Pope Francis to discuss sexual assault crisis plaguing Catholic church

By Brittany Jeffers - Reporter

HOUSTON - On Thursday, Pope Francis will meet with U.S. cardinals and bishops to discuss the clerical sexual abuse crises that has plagued the Catholic Church.

The Vatican confirms the U.S. delegation will be led by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Dinardo first called for a meeting with Pope Francis in mid-August. He said he was eager to have the pope's support “for our plan of action” on handling abuse cases involving bishops. He added the plan would call for a Vatican investigation into questions surrounding other clergy, a new avenue for reporting misconduct and new procedures to address complaints.

Houston's chapter leader for SNAP, or Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, Michael Norris, said he has been demanding accountability for years.

“It’s time for the truth to be told and it's time for change,” Norris said.

Norris said he has was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was 10 years old. He said that he has found in voice in advocacy but it has been a long road.

“It’s something that never goes away," Norris said. He told Channel 2 that he will be watching and waiting for the meeting between the pope and DiNardo but he is skeptical.

“Really, the only way the Catholic Church will be able to move forward is to get the past exposed and then deal with it.”

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