Organizers of an upcoming Vatican summit on sex abuse prevention are warning that the credibility of the Catholic Church is in jeopardy over the abuse scandal and are urging participants to meet with victims personally before coming to Rome.
In a letter sent Tuesday to the presidents of bishops’ conferences worldwide, organizers said the church must develop a “comprehensive and communal response” to the crisis, and that the first step is “acknowledging the truth of what has happened.”
Pope Francis invited the church leaders to the Feb. 21-24 summit to respond to what has become the gravest threat to his papacy, as the sex abuse and cover-up scandal erupted in the U.S., Chile and elsewhere this year.
In revealing the first details of the preparations for the meeting, the Vatican said the summit would focus on three main areas: responsibility, accountability and transparency.
“Absent a comprehensive and communal response, not only will we fail to bring healing to victim survivors, but the very credibility of the Church to carry on the mission of Christ will be in jeopardy throughout the world,” the organizers wrote.
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