AP Exclusive: Vatican letter undermines US cardinal on abuse

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2018 file photo, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2018 file photo, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2018 file photo, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2018 file photo, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of

People gather in St. Peter's Square to attend a blessing by Pope Francis during the Angelus noon prayer he recited from the window of his studio overl

People gather in St. Peter's Square to attend a blessing by Pope Francis during the Angelus noon prayer he recited from the window of his studio overl

A seagull flies by as Pope Francis delivers his blessing during the Angelus noon prayer he recited from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter

A seagull flies by as Pope Francis delivers his blessing during the Angelus noon prayer he recited from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Vatican letter obtained by The Associated Press makes clear that the Holy See blocked U.S. bishops from taking measures to address the clergy sex abuse scandal because U.S. church leaders failed to sufficiently consult with Rome beforehand.

The Nov. 11 letter from the Vatican's Cardinal Marc Ouellet provides the primary reason why Rome balked at the measures that were to be voted on by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during its Nov. 12-14 assembly. The blocked vote stunned abuse survivors and other Catholics who were demanding action from U.S. bishops on priestly sex abuse.

Ouellet's letter undermines the version of events provided by the conference president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. It could also provide fodder for questions during a weeklong spiritual retreat of U.S. bishops that opens Wednesday in Chicago.