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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has opened a high-level summit of church leaders on preventing clergy sex abuse, hoping to impress on bishops from around the world that the problem is global and requires a global response.
The four-day meeting at the Vatican began early Thursday with prayers and was to feature speeches, tutorials and workshops on protecting children, preventing abuse and stopping cover-ups.
More than 30 years after the scandal first erupted in Ireland and Australia and 20 years after it hit the U.S., bishops and other Catholic superiors in many parts of Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia either deny that clergy sex abuse exists or downplay the problem.
Francis has made the same mistakes. He finally did an about-face after botching a well-known sex abuse cover-up case in Chile last year.