Pope Francis has authorized a “thorough study” of Vatican archives into how a prominent American cardinal advanced through church ranks despite allegations that he slept with seminarians and young priests.

Pope Francis prays in front of an icon of the Virgin and baby Jesus during an audience with pilgrims from Slovakia in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The Vatican issued a statement Saturday saying it was aware that such an investigation may produce evidence “that choices were taken that would not be consonant with a contemporary approach to such issues.”

Pope Francis walks past an icon of the Virgin and baby Jesus during an audience with pilgrims from Slovakia in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

However, it said the Vatican would “follow the path of truth wherever it may lead.”

Pope Francis shakes hands with a Swiss Guard as he leaves after opening of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. The Oct. 3-28 synod is opening under a fresh cloud of scandal with new revelations about decades of sexual misconduct and cover-up in the U.S., Chile, Germany and elsewhere. (Alessandro Di Meo/ANSA via AP)
Pope Francis speaks during the opening of the15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. The Oct. 3-28 synod is opening under a fresh cloud of scandal with new revelations about decades of sexual misconduct and cover-up in the U.S., Chile, Germany and elsewhere. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The statement did not address allegations that Francis himself knew of sexual misconduct allegations against now ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013 and rehabilitated him anyway. Francis has said he would not say a word about those allegations.

Pope Francis speaks on the occasion of the opening of the15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. The Oct. 3-28 synod is opening under a fresh cloud of scandal with new revelations about decades of sexual misconduct and cover-up in the U.S., Chile, Germany and elsewhere. That has sent confidence in Francis’ leadership to all-time lows among the American faithful. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The Vatican knew as early as 2000 that seminarians reported McCarrick pressured them to sleep with him.

Source: The Associated Press

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