US bishops delay vote on sexual abuse measures following pope's request
© Thinkstock

U.S. Catholic bishops on Monday delayed a vote at Pope Francis's request to address a fresh wave of sexual abuse scandals that have plagued the church.

The Washington Post reported that bishops from the country's 196 Catholic dioceses and archdioceses are gathered in Baltimore and had intended to vote on measures that would ensure accountability and prevent future sexual abuse crimes.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo told the group, however, that Pope Francis did not want the bishops to vote on the proposals until after a meeting of church leaders in February. DiNardo said he was "disappointed" by the pope's request, the Post reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Vatican’s ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, reportedly spoke to those in attendance at the conference and praised initial reform efforts.

The U.S. conference of Catholic bishops in September announced measures to hold predators within the church accountable in the wake of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed hundreds of instances of sexual abuse at the hands of priests.

The reforms included developing a "code of conduct" for priests, creating a "third-party" system for reporting sexual abuse and implementing restrictions on bishops who were removed or resigned because of sexual abuse.

Pope Francis and the Catholic Church have yet to formally address the Pennsylvania grand jury report with specific reforms, but the pope issued a statement calling the acts outlined in it "atrocities."