Pope Francis thinking of moment to say farewell

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Pope Francis began meeting with almost three dozen Chilean bishops Tuesday to address what victims say has been a cover-up of sexual abuse by clergy.

Francis made the comment during his morning homily in which he reflected on the apostle, Paul's, life and said taking leave of one's flock is a decision all bishops must make at some point, according to The Associated Press.

"When I read this, I think about myself, because I'm a bishop and I'll have to take my leave and step down", he added.

When a bishop leaves a diocese, he should give an honest assessment of what he has done and where he has fallen short, but mostly he should encourage people to follow the Lord, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis summoned the bishops to Rome for an emergency summit after receiving a 2,300 page report on the abuse cover-up scandal, which he had helped fuel. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

The pontiff strongly defended Barros, who was also accused of covering up Karadima's abuses, saying that he was convinced of his innocence and demanding "proof" before he would speak out against him.

Pope Francis with director Wim Wenders during the filming of the documentary “Pope Francis A Man Of His Word.” | Focus Features via AP
Pope Francis with director Wim Wenders during the filming of the documentary “Pope Francis A Man Of His Word.” | Focus Features via AP

Pope Francis admitted he made "grave errors of judgement" in the case and blamed a "lack of truthful and balanced information" for his missteps. "If he asks, we'll do it", he said.

Echoing Pope Francis' 11th April letter to the Chilean bishops, Bishop Ramos told journalists that the bishops felt "pain and shame" for the abuses committed.

A conference spokesman, Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez, said "it's possible" some bishops would offer to resign, but that it was up to the pope.

In a statement, the Vatican said Francis believed it was "necessary to examine in depth the causes and consequences, as well as the mechanisms that have led, in certain cases, to concealment and serious omissions towards the victims".

The visit comes two weeks after Francis held private meetings with 3 victims of Chilean pedophile priest Fernando Karadima, and promised to adopt "adequate and lasting" measures to stop child sex abuse within the Catholic church.

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