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Pope summons cardinals to discuss sex abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has summoned cardinals from around the world to a daylong summit in Rome next week to address the clerical sex abuse scandal and other issues facing the Catholic church.

The Vatican on Monday called the session "a day of reflection and prayer" that will also include discussions on threats to religious freedom, relations with other religions and procedures for disaffected Anglicans to join the Catholic Church.

The meeting of cardinals will take place Nov. 19, a day before Benedict is scheduled to install 24 new cardinals in a ceremony normally attended by many of the world's top-ranking churchmen.

Eight years after the U.S. scandal erupted, abuse allegations against Catholic clerics have taken on global dimensions with revelations of thousands of victims and accusations that bishops covered up for pedophile priests and that Vatican officials turned a blind eye for decades.

The pope has admitted that the church failed to take sufficient measures to stop the abuse. He has met with victims in several countries and has vowed to make fighting abuse a priority.

Anglican bishops say they'll convert

Five Church of England bishops announced they are converting to Catholicism — the highest-profile defectors among conservatives opposed to gay bishops and female clergy. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said Bishop of Ebbsfleet Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Richborough Keith Newton, Bishop of Fulham John Broadhurst — as well as retired Bishops Edwin Barnes and David Silk — have decided "to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church."

Pope summons cardinals to discuss sex abuse scandal 11/08/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 8, 2010 9:36pm]
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