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Hope is great, as Pope holds unprecedented global summit on clergy sex abuse

Gregorio Borgia
Associated Press
Pope Francis has called Catholic leaders from around the world to the Vatican this week for a meeting about clergy sexual abuse.

Buffalo Catholic Diocese Bishop Richard Malone says he is praying the Vatican's global summit will result in "greater steps" to assist victims of clergy sexual abuse "on their journey to healing" and to "restore and rebuild faith, hope and trust" in the church itself.

Malone issued the statement as Pope Francis holds an unprecedented meeting with Episcopal Conferences from around the world to discuss the sexual abuse crisis within the church.

Malone says the summit "has three important overarching themes: responsibility, accountability and transparency." He has committed himself, "the priests, deacons, religious and laity" of the diocese to those themes in all they do in ministry.

March begins a Year of Healing and Prayer across the Buffalo Catholic Diocese.

Credit Michael Mroziak / WBFO News
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian (second from left) stands with whistleblowers in Buffalo, October 2018.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian has a different take on the summit. Garabedian represents victims of clergy sexual abuse in Buffalo and elsewhere.

In a statement of his own, Garabedian says the Pope's "21-point plan avoids the issue of revealing the truth about the crimes of sexual abuse and the cover up and consequently prevents victims from healing and children from being safe."

Garabedian says the Catholic Church has "historically shown that it cannot self-police." He's calling on the Vatican to "reveal documents, publicly name and defrock sexual abusers and those who participated in the cover-up, not oppose statute of limitation laws from being amended, and call the police."

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