Bishops meet amid sex abuse scandals
As U.S. Catholic bishops gather for their national assembly next week, the clergy sex abuse crisis dominates their agenda amid calls from critics that church leaders finally bring about meaningful reforms to root out misbehaving priests.
The three-day assembly that starts Monday in Baltimore comes after a series of abuse scandals this year that have been stunning in their magnitude and number.
Bishops have several reforms under consideration to craft a stronger response to the scandals, but some Catholic activists are demanding further steps, including releasing the names of all clergy accused of abuse and giving a greater voice to abuse victims. One coalition of concerned Catholics, the 5 Theses movement, plans to post its proposals for reform on church doors in Baltimore and elsewhere today.
The abuse crisis is foremost among several challenges confronting Catholic leaders, who face conflicting pressures on the role of women and LGBT people in the church.