UPDATED 6:55 AM PT — Friday, February 15, 2019
Preparations are underway at the Vatican ahead of a worldwide meeting of bishops over the sexual abuse scandal plaguing the church.
Over 200 bishops are expected to attend next week’s summit, where experts and abuse survivors will testify about the changes they want the Holy See to implement. They hope their recommendations will push the church to “adopt a culture of accountability and transparency.”
As anticipation mounts for the summit, Pope Francis has tried to downplay — what he calls — “inflated expectations” about the meeting. He said it will take more than three days to root out the problem of abuse.
“The Vatican is saying that not everything will be resolved in three days obviously, it is a very short period of time, but the goal is that every bishop goes back home with a clear understanding of what to do in cases of sexual abuse of children,” explained Philip Pullella, Vatican correspondent – Reuters.
Pope Francis pointed out that the summit is not to create new policies, but to teach bishops how to deal with accusations of sexual abuse in their parishes.
Many survivors, however, believe the summit is “too little too late” and doesn’t address the issue of the church covering up for sexual abusers in the clergy.