Pope OKs Study of Vatican Archives

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- 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.

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."

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

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.

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