US Catholic bishops meet this week under pressure from clergy sexual-abuse crisis

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As the Roman Catholic Church’s sexual-abuse scandal widens in the U.S., bishops convene for a national meeting in Baltimore on Tuesday under heavy pressure to acknowledge their oversight failures and give a larger role to Catholics in the pews and to secular authorities in confronting the crisis.

The pressure comes not only from longtime critics of the church’s response to clergy sexual abuse, but also from insiders who now voice doubts that the bishops are capable of handling the crisis. Among them is Francesco Cesareo, chairman of a national sexual-abuse review board set up by the bishops.

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