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Home Church Breaking: Pope takes major action in response to abuse crisis

Breaking: Pope takes major action in response to abuse crisis

Responding to the shameful abuse crisis plaguing the Catholic Church at present, Pope Francis has called the president of every bishops’ conference around the world to a meeting at the Vatican next year.

Following extensive criticism of the Holy Father and the Church hierarchy for not taking concrete actions, the Vatican has now announced a major step in addressing the matter of sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

On Wednesday, 12 September 2018, the Vatican press office communicated that Pope  Francis has issued a worldwide summons calling the president of every bishop’s conference in the world to a meeting at the Vatican next year.

The extraordinary meeting will be held from 21-24 February 2019 taking for its theme “Protection of minors”.

The call comes after the 26th Meeting of the Council of Cardinals, known as the C9, earlier this week which addressed the current abuse scandals, reform of the Roman Curia and pastoral care of the Vatican’s personnel.

During the meeting, the pope’s closest advisors publicly expressed their support for Pope Francis in the face of much controversy following an 11-page letter by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò calling the pontiff to resign after the present breakout of abuse scandals.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is released.

* The opinions expressed here by Spotlight.Africa contributors and editors are their own and not official statements of the Society of Jesus in South Africa or of the Catholic Church unless explicitly stated.

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Ricardo da Silva SJ
Ricardo is a member of the South African region of the Jesuits and an ordained deacon of the Roman Catholic Church. In 2020, he received a master's degree in journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, New York, where he was an African Pulitzer Fellow and reported on religion, mental health, housing and other social injustices. Before moving to the U.S.A., Ricardo served as acting editor of spotlight.africa and was on the team at Jesuit Institute South Africa. His preparation for ministry as a Jesuit has taken him to study theology in Brazil, philosophy in the U.K and brief working stints in Zimbabwe and Spain. As a Jesuit, he has ministered to refugees, migrants, people experiencing street homelessness, young adults, seminarians, the elderly, and high school and university students, staff and faculty. Before entering religious life in 2007, Ricardo worked in marketing, communications, and brand management before joining the Jesuits in 2007. Ricardo holds dual citizenship, having emigrated from Portugal to South Africa at the age of six with his mother.

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