Pope summons cardinals for abuse talks

Tuesday November 9 2010


Pope Benedict XVI has invited all the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church for unprecedented talks next week on cases of sexual abuse by clergy — a move greeted with scepticism by activists.

“The pope has invited the members of the college of cardinals... to a day of reflection and prayer,” the Vatican said in a statement.

“The Church’s response to sexual abuse cases” will be one of the themes of the meeting in the Vatican, formally known as a consistory, it added.

The talks on November 19 come as Benedict grapples with the Church’s most profound crisis in years, following thousands of abuse scandals across Europe and the United States and accusations of a cover-up by senior clergy.

The abuse discussion will be led by US cardinal William Joseph Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the body in charge of Church dogma that was presided for more than 20 years by the current pope. (AFP)