Pope Francis Announces Summit On Sex Abuse

The meeting is set to be held in February.

Pope Francis is summoning the presidents of every bishops conference around the world for a February summit to discuss preventing clergy sex abuse and protecting children.

Francis' key cardinal advisers announced the decision on Wednesday, as the latest chapter in the Catholic Church's long-running sex abuse and cover-up scandal has thrown Francis' papacy into crisis.

The February 21-24 meeting is believed to be the first of its kind, and signals a realisation at the highest levels of the church that clergy sex abuse is a global problem and not restricted to the Anglo-Saxon world, as many church leaders have long insisted.

The Catholic Church has come under increasing pressure following a string of abuse scandals involving clergymen. Source: Reuters

Francis' papacy has been jolted by accusations he rehabilitated a top American cardinal from sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI for having molested and harassed adult seminarians.

The Pope has faced mounting pressure to deal with the problem decisively, after a string of scandals in Australia, Chile, Germany and the United States.

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