Regarding authority in the church, he said, "Because only the pope has authority to discipline or remove bishops, we will assure that our measures will both respect that authority and protect the vulnerable from the abuse of ecclesial power".
At the time, McCarrick said he had no recollection of the abuse. Now we know the truth: "it happened everywhere", the members of the grand jury added. In most countries, including Canada, abuse has been uncovered through court proceedings, public inquiries or media investigations.
With a credible allegation that Archbishop McCarrick abused a minor almost 47 years ago and accusations of his sexual misconduct with seminarians, many have been asking how the prelate could have risen up the ranks of the church as an auxiliary bishop, bishop, archbishop and finally cardinal.
He will face further pressure on a papal visit to Ireland next weekend, when survivors of sexual abuse will demand he take institutional responsibility for the church's failures.
That report discussed what may be the largest-ever investigation of sex abuse in the Catholic Church in the US - and found that some 300 priests in Pennsylvania had sexually abused minors over a period of 70 years.
The Vatican, in its first response to a damning report by a US grand jury on sexual abuse of children by priests in Pennsylvania, on Thursday expressed "shame and sorrow".
It was the first time a prelate had lost his cardinal's rank in a sexual abuse scandal, and Francis was stepping up his crackdown on the abuse to include some of the highest ranking churchmen.
Abuse victi Robert Mizic, 47, cried as he watched a press conerence on the grand jury report into widespread abuse of children by Catholic priests. But charges have been filed against two priests, one in Erie diocese and another in Greensburg diocese, who have been accused of abusing minors.
Just this week, the diocese received 8 new reports of alleged abuse involving five persons, including four priests already on the diocese list of credibly accused abusers, plus a teacher not on the list.
He said Catholics need to help victims and he asked for Mary's intervention for those whose confidence is shaken because of the "terrible plague" of abuse.
Wuerl has said he has no plans to resign.
United States bishops have acknowledged that more than 17,000 people nationwide have reported being molested by priests and others in the church.
As Catholics and Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania try to heal and move forward from this dark chapter, supports and understanding must be offered to those left permanently scarred by the trauma.
Echoing what was discovered in Boston and other places, the grand jury report accused senior church officials of hushing up allegations against priests, in some cases by shuffling them from parish to parish.