Pope says church’s credibility has been ‘seriously undercut’ by abuse scandal

In a new letter to the US Catholic bishops, Pope Francis says the church's "culture of abuse" and "crisis of credibility" demands a "renewed, decisive" approach to resolving problems.

In a new letter to the US Catholic bishops, Pope Francis says the church’s “culture of abuse” and “crisis of credibility” demands a “renewed, decisive” approach to resolving problems.

“The church’s credibility has been seriously undercut and diminished by these sins and crimes, but even more by the efforts made to deny or conceal them,” the Pope said.

The letter was sent to Catholic bishops gathered for a spiritual retreat, which was suggested by Pope Francis. About 250 bishops are at the retreat, held at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Francis said he wanted to join the bishops but couldn’t because of “logistical reasons.”

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