US Catholic bishops convene to confront sex-abuse crisis

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BALTIMORE (AP) – U.S. Catholic bishops have convened a high-stakes national meeting under pressure to defuse the ever-widening clergy sex-abuse crisis that has weakened the church.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In remarks opening the four-day meeting Tuesday, he said the bishops’ “face the task of rooting the evil of sexual abuse from the church.”

On the agenda are proposals to increase the accountability of bishops in their response to sex abuse cases, and to create an independent, third-party entity that would review allegations of abuse.

Events of the past year have created unprecedented challenges for the U.S. bishops. Many dioceses have become targets of state investigations since a Pennsylvania grand jury report in August detailed hundreds of cases of alleged abuse.

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