13:18 GMT14 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Pope Francis has decided to convene the first ever meeting with the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the Catholic Church on the issue of the protection of minors, the Holy See said in a statement Wednesday.

    "The Holy Father Francis, after hearing the Council of Cardinals, has decided to convene a meeting with the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the Catholic Church on the theme of the “protection of minors”. The meeting with the Pope will be held in the Vatican from 21 to 24 February 2019," the statement read.

    READ MORE: Pope Francis: ‘Silence and Prayer' Is Only Answer for Those ‘Seeking Scandal'

    The gathering is expected to become unique and it will pigeonhole the issue of clergy sex abuse as an international problem which is not exclusively inherent to the Anglo-Saxon part of the world despite claims of numerous global church representatives, the Associated Press news agency reported.

    In August, it has been revealed that more than 1,000 children had been molested by at least 301 Roman Catholic priests in the US state of Pennsylvania since the 1940s.

    The rule of Pope Francis has been shaken after allegations that he allowed a high-profile former American cardinal Archbishop Theodore McCarrick escape sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI as a result of harassment of adult seminarians. McCarrick was removed from public ministry this summer in response to the accusations.


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    harrassment, Child Molestation, Catholic Church, Vatican, Theodore McCarrick, Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI, Europe, Vatican
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