Chicago (CBS) — Stopping predator priests and protecting the innocent is the goal of a global Vatican summit addressing the clergy sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.
Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich addressed the nearly 200 leaders gathered on the second day of the conference.
He stressed the importance of accountability and care for the victims.
“Sadly, many of our people, not just those abused or parents of those abused, but the faithful at large, are wondering if we the leaders of the Church fully understand the sacred bond, this reality, particularly when they see little care given to abused children, or even worse, when it is covered up to protect the abuser or the institution,” Cupich said.
He also said victims of abuse should receive appropriate care and support paid for by the diocese of the accused bishop.
The summit continues through Sunday.
Cupich says Pope Francis asked him and a few other leaders to stay and begin putting protections against abuse in place. The cardinal said the protections will be effective.
“There is going to be not only concrete aspects of this that will be clear to people, but I can tell you there are going to be concrete steps,” he said.
The pope opened the second day of meetings warning that “the children of God are watching.”
Other cardinals who spoke Friday said bishops and other leaders who hide clergy sex abuse are criminals.