Catholic Church sex abuse crisis: 5 possible Vatican changes

Pope Francis
Pope Francis talks as he leads the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. |

The Roman Catholic Church is holding a four-day summit in Vatican City in response to decades of sexual abuse cover-ups that have garnered renewed attention following revelations detailing extensive clergy abuse and the protection of predatory priests.

Around 200 church leaders from across the world are at the summit that began Thursday titled “The Protection of Minors in the Church.” 

On opening day, Pope Francis gave introductory remarks in which he implored leaders to find ways to fight what he called “this evil afflicting the Church and humanity.”

“I wanted to consult you, patriarchs, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and religious superiors and leaders, so that together we might listen to the Holy Spirit and, in docility to his guidance, hear the cry of the little ones who plead for justice,” said the pontiff, according to a transcript provided by the Vatican.

“The holy people of God looks to us, and expects from us not simple and predictable condemnations, but concrete and effective measures to be undertaken. We need to be concrete.”

On Thursday, proposed changed were presented to Vatican officials in an effort to better protect parishioners.

Here are five of the proposed changes that will likely be enforced by the Catholic Church. They include changing the minimum age for marriage and requiring clergy to undergo psychological evaluations.

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