The church is embroiled in a major sex abuse scandal.
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput has requested Pope Francis by letter to cancel the bishop's conference whose subject concentrates on “young people, the faith, and vocational discernment.” It is expected that a global panel of youths will join the bishops' council for this event. The archdiocese spokesperson confirmed the dispatch of this letter.
Archbishop Chaput held a conference on August 30, at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary to announce his decision. He said that the present atmosphere is not conducive for holding a conference on this topic. Instead, he suggested, the synod should focus on many bishops' lives. His fears are not unfounded: a grand jury report running into almost 900 pages released in August said about 300 priests abused a minimum of 1,000 children over the last 70 years. The abuse was spread over six Pennsylvania dioceses and complaints were systematically covered up by the church hierarchy.
The synod's description of the youth conference, slated to take place from October 3 to October 28, mentioned its purpose as taking due care of the young people is not the church's optional work, but a component of its vocation and also a mission throughout history. A youth synod is a major event which is being planned for more than two years. If held, participants will arrive from all over the world and join the bishops' council for this event.
The child abuse scandal has implicated in excess of 300 priests along with their superiors working in Allentown, Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Scranton, Erie, and Harrisburg dioceses.
Matters are so grave that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the Archbishop in charge of Washington D.C., was forced to resign in July. Among the large list of allegations compiled against him includes sexually abusing a boy. Many seminarians also testified against him. Even a priest filed molestation charges against McCarrick. An ex-Vatican ambassador sent to the United States made a claim that both Pope Francis and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, were fully aware of McCarrick's deviant tendencies. They willingly covered up his misconduct knowing fully well the gravity of his crimes. Josh Shapiro, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania state, said a few days later that the Vatican was completely in the know about the massive coverage of the sex crimes done by its own clergy. The Attorney General did not state whether Pope Francis had personal knowledge concerning this matter.