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's Square at the Vatican. Picture: Andrew Medichini/AP
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's Square at the Vatican. Picture: Andrew Medichini/AP
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, listens to a reporter's question during a news conference. File picture: Patrick Semansky/AP
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, listens to a reporter's question during a news conference. File picture: Patrick Semansky/AP
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 overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini/AP
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 overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini/AP

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

The November 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 US 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.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, listens to a reporter's question during a news conference. File picture: Patrick Semansky/AP

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.

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 overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Picture: Andrew Medichini/AP

AP