Oman Observer

Pope calls meeting on abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis has summoned senior Catholic bishops from around the world to the Vatican to discuss the protection of minors, in his latest attempt to come to grips with a spreading abuse crisis.
The heads of the national Catholic bishops’ conferences will meet with Francis from February 21-24, a Vatican spokeswoman said.
The announcement came at the end of a three-day meeting of the “C-9”, a group of nine cardinals from around the world who members meet about four times a year to advise the pope.
The spokeswoman said the sexual abuse crisis was a main topic at the meeting, which six of the members attended.
The Catholic Church is facing sexual abuse scandals in the United States, Chile, Australia and Germany, among others.
Der Spiegel magazine reported on Wednesday that a study commissioned by the German Bishops’ Conference had revealed that 1,670 clerics and priests had sexually abused 3,677 minors, mostly males, in Germany over a 70-year period.
In the United States, a Grand Jury has found that 301 priests in the state of Pennsylvania sexually abused minors over a similar period.
Francis meets on Thursday with US Church leaders to discuss that report as well as a scandal involving a former American cardinal and demands from an Italian archbishop, Carlo Maria Viganò, that the pontiff step down over that case.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the US bishops’ conference, asked for the meeting after Viganò last month accused the pope of knowing for years about sexual misconduct by former US cardinal Theodore McCarrick and doing nothing about it.
Viganò said he had told Francis soon after the pontiff’s election in 2013 that McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington DC, had engaged in sexual misconduct with adult male seminarians. — Reuters