Vatican planning response to allegations Pope covered up sexual abuse
© Getty

The Vatican is planning a response to allegations that Pope Francis covered up sexual abuse by clergy, according to members of the Pope's international Council of Cardinals.

According to Catholic News Service, the group said in a statement released after a majority of its members met Monday that "the Holy See is formulating possible and necessary clarifications."

The statement also expressed the Council of Cardinals "full solidarity with Pope Francis in the face of what has happened in the last few weeks."

ADVERTISEMENT

The Pope had previously refused to confirm or deny allegations from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano that Francis ignored D.C. archbishop's Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's sexual misconduct for years.

Friday, the Catholic News Service published a 2006 letter from a top Vatican official that confirmed key elements of Vigano's account. 

Then-Archbishop Leonardo Sandri sent the 2006 letter to Father Boniface Ramsey, regarding accusations Ramsey had made about McCarrick. 

Both predated McCarrick's rise to cardinal under Pope John Paul II. 

Vigano specifically referenced Sandri and Ramsey's statements in his accusations against Francis. 

McCarrick was removed from public ministry this summer when church officials ruled accusations that he had sexually abused a minor were "credible."