Francis' key cardinal advisers announced the decision Wednesday, a day before Francis meets with USA church leaders who have been discredited anew by the latest accusations in the Catholic Church's decades-long sex abuse and coverup scandal.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl wrote to priests in the diocese that he met recently with the Pope in Vatican City to discuss future actions amid the latest allegations of sexual abuse against the Catholic Church.
In an explosive 11-page letter, Archbishop Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, accused Pope Francis of lifting sanctions that were placed upon the former D.C. Cardinal McCarrick during Pope Benedict's reign, going so far to making him a close adviser. When Wuerl spoke with Francis at the end of August, the pope told him to consult his priests about what he should do - and Wuerl did so at an annual Labor Day picnic for clergy, which he referred to in his letter on Tuesday.
DiNardo asked for the meeting last month, saying he wanted the pope to support an investigation into the scandal around former Washington DC Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who resigned from the College of Cardinals in response to allegations that he once abused a teen-aged boy.
The Vatican has known since at least 2000 that the archbishop would habitually invite seminary students to his New Jersey beach house and into his bed.
The Vatican has not responded to the allegations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò but has promised "clarifications". The Archbishop called on the Pope to resign.
Francis has refused to comment directly about Vigano's claims, but almost every day over the past two weeks his homily at morning Mass has seemed somewhat related to the scandal.
The accusations shook the U.S. Church, following a damning Grand Jury report in the state of Pennsylvania that found that 301 priests in the state had sexually abused minors over the past 70 years.
"Today, even the Catholic Church looks full of confusion at its own 9/11, at its own September 11, even though this catastrophe isn't associated with a single date but rather at so many days and years, and innumerable victims", he said.
Gaenswein, who serves as secretary to Benedict and prefect of Francis' papal household, was speaking at a presentation of a book by conservative American author Rod Dreher, who has been at the forefront in reporting on the McCarrick and Vigano scandals.
In Cardinal Wuerl's letter to the priests, which was obtained by LifeSiteNews and confirmed by the Archdiocese of Washington that it was sent on Tuesday, he discusses a resignation letter that he submitted in November 2015.