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Catholic World News News Feature

Pope Summons All US Cardinals To Rome April 15, 2002

ROME, Apr 15, 02 (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II has summoned to Rome all living American cardinals, including the retired Cardinal James Hickey, for special meetings, sources have told CWN.

The Pope has been criticized for not becoming more involved in the ongoing priestly sexual abuse scandal enveloping the American Church, but this latest move appears to answer those concerns. It may also contradict statements made on Saturday by Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the US bishops' conference, to reporters that the Pope has told the US bishops to deal with the crisis among themselves.

At the center of the controversy is Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, who has been accused of negligence in dealing with cases of sexually active priests and for whom there has been a growing call for his resignation. The cardinal issued a statement on Friday, saying he would not resign, but sources have also told CWN that the cardinal offered his resignation to the Vatican but that high-level figures either there or among his brother US bishops convinced Law to stay on, at least for now.

The details of the meeting between the US cardinals and the Pope have not been revealed, nor has a timetable for those talks.