19:49 GMT26 January 2021
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    VATICAN CITY (Sputnik) - Pope Francis opened a Catholic Church meeting on the protection of minors on Thursday by urging the top clergy to come up with effective solutions to sexual abuse by priests.

    "The God’s people expect from us not simple and obvious condemnations, but concrete and effective measures," the pontiff said.

    The pope called on the many cardinals, archbishops, bishops and other leaders of the church, who gathered for the four days of talks, to hear "little children crying for justice."

    READ MORE: Homosexuality to Blame for Sexual Abuse, Not Catholic Church — Cardinal

    The Catholic Church has been plagued by accusations of covering up for pedophile priests. Earlier this month, the pontiff defrocked Theodore McCarrick, a former US cardinal who used to lead the Archdiocese of Washington, after a church trial found him guilty of sexually abusing children.


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