Pope opens youth synod as confidence dips on abuse fallout
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is urging Catholic bishops to dream of a future free of the mistakes and sins of the past, as he opens a global gathering of church leaders amid renewed outrage over the priestly sex abuse and cover-up scandal.
Francis celebrated Mass Wednesday with the 200-plus priests, bishops and cardinals summoned to Rome for a monthlong meeting on proposing new ways to minister to today’s young Catholics.
Francis choked up when he welcomed two Chinese bishops to the gathering: Their presence was made possible thanks to a landmark agreement with Beijing over bishop nominations.
The Oct. 3-28 synod opens under a cloud of new revelations of abuse and cover-up in the US, Chile, Germany and elsewhere that have sent confidence in Francis’ leadership to all-time lows among US Catholics. /ee
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