Prepared with an address that would've began tackling the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop over the Galveston-Houston church, says he received a call from Rome.
"We have accepted with disappointment this particular event that took place this morning. We have not lessened in any of our resolve for actions. We are going to work intensely on these items of action," DiNardo said, addressing media on the first day of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops three day meeting.
DiNardo told more than 100 bishops from across the country, Pope Francis demanded them to hold off on voting on a code of conduct or creating a group tasked with investigating misconduct that would've started the process of addressing the claims impacting hundreds of parishes.
"They came in here saying that they were in such crisis, such urgency about this, that they get it. That they get it. What did they need to do that they've got to go to Rome," Peter Isely, a spokesman for End Clergy Abuse, said.
Outside of the conference, there was a tone of frustration and impatience as those looking for answers were left waiting.
Isely says the news was a 'bad' way to start the conference.
"I was a Catholic child. Every victim was a Catholic child. Here is our Catholic leaders -- they covered up for those crimes. They need to be held accountable for those crimes and they are not going to do it this week," he said.
"Most of those men are good men, are trying to be good leaders. We understand that, that's why we're not in angry protest, but praying for the Holy Spirit to break through to them in their meetings so we can see our way forward," Mary Ellen Donnelly, who came to speak about her frustrations from Michigan, said.
A way forward on an epidemic both the clergy and those frustrated say are holding the church back, but Cardinal DiNardo says U.S. bishops are ready to work on the problems whenever the Vatican is.
"We're dedicated to it. We absolutely want it. The bishops that I've spoken to are of one mind, depending on their points of view, they're all of one mind on this. So to my mind, we're set to go," he said.
The bishops were instructed that they'd now have to wait until after a special meeting at the world's bishops' conference in Italy in February.