Sex abuse crisis the focus as US Catholic bishops convene

Roman Catholic bishops are under pressure to carry out significant reforms to confront an ever-growing sex abuse scandal as they convene a national meeting in Baltimore.

The pressure comes not only from longtime critics of the church’s response to clergy sex abuse, but also from insiders who now voice doubts that the bishops are capable of handling the crisis on their own.

Sex-abuse scandals have beset the Catholic church worldwide for decades, but events of the past year have created unprecedented challenges for the U.S. bishops. Many dioceses have become targets of state investigations since a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed hundreds of cases of alleged abuse.

The president of the bishop’s conference, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Galveston-Houston archdiocese, has been entangled in controversies as well.

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