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Catholic sex abuse summit ends with promise for change

by Kent Covington
Posted 2/25/19, 12:14 pm

Pope Francis closed out the Vatican’s four-day summit on sexual abuse by clergy on Sunday with a vow to confront abusers with “the wrath of God,” end cover-ups by their superiors, and prioritize the victims of what he called a “brazen, aggressive, and destructive evil.” At the end of Mass before nearly 200 Catholic bishops and other leaders, he offered an eight-point pledge of priorities going forward, calling for a change in the church’s defensive mentality and a vow to never again cover up cases.

But the summit’s failure to offer a concrete plan to hold bishops accountable for failing to protect Catholics from abuse disappointed many survivors and activists. “There is nothing in his remarks about releasing documents that demonstrate the truth of how they are and have been covering up child sex crimes,” Peter Isely with the group Ending Clergy Abuse told reporters. “So what that is is secrecy.”

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