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Pope calls meeting of cardinals on sex abuse

Monday, November 8, 2010; 12:32 PM

Pope Benedict XVI has summoned cardinals from around the world to a day-long summit in Rome next week on the clerical sex abuse scandal and other issues facing the Catholic Church, the Vatican said Monday.

The Vatican called the session "a day of reflection and prayer" that also will include discussions on threats to religious freedom, relations with other religions and procedures for disaffected Anglicans to join the Catholic Church. Five Church of England bishops announced Monday they were converting to Catholicism following Benedict's invitation to disaffected Anglicans.

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.

Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, who will be flying to Rome to be one of those installed a new cardinal, said that he didn't have any idea what topics would be raised, but that he would like to discuss the subject of "growing secularism and how it affects religious liberty."

Wuerl said that if the pope asks the cardinals and cardinal-designates their input on sex abuse, Wuerl would tell him, "I think what we've done in the U.S. is a very good model. The issue now is essentially behind us. The concentration today has to be on victims. There is the question of awareness, of removing people from priesthood, those were done a long time ago."

-Wire and staff reports

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