The Atlantic

What to Watch for During the Catholic Church’s Sex-Abuse Meeting

Pope Francis convened 190 bishops and other prelates to discuss the protection of minors in the Church. Are they serious about it?
Source: Max Rossi / Reuters

VATICAN CITY—This week, 190 bishops and other prelates from around the world are gathering for a meeting on the protection of minors in the Catholic Church. Called by Pope Francis, the meeting is the first of its kind at the Vatican, and a sign that the pope and the Church hierarchy are finally acknowledging that the sexual-abuse crisis has become a global issue—in recent years, scandals have erupted in Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Ireland, and the United States, and they show no signs of abating.

Vatican officials say the meeting’s themes will be responsibility, accountability, and transparency, and they hope that it will be a turning point. But they’ve also tried to manage expectations, saying that while the gathering is an opportunity for discussion and reflection, it might not yet yield concrete measures.

[Read: Why does the Catholic Church keep failing on sexual abuse?]

“This is not going to be a three-day wonder, and

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