Pope Francis has ordered an investigation of an American bishop accused of sexual misconduct with adults and accepted his resignation.
That's according to the Vatican and U.S. Church officials.
It comes as the pope was meeting with American Catholic Church leaders to discuss the fallout from the scandal and demands from an archbishop that the pontiff should step down.
Gregory Burke, Senior Vatican Spokesperson says, "As the pope recently said, we abandoned the little ones. And that's what this meeting is all about. It's about making sure that the people who should be protecting children are not guilty of abusing them".
This article reveals the results of a study on sexual abuse in the German Church.
Between 1946 and 2014, there were over three thousand (3677) victims of sexual abuse, mostly male victims and over half of those were under 14".
Confidence in the Church in the United States, Chile, Australia, and Ireland where the scandal has hit hardest, as well as in other countries have plummeted.
The Catholic Church in Germany acknowledged a "depressing and shameful" legacy of sexual abuse on Wednesday after a leaked study says clerics had abused thousands of children over a 70-year period.