301 priests in the state had sexually abused minors over the past 70 years.

“Whatever the details may turn out to be regarding Archbishop McCarrick or the many abuses in Pennsylvania (or anywhere else), we already know that one root cause is the failure of episcopal leadership,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who serves as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a statement.