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At first, Cardinal Di Nardo said, some countries did not want to admit that they had the same problems as the United States, Cardinal Di Nardo said.
But in the end, he said, he was impressed with the consensus that developed.“This went far better than I think some of us had hoped,” he said.
“Zero tolerance should be universal law, and the Holy Father can do it himself.”After the pope’s speech, the Vatican did announce that some specific steps that would be taken soon.
One was described by church officials as a toughening up of child-protection laws within the Vatican’s boundaries.
He said the meeting was intended to educate all the bishops on the gravity of the problem of sexual abuse.
Inside, at sessions presided over by Pope Francis himself, the world’s top bishops, clad in their black cassocks and purple sashes, listened every day to the brutal testimony of abuse survivors — many of whom spoke about the indifference and complicity of church leaders like them.
A Nigerian nun excoriated them for their hypocritical silence and lack of transparency.
The pope’s bishop-focused approach carries real risks both for him and the church he leads.
While Vatican officials believe it is the right course, it is one in which change may come more slowly than the faithful in some countries ravaged by the abuse crisis have begun to demand.“Now you have the bishops all saying it’s ubiquitous.”Cardinal Di Nardo said he expected the American church would be asked for resources to assist other dioceses in rolling out reforms. “They want us to take action.”Archbishop Eamon Martin, president of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said that the obligation to protect children in the church rightfully fell on the world’s bishops.“I am always frightened about the thought that somehow safeguarding can be commanded from Rome,” he said on Saturday.