Catholic Nun Scolds Bishops On Abuse: 'This Storm Will Not Pass'

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick archbishop

Francis, the first Latin American pope, called the summit after he himself botched a well-known sex abuse cover-up case in Chile previous year and the scandal reignited in the U.S.

He said they would be a first step toward restoring trust with the faithful and preventing conspiracy theories that the church was continuing to hide abuse.

Some of the comments made by church leaders seemed to acknowledge that reality. "And yet, at the same time, it causes each one of us to make sure we live our lives authentically before the people of God that we serve". "We must recognise that the enemy is within us".

Just as for a mother there are no first or second-class children, she said, there are no first and second-class children for the Church, underlining the fact that "Her seemingly more important children, as are you, bishops and cardinals (I dare not say the Pope), are no more so than any other boy, girl or young person who has experienced the tragedy of being the victim of abuse by a priest".

"We believed that this morning's meeting would be with the Pope, with a cross-section of survivors from around the world", one, Englishman Peter Saunders, told Reuters TV. In a room that looked like a college auditorium, rows of bishops listened to speeches and took notes.

Francis later handed out a 21-point list of "guidelines" which included suggestions such as drawing up mandatory codes of conduct for priests, training people to spot abuse and informing police.

"It's an understatement to say [these ideas] have to be taken seriously", Scicluna said.

"Mothers and fathers have called us to account, for they simply can not comprehend how we as bishops and religious superiors have often been blinded to the scope and damage of sexual abuse of minors", he said.

At the opening of the summit, an unidentified woman from Africa told her story to bishops and said she fell pregnant three times to a priest who raped her over the course of 13 years.

Sex abuse survivors and members of the ECA (Ending Clergy Abuse) hold their organization banner as they talk to journalists, as some of their representatives are meeting with organizers of the summit on preventing sexual abuse at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019.

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Church leaders have also alienated some Poles with their close ties to the conservative ruling party, which has been accused of eroding Poland's democratic culture and institutions.

The report commissioned by the German bishops also revealed that "at least" 3,677 cases of child sex abuse by German clergy occurred between 1946 and 2014.

Cardinal Blase Cupich, of Chicago, presented 12 ideas, including giving laypeople power to investigate accusations of misconduct, instead of waiting for Rome to come up with the answers. "They won't be told: This is exactly what you have to do".

Many times during this weekend's summit in Rome, Alessandro Battaglia has broken down over the memories of his abuse.

But following an outcry, he had introduced a probe that led to every bishop in Chile submitting his resignation, though only a few of these were accepted.

Francis has dealt with cases increasingly forcefully - though after some missteps. The group also accused the Pope of allowing cardinals and bishops "who have had an active role in covering up" sex abuse to attend the summit, saying it showed they were "able to openly flout the very policies created to hold them accountable".

"Faced with the scourge of sexual abuse committed by men of the Church against minors, I wanted to reach out to you", Francis told the assembled bishops and heads of religious orders.

O'Malley said he expected the Vatican and the four USA dioceses investigating McCarrick would soon release the results of their investigations.

The event is closed to the press, but the Vatican is live-streaming certain moments, including the remarks from the Pope and the three official presentations that are planned for each day.

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