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'This is a beginning': Cardinal DiNardo talks about hopes for Vatican abuse summit

ROME – As Catholic clergy from all over the world gather in Rome for a summit about the abuse of minors, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the head of the U.S. delegation, is talking about what he hopes will happen at the four-day meeting.

DiNardo, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he hopes the discussion will focus on accountability and the enactment of a zero-tolerance policy.

“We have to end the abuse crisis in the church,” DiNardo said.

VIDEO: Full interview with Cardinal DiNardo

DiNardo said even seminarians at the Vatican, including some from Texas, are discussing the issue.

“They are very dedicated to see that this plague ends in the church, and they will be part of that system to end it,” DiNardo said.

Even as clergy gather to discuss how to end the problem, DiNardo said there is at least one new accusation that has surfaced since the 15 Catholic dioceses in Texas released lists of those who have credibly accused of abusing minors.

MAP: Here are the lists of Catholic priests in Texas 'credibly accused' of sexual abuse

“What I can say is that there is at least one now, right before I left, that we’ve heard about, that may be new, but it apparently goes way, way far back,” DiNardo said. “It is new in terms of that it was not in any of our lists.”

DiNardo said he knows whatever happens at this meeting will not immediately restore confidence and credibility to the Catholic Church.

“It is a beginning,” DiNardo said. “It is a statement to everyone, in what I would call a quick or intense fashion, to let everybody know that (Pope Francis) wants us to do this.”

The summit begins Thursday and ends Sunday.


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